I’ve seen an awful lot of conversation in the knitting community about permissible discussion.
Of course, this is all after the Ravelry controversy. Some say that politics of any kind shouldn’t be allowed. Actually, sex, religion and politics should be left out of knitting groups altogether. We should only discuss knitting.
And that just breaks my heart. I recently wrote that there are “people who knit” and “knitters.” “People who knit” binge on occasion, while “knitters” need support groups. And that is so true on so many levels.
Like any support group, knitters are there with a shared dilemma. We cling to these needles like crazy and can’t let go. But, in other support groups, we’re allowed to discuss our lives, our troubles, why we knit, why we’re knitting this particular project, why we have an entire closet of stashed yarn in Tupperware bins and still buy more. How we readily scream, “Shut up, I’m COUNTING!”
These are the shared experiences of an addict! THIS is the one common bond we come to the group with: our craft. So, it pains me that we’re not allowed to share our lives with each other in that particular setting.
You know, someone had mentioned that I just let this whole Ravelry situation rest. “Just let it go.”
I’m afraid I can’t do that.
If you’re in this online knitting community, you know damned well there have been divisions for quite a while now. And this whole stink of their’s has real world, real life, real time repercussions. This isn’t just an online gossip forum gone wrong. There are real people out their with livelihoods that are being affected.
And we’ve seen it happen for a while now.
The best knitting groups I’ve been involved in talked politics, religion, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. We never had problems. We disagreed about who was better (Beatles or Zeppelin?) or who they were voting for (Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney?), and yes we always had a fascinating back and forth because with those needles in your hand you’re already coming to the discussion from a place of peace.
We knitters don’t run around with our needles STABBING others (although many wish they could), but we sit quietly instead MAKING things for others….for comfort, for joy. (Ya’ll don’t remember that deliciously accurate meme? “I knit so I don’t kill people?” Oh, the irony of this whole situation.)
I cannot feel in my heart that knitters could EVER come from a place of hatred. Maybe misunderstanding, but not hatred.
Dangit, when my needles hit my skeins of yarn, they’re ready to make love to each other, not fight each other to the death….Those hard solid needles, and those delicate, soft skeins come together to MAKE something precious, wonderful….intimate happen. (Watch out E.L. James….I just might make knitting sexy with a line like that….)
I was having a discussion with someone on my facebook page a few nights ago. She said, “I only want to talk about knitting in knitting groups.”
And we had a fiery back and forth about Ravelry’s decision. But, it never made it to the point where we name called each other, or crossed the “oh, no you didn’t,” line. No. It was cordial and friendly. And at some point she said, “Right now, with my husband being in the ICU, I’m just a tad overwhelmed by the fact that the one place I had to go for vacation away from C.R.A.P. is now festering with political bullshit.”
To which I could only reply, “If you need a hand, someone to hold, someone to be with you right now, then we’re here. You see? We would not have known this trouble you were going through had you only talked about knitting. If you need anything, let us know. We’re here.”
There is so much more that you can KNOW about someone, LEARN from someone, BUILD with someone if you remember that we’re ALL knitters. All escaping into our craft to hide ourselves from reality. All in need of a support group where we can SHARE.
If Ravelry is dead set on tearing this community apart, then I’m sorry, I can’t just “let that go.” Because I want to bring this community back together again, using this one simple craft to bridge more divides than people have ever realized were possible.
Casting on now, will be stitching way into a WIP in no time. And the person I disagree with most? Well, they’re probably doing the same thing right now….
….and I would SO want to talk to them about something OTHER than knitting.
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