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Too Busy To Breathe

April 15th, 2008

It’s been a crazy time chez indigirl lately. We’ve been slammed busy working to put together the best ever third annual Fall Fiber Arts Retreat through the store. (Check it out – the Yarn Harlot! Amy Singer! Nancy Bush! Cookie A! Big Mountains!) And dealing with some issues with the first Year of Lace kit.

To be honest, I’ve been stressed beyond belief.

And to top it all off, I’m in the middle of my first two week wait to figure out if we’re having a baby in 2008 or not. While I thought I could test for the first time tomorrow (and expect a slight chance of a positive), it may indeed be a few days longer than I’d first thought. Ah well. At least I’m busy.

I don’t know what it is about this time of year for me. Looking back, it seems like early Spring is the time when I’m most likely to feel untethered. Maybe it’s got something to do with the change of seasons, the sudden availability of nice weather (or not, if you live in Calgary). Or maybe it’s just that everyone around me also goes through a phase of spring fever.

Have you been noticing that tensions seem to be running a little high on certain online knitting forums? Could this be related to the time of year? Personally, I wish that there was a better way to balance the wonderful freedom of communication online with the responsibility of the golden rule. And I’m not talking about Year of Lace stuff at all… just about some other threads involving other businesses/issues that I’ve been reading.

I’ve been part of many online communities dating back to the days of usenet and it seems like every single one has gone through a self-destructive phase, full of arguing, and infighting, and low blows. I’d hoped the knitting community would have been exempt from this, but I suppose it’s like anything else; full of a large variety of people who will sometimes disagree… loudly. I guess what makes me uncomfortable about the whole thing is that an online forum makes it easy for a story to be one-sided. Get enough unhappy folks on there, and the tone of the thread makes it hard for anyone to disagree publically, especially with tensions running high.

While it’s wonderful that we can say what we want without fear of censorship, it also can create a bias towards one perspective over another (and possibly the big picture), when the first few responders all agree and build on each other’s negativity. The more negative a thread gets, the less you see anyone disagreeing or jumping in to defend what was criticized. And that makes sense to me. If you were a lone Flames fan at an away game in Chicago, how loudly would you bad-mouth the home team? It takes courage to feel like you’re in the minority in any case, much less in an online forum where other responders may not listen as politely as if the conversation were in person.

I think there’s a bigger responsibility to being responsible with what you write online, but also to be responsible with what you read online. I’m certainly not saying anything here about the validity of any posters’ complaints or actions. I’m merely speaking to the feelings that keep any heated forum thread from being truly unbiased. And just spouting off a bit in my own forum. 🙂

Now that I’m off my soapbox…

It’s Tuesday evening and just about time for Knit group at the store. I’m still working on my Panel Jacket; one sleeve down and the other half done. After the sleeves and the rest of the seaming, I can move on to knitting the incredibly long collar/neckband and then three-needle-bind it off in place. And then it needs a really good and intense blocking. I swear I’m knitting to gauge, but the garter stitch is a strange beast. It’s short. 3 inches short, to be precise. So, I’m thinking that in the original pattern, the body had to have been measured after blocking. So I’m-a-gonna-block-the-crap-out-of-it and see what happens.

And I also might cast on for Wicked.

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7 Responses to “Too Busy To Breathe”

  1. Sundari Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your rant about negative threads!! I hate to see the knitting community head down that road when there is already so much negativity and nonsense on the web. Let’s be a positive influence!

  2. SamLaTricoteuse Says:

    Hmmm.
    I guess the popularity of knitting may attract some loonies along the way.. because frankly these are not the type of people that I meet in the meetings. I have heard (can’t remember where) of someone who made a point of calling a meeting and found out – because none of the ranters knew her – that they kept bitching and all that – but that frankly they didn’t have anything more than adding on top of what had been said… without even knowing her.. Being a victim of this can be really bad – and destructive even – but i guess that’s why there is a moderation tool on most.. The other thing i have noticed, bare with me here, is that the knitting world being mostly English, some French (like me) will write on the blogs, but will lack in some subtleties that would be lost on them.. Can’t tell you how many emails I wrote on the job that were not appropriate – not because i wanted to, but simply because it is not my first language..

  3. Kayla Says:

    Having been on the unpopular side more than once, I have a new rule.

    There are three things you don’t discuss if you want to keep friends; religion, politics and the great pumpkin.
    – Lionel from Charlie Brown.

  4. Kayla Says:

    Pardon me. Linus. Not Lionel. *blush*

  5. Tonia Says:

    And I thought it was just me- I think there is enough negativity in this world right now without it infiltrating one of the things I enjoy the most every day- my knitting forums. That being said- if you live in the mid section of the US this lack of sunshine is enough to make you go postal!!PS I love my YOL kit- I am casting on tonight.

  6. Kathy Says:

    Ahhh so funny, I was thinking about this today too. Agree, agree, agree, and add: I think it is so important to stand up and be counted on issues that are important – otherwise opinions/posts by people who are intolerant go unanswered and it appears that everyone is in tacit agreement … when really they just don’t want to reply publicly for whatever personal reason they have. That said, it is also important to know when to stand up. Racism, yes, absolutely stand up. Whether someone I don’t know and have never done business with is good bad ugly potatohead whatever? Not the time to stand up.

    Spring is weird for me too! Fall is the time for new beginnings for me, not spring. Spring, I keep feeling like something is supposed to happen but … when? Plus I like fall knitting projects better 🙂

  7. Franki Says:

    So true. I think not being in physical proximity of those you are having your “discussion” with inspires bravado in some people that they wouldn’t normally display if they were in someone’s living room or whatever. It’s exhausting, and I end up leaving 90% of the forums I join because they decline into some nosensical pecking order where the main purpose is whining or slagging people off. Life’s too short for me to waste my time giving such things and/or people more attention than they merit.

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