There seems to be a lot of um…hostility...out in the knitting blogosphere these days. Apparently there are rules that must be followed as set out by some um…Knitters In Charge. I’ve been reading some blogs and visiting a forum that seems to have some issues that they need to deal with. I recently read a series of posts about what constitutes a “knitting blog.” Apparently you only qualify as a “knitting blog” if you offer free patterns, of your own design, for things that this person specifically wants. And NO PERSONAL CONTENT PLEASE. Personal content will make this person NEVER VISIT YOUR BLOG AGAIN! Can you imagine the horror of losing this person as a reader? How will all of us personal content writers survive? What will happen to our dreams of fame and fortune and the love of a good Knitter In Charge? Based on their criteria, I should immediately remove the word knitting from my blog title. I am not worthy of the word. Of course, that brings up a different problem. If it were simply called Gourmet Disasters, rather than Gourmet Knitting Disaster, will that upset the Gourmets In Charge? I don't want to have them on my case too, because then it would just be Disasters. I'm sure FEMA would soon find out and make me take that out too. In fact, maybe I should just quit blogging all together. I obviously don't know what I'm doing.
As well, there are certain words and phrases that must not be used, for fear of upsetting people who think these words and phrases are improperly used or possibly inflammatory. Words like “fiddly.” Apparently all the new knitters and want-to-be knitters who are reading what constitutes a true knitting blog are scared off when they see someone say that a pattern or technique is “fiddly.” They then feel that this must be something they could never do.
My first thought on reading this was that anyone who is deterred from something they want to do by a total stranger, well…then they either aren’t ready to do it, don’t want to do it, or shouldn’t be doing it anyway. In any event, it is not a universal responsibility of a writer and/or knitter to make sure everyone feels encouraged and included.
My second thought was that I have used that term, and I’m annoyed that this person thinks she knows what I meant when I said it. While doing a three color intarsia patterned sock with two circular needles, I said that it was fiddly, which it was. It was like knitting with an octopus. (Three balls of yarn and four needle points only add up to seven, but my octopus lost a leg in a tragic spinning accident years ago, so now I knit with a seven legged octopus.) My use of the word fiddly was no indication of whether or not I thought other people should try it. Maybe they are better knitters than I am and they would find intarsia to be a breeze. Maybe they couldn’t do it with all the encouragement in the world. It was not an indication of whether or not I was a total loser and just gave up because it was too hard, and in the process encouraged everyone else to stop trying it as well. (I didn’t. It’s making me crazy, but I’m still doing it.)
Anyone who knows me at all can attest to the fact that I do not follow direction well. I don’t like being told what to do. I like it less when total strangers feel the need to instruct anyone on how to conduct themselves in the knitting world. Part of what I love about talking with and meeting other knitters is the amazing diversity of people. Everyone comes from a different place and has taken up knitting for very different reasons. It is an artistic expression, much like writing is. Not everyone who knits has jumped on the bandwagon because they think it’s the cool thing to do, or because they plan to make their fortune designing knitting patterns, or because they want to be famous by writing their blog. Some of us just like writing and knitting. We should be able to do what we choose with our knitting and blogging without fear of censorship or flaming from people with nothing better to do. I’m far more put off by the behavior of a few individuals than I am by the average person who dares to use the wrong words or talk about their cats. If they want to make sure “everyone is encouraged and included” maybe they should look to themselves and their own comments first. And if I ever visit their blogs again, there had better not be any personal content.