Tuesday, July 30, 2002
The Knitting Multiverse
My late husband, Jimmy, was as involved in his craft of shipmodeling and naval/maritime history as I was and am in my knitting. Jimmy didn't often like to move from our home...he was a creature of habit in every sense of the word...but when we went afield, it was usually to shipmodeling conferences. I could be found either knitting in the hotel lobby or off on my own searching for the local yarn shops. (No, he did NOT go to Stitches East.) And it often struck me, while listening to Jimmy and his modeling cronies talk, that there were modelers and there were Modelers, just as there are in knitting and probably every other hobby.
I take my hobby seriously to a point. I've been knitting for 45 years, I guess I'm a so-called expert knitter, and I own an extensive library of knitting books, from how to knit Shetland lace to knitting history. But the hobby too often takes itself so seriously that it affords me the opportunity to poke some fun at it. Hence this blog and the site that I ran before this, The Knitting Curmudgeon. I'm not really so curmudgeonly...but I don't suffer fools gladly.
The Knitting Universe.
And those of you who knit, know the genesis of those words. Well, I find that concept offensive. Yes, it's true. I am offended. While I wouldn't put it in the same league as abuse of women and children, discrimination, instruments of mass destruction and other things that offend a great many of us, I still find the term odious. Why? Well, without risking a lawsuit, let me say that it takes big brass ones for one magazine to define The Knitting Universe as it pertains to the editorial staff and its bombastic, out-of-control publisher. Yeah, I know. I'll never work for them after this little essay. Ask me if I care.
The reality of The Knitting Universe is that it's truly The Knitting Multiverse. (If anyone has read "Timeline" recently, I freely admit to swiping this from Michael Crichton...but I love the concept.) Rather than explain the quantum mechanics/physics of it, let me simply say that I've figured out that there are a number of Knitting Multiverses...and perhaps all knitters are knitting multiverses unto themselves.
My favorite Knitting Multiverse...and the one that I love to tease, jab, what-have-you, is the world that Chris Erickson and I have christened The KnitDweebs. I rail against the KnitDweebs continually. They are the dimbulbs (or fuckwits, if you will, to use an earthier expression) that own every knitting book published, buy every stupid knitting tschatske, spend thousands every year on cheap yarn and needles...and never master much of anything except garter stitch. And are forever populating the lists asking questions whose answers can be found in the list FAQ or at the back of any knitting magazine. My favorite all-time best KnitDweeb question was one posed a couple of years ago on the Knit List: "How do you make a slip knot?" Talk about back to basics with a vengeance...and something that I personally learned how to make in the Girl Scouts when I was 8.
Another knitting multiverse is that of The Knitting Novices. I love these people...and there are lots of them. I wish I had had the resources offered to them via the internet when I was learning about knitting as a craft 30 years ago. Just recently on the Socknitters list a woman asked, "what does k2tbl mean?" I answered her very briefly..."It means knit 2 together through the back loops." But silly me. She really didn't understand the difference between the front loops and the back loops. And I remember having to figure that out on my own in 1974. I rather suspect that these people are not included much in The Knitting Universe...but no matter. They have their own multiverse.
My multiverse? I don't know what that is. I know that there are a few knitters who I can count on to get where I'm coming from...and our multiverses frequently mesh. I'm not sure that I have or will ever mesh with The Knitting Universe...any club that would have me as a member...And Jimmy Joe, if you're out there in the greatest multiverse of them all, I'm still here busting chops and writing.
Thanks to everyone who reads this blog for their support. This will probably be my last entry prior to my move. I am hoping to be able to post from New England while on vacation. So don't get your knickers in a twist if you don't see much in the next few weeks. Be rare and be handy.