Knitters at the Mercy of Threads

Recently I’ve been starting threads on my facebook page. Oh, I love starting a little discussion. 🙂

Someone asked me why after all this time I haven’t been a paid sponsor, or influencer in the knitting community? That’s easy. I’m too controversial. Maybe that’s the punk in me. Yes, in describing myself in musical terms, I’d have to say that I was Gothic at heart, punk by nature, but really love a good POP now and then. Sometimes I enjoy bucking the system, the status quo, the conventional thought.

I LOVE to rile people up. I DO! And I don’t intend with every post to start World War III, but sometimes you have to press people’s buttons just to get them to engage with you, to talk to you, to know that someone is listening. DO you see now? Why I’m controversial? Because I get people engaged in discussions. There are forces out there that DO NOT want that at all. And that is a real shame. Because stifling speech leads nowhere. Smart knitters know this.

I can post anything from the new 007 being a black chick, to asking if you’ve ever given up sexy time with your spouse to spend time with your knitting. And knitters from all over the world jump in to partake…..and SHARE. TALK. DISCUSS. We have thoughts and lives outside of this skill! We are REAL people who have things to say. AND THEY MAY NOT LIKE IT, but I sure do love having a platform that embraces the discussions that not too many people will take on.

Because, I have come to the place in my life where I have no interest in people who say, “You can’t ask such questions,” and even less time with people who say, “I refuse to talk with people like you.”

So, I create these questions, these debates KNOWING someone out there disagrees….and will TELL ME why. I LOVE THEM! We, as knitters will find ourselves in a thread that has NOTHING to do with knitting, but we can always use that as our bridge when we disagree! WE get to interact without the forces of a third party deciding if our conversation is even allowed. WE came towards each other, voluntarily, to discuss what was most pressing on our minds.

We are knitters….involved in these posts that become threads when so many people jump in to give their truth to the argument. Because we LOVE to share who we are. Hell, the majority of you knitters reading this have a WIP that isn’t even for you, but for someone else you want to share your care with.

Some people are funny, some witty, some weird. You never know. But, the one thing that you CAN see is that knitters can disagree and still say freely what they think about things. And should the moment get heated, some part of you remembers what you share with the other person….and you often get to see an apology.

My posts are intended to get people talking….in a world where speech has become equivalent to physical violence. (I shake my head).

So, get to talking. Share who you are. Feel free to ARGUE with me. Because if we at least get the chance to have dialogue, then we are already on the right path towards peace. But, WE NEED THAT CHANCE. And I’m more than happy to do that on my facebook threads.

I do NOT dislike you because you disagree with me. But, I will feel bad for you, and me, and all of the whole future of our society if you say, “I refuse to speak to you.”

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When Did Bitchy Become Fashionable?

I’m going to do my best to describe her, but I doubt I could do it justice. She is simply a presence, a good one, the sort that walks by with the scent of calm, quiet understanding trailing her. She has the simple gesture of a woman who learned to care for total strangers from her own experiences as a mother.

Now, let’s back this story up a second.

We’ve been here in our new apartment for 8 weeks now. I love this little place. It is doing precisely what I wanted it to do. Break me free from my agoraphobia. And this is the first time in 4 years I’ve been around people for better parts of the day. But, here is the caveat: everyone who lives in this complex is gorgeous, young, pretty….and weirdly in their own heads, terrified of eye contact, terrified of acknowledging another human, terrified of being outside in the world with strangers who could hurt them. (WOW! Sounds like the agoraphobia that crippled me for years! Has the whole world gone mad?)

They stare down at their phones to avoid seeing you, and if they DON’T have their phones, they look at as many strangest places as possible so they don’t have to make eye contact with you. Their heads dart here and there, twitching back and forth to look at something other than you. “Oh, what’s that up there? A cloud….Wow. Clouds.”

I walk by and say, “Good morning,” because that is how I was raised.

But, you get nothing back. Not a thing. You were this shapeless blob of human that they could not be bothered with. And you just wanna shake the SHIT out of them and scream, “RUDE! It’s a salutation, not a commitment!”

Oh, these kids today. Nothing is real if it wasn’t seen first on their devices first….And if they don’t have their devices, if they don’t have their social media, then it never REALLY happened.

But, I have a tendency to walk by this one woman every morning. She is about 50ish, and tends to walk her dog about the same time I’m leaving to go about my errands.

