22 December 2008

10 Things to Never Mention in Knitting Forums

Shhhh….Don’t say that Here!

I am making this list with the full understanding that people take their crafting preferences as seriously as most people take religion and politic, so please note that I am not here to offend anyone, just saying “hey, have you ever noticed how people get real worked up about…”

In no particular order:

1. Acrylic vs. Wool vs. Natural Fibers vs. Man-Made Stuff
This is a huge deal. Do not mention this unless you want to be treated to a litany of debate focusing on allergies (oh the allergies), ability to wash and melted babies. Charity also becomes a huge issue here. What fibers do charities want? Does requesting the “wrong” fiber make a charity less worthy of our charity? You see how this gets ugly fast.

2. Local Yarn Stores (LYS) vs. “Big Box Stores”
Are you evil for not supporting “mom and pop” or are we all just trying to live in economic apocalypse so stop being as elitist as to assume we can all afford sock yarn at $36.00 a ball?

I would suggest not owning patterns; even discussing them amongst friends might be in violation of the designer’s copyright on the work. While I appreciate how hard it is to make patterns, and test them, and produce them and so on, there are only so many ways to combine stitches, so let’s not get a bustle in our hedge-row here.

4. Double Pointed Needles (DPNs) vs. Two Circulars vs. Magic Loop (ML)
Purely a personal choice, but as we know the American way is to assume our personal choice is the correct one, conclude that all other ways are inferior, and defend that position to the death. (Or beyond if need be.)

5. Medical Disorders (See list item 1 for major overlap)
Being a hypochondriac myself, I seem to see how we crafters are also a fairly sickly bunch, and we love to discuss it. So now, let me wax nostalgic for three pages about my “knitter’s elbow” and, if we are lucky, all my allergies and related fiber preferences.

6. VicunaCheck it out! Anything at $300 a ball is bound to spark some debate.

7. Price of Handmade Goods
Heavily related to copyrights and LYSs, but mentioning this will invariably lead to name calling and hair pulling. Can you make living selling hand-knits? Should you be able to? What are the ethical implications of $70 hand-knit, organic cotton baby hats anyway?

8. Center Pull Balls vs. Free Skeining
Another matter of personal preference, but I put it here since reading it can often combine the words in a manner that makes me think dirty things. (FYI I am pretty much a 12 year old boy at heart.)

9. Aluminum vs. Plastic vs. Wood vs. Bamboo needles
Are you noticing a theme that matters of personal preference create almost war-like conflicts? I am sure I no longer need to elaborate.

10. Breastfeeding
Just in case you thought you were safe, almost any set of knitting forums will discuss this. Just let it be said that parenting is never safe, and no matter what you do, someone will be on your hump about it. See also: co-sleeping, list item 1, pillows, blankets, allergy-unfriendly toys, PBA etc.

With all that said, I love me some crafting, and I love me some crafters. We are our own breed of crazy, but really, the most lovable kind after all!



Ginny Marie said...

I'm not a knitter, but I loved your list! I think we can all relate. I have been told not to shop in the big box stores for different things, and I'd love to support "mom/pop" stores, but there just aren't that many around anymore in my neck of the woods!

Keely said...

Heh, love it. Those kinds of debates just prove that people are passionate about their chosen hobby/vocation/medium/whathaveyou. Also, I'm pretty much a 12 year old boy at heart too, so that one was especially funny.