Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wham Bam! Knit you, ma'am

As I hit the knogger circuit last night (can't think of a knitting metaphor for it--coffee not kicked in), I came across a blog with a button boldly proclaiming this knogger was NOT a secret pal. She also claimed to be her own best pal with another colorful button. Intrigued, I followed the link. It led me to the explanation. This knogger knitonepurltoo said "For the record, I'm in favor of all kinds of Internet surprises, and I begrudge no one their treats, but I want to see your knitting. That is the burning question in my mind when I read your blog: what are you knitting, and what can I learn from you? For that reason, the photos of Secret Pal packages are not quite as interesting to me as the things people make with what they receive." Point taken. I read on and put that thought on the back burner. In the middle of the night I was awakened by the smell of cat poo, as I am every night (yucky but true--they use the litter box in my bathroom), and I realized the toilet was leaking again. As I cleaned up, the stew of my thoughts came to a boil. I knew what was bothering me about the knogger's comments. She has a right to her opinion, but I humbly challenge it. Here's why. If knitting is like sex (yay to both), then asking to see only my knitting and my stash is like yarn porn. "Show me your clapotis, and I'll show you mine." Strike up strip-tease music here--and here is my fair-isle bag (wolf whistles), my felted nested Moebius bowls (cat calls), my Noro Lizzy cardigan ("Show it all, show it all, baby!"). What I'm looking for is more than that. In the olden days, ladies met together in craft circles and, using the modern term, "stitched and bitched." It was a chance to be creative in community. It's wonderful in our culture of isolation to see the rebirth of these types of groups. We were not meant to be alone. So when I read your knog and I see that you've posted a picture of your kitty for the seven millionth time, I smile because I love my kitty too. I'm happy that you love your kitty. I weep with you when you tell me that your son was diagnosed with autism, and I say a prayer for him and for you. I wonder how your mother's surgery went, because my mom's surgery is coming up soon. I laugh at your children's antics, because your children are wonderful, just like mine (most of the time). I cheer when you score some outrageous merch at Goodwill, because you are my bargain-hunting soul sister. I high-five you by email when you receive an astounding gift from your pal. I want to know what books you're reading, what music you like, what movie you watched last night as you frogged that sock for the fifth time. I rage when someone stalks you at your office, because I want you to be safe and sound. You are my cyber friends and family--not imaginary like some airbrushed centerfold (in Vogue knitting)--you're real. And you are more than your knitting (although that is a HUGE part of who you are). The knogger further asked the question, "What can I learn from you?" I want to learn how you did that very cool cast on that looks impossible or how you managed to make your felted bag stand up when mine flops over like a bum on skid row. But you have so much more to teach me than that. How do you juggle life and craft? What inspires you? Why do you knit? How has it helped you as a person? I'm looking at and listening to more than your knitting, I'm seeing and hearing your heart. So stand outside and peer in the windows hoping for a peep at the lovely WIPs or come join the club (and hence the lives) of the knoggers--ladies and gentlemen--the needles are poised, the coffee's hot (just cream for me, no sugar, and can you make it the temperature of the surface of the sun?), the gossip is juicy, the creative genius abounds, and the joy is unspeakable.


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