I cannot seem to keep my virtual mouth shut, even when it would be good for me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot because Ravelry will be going public before too long. I’m listed on there as a designer, and whoever entered me in used my real, full name, which they got off of the copyright on my Maude Louise pattern. This is actually a good thing for me, since someday, when I am a better pattern writer, I might like to submit patterns to publications, and having some sort of repertoire probably wouldn’t hurt me in that regard.
Where it may or may not be such a good thing is that I cannot seem to stay away from the Big Issues Debate group on Ravelry. I have opinions. Many of them. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve probably acquainted yourself with some of them in my occasional feminist rants that relate to knitting. The danger on Ravelry is that the issues coming up in the Big Issues group are not related to knitting at all. But I still have opinions. Strong opinions. Controversial opinions. Potentially alienating opinions.
I don’t want to alienate people. I really don’t. People who read my blog do so because we share a love of this craft, not because they want to hear me opine on stay at home parenting, or kid free zones or the obesity crisis. I’m making this assumption, though perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps there is a subsection of readers who are just dying to know what I think of the current Pope or my thoughts on the rights of man.
I used to have a political blog. It was started by me so that I could quietly post rants when I felt like ranting. What it turned out was that I do not often feel like ranting on my own. I rant in discussion, not in monologue. I had the blog for a year and posted in it maybe three or four times total. No one read my rants. Though it was posted on the world wide web, I might as well have been writing in a journal.
And you know something, even though I’ve always liked writing, I have never ever enjoyed journaling. I like essays, but essays are read by someone, even if it’s just the person grading the essay. They are written to an audience. I like writing to an unseen audience. It makes me feel like I’m in dialog, even when I’m not. Heck, I’m an introvert who works better in a written medium. Of course I like an unseen audience. Introverts, contrary to popular opinion, often really enjoy the company of other people. We just recharge by being alone. The internet is our playground, because we can be alone and we can socialize all at once.
So you’ve got this thoughty introvert who spends all day in her own head thinking about the Big Issues, and usually surrounded by small children whose primary interests are Star Wars and mad potty skillz and when they will next be fed, and you give this introvert an entire site, the best designed Web 2.0 site on the net, all about her obsession, and you throw in people who want to talk about the things this knitter thinks about all day, and you end up with an opinionated little chatterbox who cannot seem to shut her virtual mouth.
Oy. The thing about this that bothers me is that I want people to be able to enjoy my knitting the way I enjoy theirs – without a lot of baggage. I am not ashamed of my opinions, and I am always happy to have a chance to express them. At the same time, it seems a little much to bring them into a place that is about my hobby. Hobbies are a break from the world, and I don’t knit to think about my political opinions. I love my fellow knitters. I’d hate for them to feel uncomfortable reading my blog because of my opinions on religion.
That said, I don’t know that I’m going to stop posting about my opinions on Ravelry. It seems almost compulsive. And there have been many opinionated knitters before me. Sure, Elizabeth Zimmerman springs to mind, but though she was very opinionated, I realize I mostly am familiar with her strong opinions on yarn, aesthetic and method. But how about Barbara Walker? She’s a knitting genius. The knitters of the world owe her a debt of gratitude. But at the same time as she was compiling her fantastic stitch treasuries and instructional books, she was also writing about her atheism and feminism, her strong belief in spirituality, and her meditation guides for women.
You know what? I’m an opinionated knitter. I’m just going to have to own that. No one ever imagined, I suppose, that I was nothing but a knitter. Thinking on it now, it seems a little insulting to my readers to think that they’d never be interested in anything but my yarn.
But since we are interested in yarn, I’ll be nice and show you what arrived today. In a moment of reckless abandon, I ordered two skeins of Sundara Yarn Sport Merino, because it was so beautiful, and because it is going to be temporarily discontinued. I have no idea what I’m going to do with these beauties, but I think I’ll be taking them off to Thanksgiving with me, because my heavens! They are a reason to give thanks. That’s Lemon Lime on the bottom and Rust on top. Oh, and my lovely woven scarf that Andrea made for me beneath .