Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Am I a serious knitter?

To feed my new pattern fixation, I was happily googling the day away. And I came upon a link (that I'm sure everyone knew of but me) to KnittingNow, a "newsletter for the serious knitter."

And I thought to myself: Huh?

What exactly is a serious knitter? Someone who takes their knitting seriously? Someone who only knits serious patterns - shrouds, veils, sensible shoes? (No bubblegum-colored boucle for you!) And if you are, perhaps, unsuitably frivolous, will you enjoy their newsletter any less? Will the patterns be too hard for you, unless you move your lips while reading? Will there be consequences if you make their sweaters in fun textiles, or fanciful colors? Will they snub you in private if you fail to be appropriately humorless about your hobby? (Or is it a faux pas to refer to knitting as a hobby? I am, after all, aspiring to be SERIOUS.)

KnittingNow's tagline didn't bother me as much as the above might imply. But it did remind me of another newsletter I read when first learning to knit. On the home page, to make sure we all knew where we stood, the EIC sniffed that she was offended - nay, horrified - by all the janie-come-latelies, sitting around in coffee shops, knitting with (sniff) chunky yarn on (sniff, sniff) oversized needles and (sniff sniff sniff) making SCARVES. (I had really believed that Debbie Stoller was being satirical in SnB when she talked about holier-than-thou knitters. My bad.)

I, while no fan of scarves in general, nevertheless knit a scarf as my very first project, and I was quite pleased with myself for doing so. I didn't realize that I should have been shamed by my crafting frippery, humbled before the gods of real knitting, knowing that only projects completed on double-pointed US5s were worthy of real pride.

I take my knitting seriously. I think about what I would like to make, I try to make gifts that are pleasing and appropriate, and I try to become better every time I pick up my stix. Am I a serious knitter? I think so. But getting past the bouncers at Club Serious Knitter may require you to take yourself seriously as well. Which I'll pass on.

And the next time I get the urge to look past CSK's velvet rope, I'll pick up some fabulous sparkly metallic red eyelash and knit my own.


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