I offer my usual, “Good morning,” and she replies with a bright smile, “Good morning.”

And it makes you think it must be some kind of generational thing. I mean, when did “bitchy” become fashionable, and “politeness” become cause for concern?

I mean, if you cannot accept some total stranger’s wish for a good passage through this madness we call “our day,” then what kind of weird ass world are you living in? WHAT is going on with you?

Maybe that’s just it: if you’re not willing to receive a blessing, then maybe it’s because you’re not capable of offering one yourself. And I cannot help you with that. But, maybe there is an app you can download….

So, this morning when I passed this delightful woman I said, “Good morning.” She responded with her usual genuine smile, “Good morning.”

But, I said more.

“By the way, if I may….”

She turned to me and asked, “Yes?”

“Two things. THAT is one beautiful grey hound. I assume it’s a rescue. And secondly….thank you for being the only person since I’ve moved here to wish me a ‘Good Morning.'”

TO which she replied, “You’re very welcome. And thank you!”

Don’t let your days seek out the harm in people that you’re convinced may or may not hurt you, but look for the blessings people are trying to offer you with absolute conviction instead.

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“Stitch Activism”

I was asked recently by a reporter if I could share my thoughts on “stitch activism.” I’m wordy, knew I didn’t have much time to say what I REALLY thought about it, so I pretty much said, “Next question.”

Frankly, I’m not a fan of it. I’m really not. I know that everyone comes to their needles from a different place and a different reason, but for myself, I’ve never felt the needles should be used to manifest something that comes from a place of negativity. But, that’s just me.

I’ve always been appreciative of non violent protest. We see it in art, in music, in film. However, if the activism that you subscribe to requires that you create something that challenges our ideas of “peace” and “justice,” then you aren’t doing too much of anything but using your craft to brutalize potential dialogue.

(Oh, I know I use that word ‘dialogue’ a lot, but I feel that no consideration of your protest can be taken seriously if the only objective is to silence the other side….or as crafters, use our quiet talents to SHOUT over someone else).

Peace and justice can only be reached by discussion. There is NO other way. Peace and justice can only be reached from a place of faith.

And I’m not one sided on this. I don’t care for the “Build the Wall” scarf anymore than I care for the “F*!k Trump” hat. They both scream to me an equal amount of hostility. YOU may call that non violent protest, but if the intention in your heart is to fuel a hatred that exists between two camps, then you really have missed the whole point behind non violent protests. Because the REAL intention behind non violent protests is to actively seek ways to bless, love, and comfort your enemy….not tell them they’re awful human beings who should be forgotten and discarded.

If you dislike me, or even HATE me, then I’ve probably given you a reason. However, I’m going to pray that you don’t spend your entire day (let alone career!) stewing in that anger….because you won’t ever have a good life. And that really is what we want for everyone when we say “social justice” isn’t it? We want EVERYONE to have a peaceful and beneficial life. You cannot exclude a total stranger from that “justice.” You just can’t. And you cannot ASK for it, if you’re not willing to GIVE it.

I’ll put it to you this way. Every winter we crafters love love love to get involved in knitting or crocheting blankets for the homeless. Because we CARE. Now, imagine spending your time and days making a blanket for an unfortunate soul….and then you meet the person. You decide you don’t like this person. You don’t care for their political beliefs, you don’t care for their religious views, you don’t care for the color of their skin. You decide NOT to give a person in need of comfort one of your blankets. You decide NOT to give a total stranger your warmth and concern. Rather than just GIVING….you’ve decided that care for another human comes with conditions. And I cannot tell you how much I despise what those conditions have become these days.

“Love Trumps Hate” is NOT stitch activism, not when you craft from a place of hate…then try and tell me that it was intended to spread a message of love. Because messages of love are not as valuable as love itself.

And I know there are a lot of people out there who disagree with me. That is OK. I’m fine with that. You tend to paving over whatever pot holes are in your road, as I tend to mine, in order for us to get where we need to go. But, I promise you this, brother: we may disagree, but if you need help patching up your bumpy road, you can call on me to help.

Some people make a LOT of money in this craft capitalizing on “stitch activism,” resistance, and the perpetuation of division. I will never approach my needles with that sort of offense. No, I might end up poor and penniless, but I’ll be DAMNED if I let anything negative fall off my needles.

