Friday, September 7, 2007

In which the knittin', writtin' fool has hopefully learned something

My friend and I were having a conversation a while back, and it made me want very much to immediately sit down and write a blog post. I didn't, however (I think I went to bed), but the idea has been bouncing around inside my skull for the last few weeks, so we here we go.

I've seen a lot of trepidation from knitters in various internet watering holes who feel like they can't try new things. Some of these "beginners" have been knitting well past the point when I would consider them such, some have knit fairly advanced things. My aunt, for instance, saw me knitting cables on my Central Park Hoodie while we were on vacation this past July. She was knitting last July when we were on vacation, so she's been knitting at least a year. She said, "Oh, you're much braver than I am!" The knitters I am referring to seem to develop some sort of mental block about something being "hard." Whether or not it is actually hard or not is beside the point.

I tend to feel frustration towards this attitude, because I just. don't. get it. When push comes to shove, it's sticks and some string. Maybe it's 2 sticks, or 4/5 sticks, or 1 stick that is connected by a bendy tube. Maybe it's really fancy string that was pretty expensive. But part of the beauty of knitting is that it is loops, pulled through other loops. If you make a mistake, you just tug on it, and the offending loop is now an unoffensive straight bit of string! No harm, no foul. Sure, sometimes you lose many loops to a mistake, even rows of them. And it may have taken you a long time to make those loops, and it will take you a long time to make them again. But, if you make a mistake, it's not an irredeemable. (In fact, if you make a mistake, chances are most people won't notice. Or you could call it a design feature.)

So, my frustration is that people are afraid to branch out in their knitting, to take chances. is that any different from me and my writing? Have I submitted any of my poems to any journals? (One, and it was for a college publication.) Do I ever sit down and force myself to write? No, I whine and think how I wish I was writing more. The hypocrisy bothers me. Knitting is pulling loops through loops. Writing is put letters, words, and punctuation into an order that makes sense. If I write something that isn't good, it isn't the end of the world. I can hit backspace to fix mistakes. I can edit and rework a draft (and frankly, if it's saved in Word, that's a lot easier than dropping a stitch down a few rows to fix a mistake and then pulling it back up.)

A knitter is someone who knits. A writer is someone who writes. I'm a knitter. I want to be a writer. The only way to be a writer is to start writing.

So...wish me luck.


essjay said...

LUCK! I'm holding my thumbs for your writing - you are a terriffic writer and I'd love to read more of what you write (as long as you be nice & ignore my dumb spelling mistakes!) PICK UP A PEN! (or should that be open your computer?)

Anonymous said...

I would love to see more of your writing, and your knitting for that matter :teehee:

I know you can do it, You are sooo smrt! And pretty, and nice and sweet. :flirt:

Geek Knitter said...

You can do this, I know you can!

Kate said...

Well said, Stiney! I think a lot of knitters shy away from things because in their minds, it's classified as "hard."

I have the same question as SJ...should I tell you to pick up your pen or your computer? :)

Anna said...

I'm holding my thumbs for you. But maybe you need a kick in the a$$ more than thumb holding? :)

I agree on the knitting aspect of this post. I don't think there's anything in knitting that I wouldn't do as I'm afraid it'll be too difficult for me. I'm afraid of boredom though. So some projects I don't do as I think I might get bored with them or just loose interest as there's nothing "exciting" happening. I don't think you'll see me knitting an afghan as an example...

About writing though. Yes, it's putting words together. But these words are supposed to mean something. Form something. And I think a lot of the writing that has been done has been so for the reason of affecting people. Making them think. Laugh. Cry. Wonder. Shrug. Ask questions. Whatever. There's a point to it. With knitting, you produce an item. But it's not based on who you are. It's just something you do. Without deeper meaning.

Unless you're talking about knitting and designing on your own. 'Cause that's "personal".

Does any of this make sense? :shrug:

Jen said...

I'm just finally getting around to reading this (which is OK, since you haven't posted much since, right? :shifty:). Anna makes a good point--we think writing is hard, or at least harder than knitting, because it's supposed to mean something. But you know what I've found? The very best writing is something that means something to YOU. Your blog, for instance. It may not be "significant," but it's always good. Because you write here about the things you actually care about. SO OPEN THE LAPTOP AND GET TO WORK!