Knitting Tribes

Knitting Tribes
The situation would be comical if it weren’t so depressing. One week I’m fielding drama from the “old guard” of the NSW Knitters Guild, convinced that I’m intent on destroying traditional knitting from within with my radical ideas about “email” and “the Internet.” The next week I’m copping it from the “punk rock” guerilla knitters, accusing me of being a Granny and Communist (yes, really) for saying that I think most knitted graffiti is a waste of time.

Obviously the issue is that a lot of people identify really, really strongly with their particular niche hobby community (be it knitting, Star Trek, or the Dallas Cowboys). Saying you dislike an aspect of that community is tantamount to personal insult. They all take it so deathly seriously. I just don’t get it. It’s just sticks and string! I’m not offended by people who don’t like knitting. It doesn’t define me as a person. I don’t take it as a personal insult when someone says they don’t see the point in knitting socks. Sometimes I take it as an opportunity to try to sway them to my side, but I’d never use it as an excuse to insult and demean them. If you think that someone saying they dislike your preferred style of knitting project (or your favorite band or TV show) is equivalent to them saying that you are a bad person, then there’s really no way to have a rational discussion or debate about it.

The only way to win is not to play, really. Militants (whether of the Old Guard or the New Subversives) really suck the fun out of everything.

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3 Comments

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  1. Ah, it makes me laugh a little bit. We are all still children. Must be something about the internet makes people irrational.

    Silly really.

  2. Been following the graffiti knitter discussion with interest. I don’t get it either. Guess I must be a really BAD person, too!

  3. I think that the problem is that some people seem to think they (and only they) are defining what knitting should be. The grafitti knitters are of course free to put theirs bits up everywhere; we are free to say we don’t want to participate. They don’t have to take that personally. The Guild ladies are perfectly free to think that they can control and define what knitting should be; we are free to disagree and say that it can be more than that. That’s not a judgement on them. But people have so much invested in their image of themselves as cool, as an expert, as a spokesperson that’s it’s hard for them to hear that there might be a quite reasonable point of view outside their own. Hence the descent into the personal.

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