Or: why I’ll never go to a meeting of knitters.
There’s a certain level of pride required to be a crafter.
Obviously, if you’re giving your FOs to people it’s kind of required that you have enough confidence in your own abilities to produce things that people will wear in public. But there’s something else, and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it can manifest itself in ugly ways, such as yarn snobbery and just generally acting like a twat when dealing with those who are less experienced.
There’s this sort of image as people who knit being friendly world-hugging hippie types who will always get along. I guess it’s because it’s generally seen as the province of elderly women, and who can’t get along with a little old lady? But just because you have one thing in common with someone doesn’t mean you’re auto-BFFs. Even if your entire life is immersed in the world of fiber, you surely would prefer to talk about movies and current events and cooking and children and the weather with people who are outside your circle in that particular Venn diagram. (I’d hope. Although some people do love an echo chamber.)
Of course, a group of knitters will likely also have diverse ideas about a wide range of topics. But that group will probably naturally divide itself into subgroups or strata, and then form alliances and divisions. The haves and have-nots. The utilitarian and the just-for-kicks. The box-store shoppers and the delicate flowers whose hands will blister and ooze at the thought of using synthetic yarn or discount needles.
Basically, what I’m steamed about is this: a friend was going to hang out with a group of knitters. Some of them treated her like shit because she was a) crocheting (which was supposedly “welcome”, although maybe just for target practice) and b) using acrylic.
I have very little patience for anyone whose attitude is “you’re new? Go away,” or “you’re using Red Heart? Loser.” That’s the kind of person for whom the quality of their materials is inversely proportional to the quality of their character. The sad thing is that they need the poor bitches who use acrylic yarn; otherwise, who would they feel superior to?
And why the hell would you want to denigrate a craft just because you don’t prefer to do it? I’m not a commemorate-baby’s-every-move type of person, but I don’t go shit all over scrapbookers. You can mass-produce a quilt, but I’m not going to turn my nose up at what a quilter does because you can buy one at Target. Honestly you can mass-produce almost anything, so what’s the point, if not for just the love of it? (Ironically, crocheting is one of the few handcrafts that they haven’t figured out how to replicate with a machine.)
I see knitting and crochet as complementary crafts, two sides of the same coin. Apparently, some people see one as the big leagues, and one as the minors. Why do some people need to create rankings where none naturally exist?
I guess I don’t have enough hubris to sit in a knitting group. My project wouldn’t be good enough and I hold the yarn funny. I get all the ego-feed I need just by knitting in front of non-knitters.