For The Love Of Ravelry? . . . Part 2

26 March 2008

I mentioned the other day that there are a few things about Ravelry that really bug me.  The first was the assumption that we’re a) All Americans and b) Governed by American Law.

I also get pretty annoyed by the ageism that is sometimes rampant around the forums.  One woman was thoroughly abused when it transpired that she was over 60.  Others have complained about the way they’re treated in yarn shops if they’re under 30.  I don’t doubt that prejudice exists but my shopping experiences haven’t always been pleasant ones.  A haberdashery/yarn shop in Sydney treated me as a potential shoplifter when I went in there and after I’d looked at some buttons, with the assistant standing about 3″ away from me, she said “Are you going to buy those, or what?”.  Of course, I had to say “What” and leave.

I’m in my 50’s, no tattoos, no piercings (except for discreet earrings), no spiky or green hair. 

Some shopkeepers are just in the wrong profession and really don’t want customers cluttering up their premises.

At the knitting group I attend regularly, I am the oldest person.  I’ve been knitting pretty regularly since I was 5.  I DON’T tell other knitters how to knit or criticise their work.  I’m usually too busy appreciating the wonderful things they’re creating. I’m certainly not the best knitter there; I’m probably the most experienced.

The resurgence of knitting over the last few years has brought some wonderful new techniques (well, new to me, anyway) and creations that have been produced by “thinking outside the circle”.  I’m learning these all the time and I really don’t care if the person who introduces them to me is under 25 and has been knitting for 2 years.  And that’s why I got so annoyed with the Sydney Easter Show people – they just don’t recognise that changes have happened.  Or, if they do, they certainly don’t appreciate them.

 Please don’t write us all off because we learnt to knit before the advent of circular needles and bamboo yarn. 



  1. You’re so right.

    The ‘not your grandmother’s knitting’ really annoys me. I feel it’s insulting to grandmothers who value quality and crafstmanship – some of the ugliest knits I’ve seen come from that rag ‘knit simple’ which is aimed at the younger market. Same with the term ‘funky’. As a matter of fact, if you have to say it’s ‘funky’, it probably isn’t.

    I think the ageism goes both ways, and it worries me that comments like ‘get old, become invisible’ (seen on rav recently) might be true. In that case, maybe we should let them have the RAS they want, for after all everyone is entitled to their little fifteen minutes..

    But moreover I think that organisations such as the RAS seem to attract the kind of officious personalities that dominate the judging. I met one of these women once, she was heckling Nicky Epstein at Tapestry Craft as though she knew better. It was beyond rude.

    Plus I think there is an element of parochialism – some of these projects have done a year of show jumping and I’d say the judges have seen them before. And if Castle Hill (example only) placed it, then the Easter Show must place it or else the Hills District Group (example) might be able to wiggle the finger at the RAS group for missing it.

    There really should be an ‘alternative’ knitting awards event for Australian knitting. Got any spare time?

  2. ok, I won’t, even though I’ve got green hair (keeps fading, a real pain) and tattoos 🙂

    I agree with all you say, we are not looking/listening properly when we meet people if we just fall back on age (or race, or nationality, or…) based assumptions. It’s lazy.

  3. I learned to knit in 1955, at age 6, when I was at home ill with the chicken pox. This gives me a few years experience at it. But because I was isolated, not a member of guilds, I essentially repeated what I had been taught as a child. My knowledge didn’t grow without the exposure to others. I’ve learned more new skills in the last 5 years than I did in the 20 before that.

  4. Oh, I forgot, let’s go get a couple beers and dye our hair green next weekend.

  5. ‘ear ‘ear!! Well said those women!!

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