Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Real world vs. the other real world

I've been immersed in the real world of knitting for the past several years. I worked in a knit shop, I read knit blogs, I go to knit groups, and there's Ravelry. Shop news, blogger gossip, meeting famous knit teachers by taking their classes and going to the Atlanta Knitting Guild have filled my time.

And let's not forget that many knitters are so much more than that. I've discovered so many of my compatriots in knitting do things like volunteer at animal shelters or provide TNR for feral and strays in their neighborhood. Right now Ravelers have put together an etsy shop for the victims of burn ravaged Australia.

I love the knitting world.

Well, I mentioned last week that I joined Facebook. First of all, it has nothing on Ravelry. Of course, I can spend hours on Ravelry gazing at a pattern I want to make and checking out the 1100+ that others have done. I spend time on boards where we discuss knitting and cats, Pern, Red Dwarf, knitting for charity, Nefarious Yarn Club - the list goes on and on.

What Facebook does offer is a chance to see the other real world. There I've found people I've known for most of my life and with whom I've lost touch. Others I've met more recently, but never see them since they don't spend their waking hours in a fiber related lifestyle. I like knowing how they are doing and what's going on in their lives. It makes the distances, even if it's only 6 miles, seem not so far.

However, I sometimes feel like George Costanza, "Worlds are colliding!" although I know my knitting world and non-knitting world won't explode like matter meeting antimatter.

The difference between the 2 is that the knitting world is the one where I feel more comfortable. I've always been a hands-on sort of person, and here is a world dedicated to craft. I'm a simple sort of person (in a Zen sense), and while there's art to be found in the knitting world, I find it so wonderful that a basic knitted hat can bring joy to a woman undergoing chemotherapy. A bear with a handknitted sweater helps a child traumatized by abuse know that not all people are horrible.

I find it interesting that the knitting world has changed my views of the other real world. I want to teach all my non-knitting friends how to knit. They don't have to be seduced by a fine handpainted tight twist merino sock yarn (leaves more for me), but there is a peace and joy to be found when you've got knitting on hand. (Unless you are trying a new technique, and you've had to rip out your stitches 4 times, but we'll talk about that when you get there. Put your knitting down, take a deep breath, a shot of Tequila and pick up that piece of mindless knitting for a little bit.)

I know some of these ideas are not expressed as well as I would like. Shall we call this a first draft of thoughts that have been percolating in my brain for a few days?

There has been knitting, but on the gift project. See how my knitmeter is racking up the yards a little more quickly now?

Finally, please remind me to check the weather forecast. Had I done so, I would have known not to mop a white kitchen floor yesterday or to put Sassy in the backyard before heading out to knit this evening. Sassy doesn't like to be left outside, so apparently she stood in the backyard barking at the door and continued to stand there once it started monsooning. I left knit night as soon as the traffic thinned out to come home to a soaking wet dog who proceeded to shake herself multiple times in the kitchen while leaving muddy paw prints all over. Oh well, back deck comes before new kitchen floor.

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