Honest, opinioniated, or rude depending on how you look at it.

Bitchin’ about Stitchin’

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I feel that I must come clean about a dirty little secret of mine.

I really hate the Stitch N’ Bitch books by Debbie Stoller. There. I said it. I halfway expect the knit gods to strike me down.

I hate the way it portrays very basic patterns as glossy celebrities of kitsch that all the cool kids must knit. I hate the clashing color schemes and Ron Popeil feel to it. I hate the way the author writes as though she is the knitting Messiah who’s raison d’etre is to make knitting trendy and fashionable.

That being said, at least her books have given people the foot in the door to learn about knitting in their own comfort zone. Because her books are so trendy, beginning knitters have a starting point and common ground that probably didn’t exist 10 years ago.

I just think there are so many other great options available for beginners out there that I don’t understand the appeal of the series. Its easy to be overwhelmed by the massive amounts of knit magazines and books out there right now, but 95% of them are much more appealing to me. Or just going to a LYS and meeting the local knitting group is a great way to to knit and make friends in the process.

Which brings up an interesting question. Do you think that it is the creative process or the social appeal of knitting that creates more new knitters these days? Personally, I was more drawn to the creative process, to see the finished project and have the satisfaction of making something with my own two hands. I like to challenge myself, and after crocheting for many years, I forced myself to try the scary and intimidating ninja-art of knitting.

The process went something like this:

1. Oooh, two needles?! And they’re pointy! (Proceeds to poke one’s self a couple dozen times on accident on the way home from the store.)

2. I’m a crochet pro, this is going to be easy….fuck, this is starting to look like some form of destructured modern art. (Has only cast on yarn at this point.)

3. Must find simple pattern. Everyone says that a garter stitch scarf is the easiest thing in the world to try….(15 rows later) God, this is the most mind-numbing boring thing I have ever done in my life. There has to be something more to it that this, or knitters would stab each other with their needles out of boredom.

4. Has now switched to stockinette, in the round, HP scarf for friend. Rationalizes that promising a gift to a friend will force myself to finish said item. Search for pattern online, and compatible yarn online. First foray into a “LYS” is intimidating but exhilirating.

5. Rationale was accurate as far as drive to finish item goes. Knits and reknits same first 10 rows of scarf at least 20 times in one week. Learns the definition and lack of real-life humor in the term “frogging”. Swears constantly out of frustration, inventing new words that my husband believes would make most knitting grannies blush. Refuse to put down needles until I get it right

6. Constant knit-stitch in repetition forces consistent tension of yarn and I start to get the hang of this whole “gauge” thing. After 200 rows of stockinette stitch, have mastered the knit stitch and hit that meditative zen-knitting “zone”. Simple scarf completed and shipped off to friend.

7. Ha! I thought this knitting stuff was supposed to be hard? Delusional knit-whore created.

So as you can see, the socialization aspect of knitting wasn’t what appealed to me at first. But it’s really hard not to be drawn to other people who share your passions. Plus, there is frequently cake and gossip involved. Is there anything better?

I think that the cake and gossip probably draws in more people these days as knitting has become socially acceptable and trendy. And then they get the bug and more knit-whore’s are born, Ravelry addictions are created, and the whole knit world opens up.


Written by Milwaukee Knit Chick

April 24, 2008 at 12:40 am

Posted in Humor, Knit Philosophy

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