You cannot tell me some of the knitting I’ve seen out there is “non violent protest,” or “stitch activism,” because it isn’t. Your intention is still to hurt or harm the person on the other side of your protest. You weren’t able to do that with your bare hands, so you used your needles instead. You found a way to manifest your anger into something tangible, something that can be held ( or even worse ) ADMIRED. To me? That is just one percent away from violence, when in essence, as caring crafters, we should be 100% away from that violence.

Real stitch activism is using your gifts as a crafter to promote benevolence and good faith to EVERYONE….and especially to your enemy. Because that REALLY is when “LOVE TRUMPS HATE.”

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Sock Yarn Bear!

Ok, it really does come down to a question of math, you know? If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to knit socks. I’ve had these two skeins of Lionbrand’s Sock Ease for a minute now. I ordered them a few months back. One to knit my mom a pair of socks for her birthday, and the other for myself. (Oh, wouldn’t you just love to see me in my ball cap and boots, then lift my blue jeans to reveal that pink gorgeousness?)

I made the pair for my mom’s birthday, but never got to my own pair. Now, it takes me about 2 days to make a pair of socks, but only 4 hours to knit a teddy bear. So, in need of cash flow, you start doing sensible math and BAM! A sock yarn bear is born!

And I REALLY enjoyed it! I LOVED watching the color ways come and go. I had to double strand it, but this little bear came out WONDERFULLY. Want him? He’s yours. Just click here.

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Ravelry Vs. The Joyous


You see, one side drew a line in the sand and said, “We’re ready to battle!” The other side just looked at them queerly (yes, chose that word for a reason), and said, “Nahhh. I’m good. Gonna get back to enjoying myself.”

I mean let’s face it. Their position was one thing, but mercy. The aftermath became just WEIRD. People in support started to sound like the guy on a soap box screaming, “The end of the world is NIGH! REPENT, I SAY! REPENT! Lest the internet smite thee down!” Crazy. Just crazy. Or! Being at a party and the host is wasted and begins to attack everyone in the room. You know who I mean. They’ll pick a fight with anyone just for looking at them.

What do you do? You walk away and shake your head with pity. You hope they get the substance abuse or psychological help they need. But, you know you cannot reason with drunk or crazy.

You just walk away.

So, I’ve had a mighty fine time NOT engaging with those people.

I’m going to hang out over here with SANE and SOBER people and have a good time, talk about whatever we want. Maybe even politics (“SINNER!”) or maybe even watch “Drag Race” (slurring, girl says to me, “I hope the people that died for your rights know how awful you *burp* are!”

Yes. I blocked her.)

In our new knitting groups some of the more sensible people may talk about what is on our needles, some may talk about nonsense, or we may go have a cocktail afterwards, chit chat in the real world, learn about each other. Doesn’t matter. The premise of dialogue is not to explain to someone who YOU are, but to learn about the OTHER person.

No, I’ve had a wonderful time, meeting new people who beam of rationale and reason, people who don’t take things too seriously.

And through this whole process with Ravelry, I’ve learned when to go, “Mmmmk, girl. I think you’ve had either one too many, or need to go to check up with your doctor on them side effects of your pills that say, ‘May cause EXTREMELY ODD behavior.’ And oh! By the way….when was the last time you knit something anyway?”

Seems to me so many people in this foray don’t knit very much, but seem to bitch an awful lot.

Which is why I haven’t endorsed any new knitting social media forms that could rival Ravelry. (Ain’t mine. Someone who posted that on my blog thought of that before me! Trademark it!) Because I want to make absolutely sure that those platforms don’t do exactly what RAVELRY did, just to the opposite side. Now, I will say I popped into some facebook groups right after…and quickly, QUICKLY jumped back out. Same anger, same words, same righteous screams and pointed fingers at the “SINNERS! Repent! Lest the internet smite thee down!” (And I ain’t into that).

I had said previously that Ravelry broke my heart because they wouldn’t broker a summit. Fine. I will. Right here in my little neighborhood.

I AM hoping to build dialogue. Maybe not with Ravelry, but with other knitters. (I’m gonna give you a heads up-I’m NOT very popular with the gay knitting community. THAT blog will come later). However, I know there is a gay man’s knitting meet up across the street from my apartment. I have extended a branch to them. If they would like to have me, I’d love to come and sit and knit with them for a while and build dialogue. Just talk. You know, maybe start with something like, “Soup sucks, but sandwich is great,” and take it from there.

