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More Bitching Than Stitching

27 April 2007

I said that knitters are really nice people.  And generally I believe that they are.  But not all of them,  not all of the time.

We have a blogger in Sydney who thinks nothing of uplifting posts from other blogs, books or whatever else she takes a fancy to.  And sees absolutely nothing wrong with it.

And there are the online knitting groups.  I belong to four and they really seem to bring out the worst in some people.  Although a number of the same names appear in each group, the groups have totally different characters.  Post a question that is deemed “easy” to one group, and you’re likely to have a load of rather snide comments.  To another group and you’ll get very patient and genuinely helpful advice.

Friends of mine have had offers from American knitters to act as post boxes for orders from Knitpicks (they won’t deliver outside the USA) and forward the orders to Australia.  I admired a pattern that a woman in America had knit and the next thing I knew she’d sent it in the mail to me.  Isn’t that really kind?

And then we have the LIVE knitting groups.  Real people, sitting around, knitting and chatting.  I’ve had some great experiences with the ones I’ve been to and made such good friends but I’ve heard a few horror stories.  I think we probably all worry that the other knitters in the group will be budding Kaffe Fassets or Elizabeth Zimmermanns and that our knitting won’t come up to scratch, but one of my knitting friends was made to feel particularly uncomfortable at a group she attended because she was working on something more complicated than their projects – they probably thought she was (to use that wonderful Aussie expression) “up herself”.   I know the converse of this experience is true; new knitters who’ve been treated with slight disdain because they’re not knitting a wedding ring shawl.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a knitter.  You enjoy it.  You appreciate the value of knitting.  Don’t you think we should all be encouraging people, not making them disheartened and unwelcome, whether online or off?

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6 comments

  1. And brand new knitters treated like total crap because they’re knitting with acrylic or they’re knitting a scarf. Maybe if they were encouraged, they’d be more inclined to keep it up, improve their skills and use better materials. I can honestly say our knitting group is welcoming to all, even if you’re knitting nothing more than accrylic squares. And it’s growing in leaps and bounds!


  2. I agree – the one common bond that unites such a wide and diverse group is an interest/obsession with knitting. It ain’t a status symbol – there should be no brownie points for having a particular brand of yarn or needles or pattern. Sounds like the members of the group were suffering from insecurity and maybe needed a bit of knitting group therapy.


  3. I have seen some dreadful things on email knitting lists. Pretty much the only online group I’m still on is the gay and lesbian one, and it’s the only one I’d even consider joining. We have our spats, of course, but it is a very respectful and adult group of people. But I love my f-t-f group.


  4. I agree with M-H about both bad experiences and the one good email list, whihc I also enjoy very much. I’ve been saddened when i’ve seen people hurt – and others, it has seemed to me, deliberately taking offence unnecessarily – one lists.

    I don’t think knitters are any nicer than any otehr people, they just have a particular thing in common with me.


  5. Sometimes it can be so hard to express oneself in print – one may sound blunt and curt without meaning to be. All the more reason why we should be extra careful!
    My definition of respect: do to others what you want them to do to you!


  6. Well I love a good stoush myself, and too much kissy kissy niceness I find insincere.

    So, it should have come as no suprise when a very famous craft blogger sneered at me to in my face when I was introduced to her at a knitting group.

    One must realise that common courtesy is only required to be used to those up the feeding chain, you may of course treat those lower down with the disdain they deserve.

    I do like the point you’re making. People do say that knitters are nice people. Maybe all knitters are nice, but only some of the time?

    That’s some fine new blog you’re making here. Your first post made me cry!



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