You don’t need a massive social media platform to find potential friends. Sometimes all you have to do is ask, “May I sit here? With you?”

You learn this from riding the city bus…. Sad people will size you up and down before making a decision. They may not even say anything, but you already got the “get the hell away from me” vibe.

Sad people will grunt and look away from you, act like you’re not there.

Joyous people will always say, “Of course you can.”

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One Stitch at a Time

There really is something special about the classic teddy bear. Sometimes people like them bright and bold, sometimes people like their teddy bears to make a personal statement (was once asked to do a pink bear with a green mokawk. That was fun!) But, all in all people really do gravitate towards the simplicity of the classic teddy bear. The classic teddy bear is somewhat nostalgic and universal.

Now, don’t get me wrong, both styles of teddy bears have their rightful place in our lives. Because they truly are made with the intention of being that friend that is around when no one else can be. They’re made for life, and they should reflect your life in as many classical or whimsical ways as possible.

These are the last of my Oak Tweed Bears. I finally got to the end of the skein and had mentioned in a few earlier posts that once these bears were gone, that was going to be that. He was my first, won’t be my last, but should be preserved as a legend (in my own mind) in his own right.

I also had enough of Lionbrand’s Wool Ease in Fisherman, so I finished putting him together this morning. So, now we have both classic and summery fun bears in my shop right now. And I REALLY need to find them homes as soon as possible (today would be GREAT. Today would be awesome).

So, pop into my shop and see which bear suits you best. Summery fun? Or Classic? The elephant has already been snagged, but there is still a rabbit. Adopting one of my stuffed animals means so much to me because it means that you believe in Phillip and me, and want to see us finally make it….even if it is just one stitch at a time.

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All Pretty Much Useless

You know, we finally got this really nice, clean, safe apartment. Just moved in last month. It has been brilliant, has been amazing, and has totally changed my physical and mental health. I’m breathing better, eating better, and my agoraphobia has been whittled down to nearly nothing. (There is still some work to do on my agoraphobia, but what I have accomplished in just a short amount of time has been monumental, I think).

The move to this apartment wasn’t a life changer, it was a life saver. And now that I have it, I need to keep it! So, I’ve been knitting my heart out.

Today, however, was the first day that we’ve been here that I got to relax.

The weather was cruel today. Grey skies did not give way to cold, bitter mists and cups of hot cocoa. No, this granite cover was a stifling haze of misery. Man, it was humid. The air, thick with a wet oppression that clung to you as you did your damnedest to move.

So, I escaped into my knitting. Grey days seemed to have been made for knitting, don’t you think? Somehow we find our way to our needles while nature keeps us at bay. Perhaps it is her way of demanding that you relax for a moment, leave the world alone. The weather sucks. You don’t need to go out there for anything right now. Sit here with your stash, put on some headphones, jam to some music and whip up some teddy bears.

See that huge skein of peach yarn? A malady we all face. I had one of these skeins before. It took me forever (FOREVER) to get through the first one, but that’s great! I got a good 10 bears out of it….well, more like 9 and a half. I had to order more just to finish one bear and the next thing you know, I had another “Pound of Love” on my desk desperate to be worked up. So, don’t be surprised to see a TON of more peach colored stuffed animals come your way. Or, maybe I’ll make a blanket with it. I was really having fun with C2C crochet a few months back.

Then I have my tweed bear I’m working on. He’s my old standby, but he’s being retired. So, once he’s gone, he’s gone for good. I’ll miss him, but like I said in a previous post, I know that he’ll be in someone else’s heart to hug.

I got a little tired of music, watched a little “Wendy Williams,” (Don’t judge 🙂 I love me some “Hot Topics”), a little “Dance Moms” and before I knew it, I had knit this grey day away.

And yes, it felt rather nice to get away from all the hulla-ba-loo online and do what we all do with such enjoyment: knit. It was nice to focus more on the productive work in hand, rather than the destructive screaming and yelling that has been coming from the fiber fiends.

Yes, sometimes I think grey days were made for knitters….to remind them that groups, and local yarn stores, and what we can and cannot say are all pretty much useless if we aren’t spending much time actually knitting something.

So, take a peek into my shop and find a little stuffed animal you like. They make wonderful gifts, they tell a story about something more than just what they are, but who made them…and why.

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