Saturday, August 16, 2008


All week long I have sat down to write about the great time I had attending Lily Chin's workshop last weekend. Every time I sit down I find myself going off on a rant about some of my fellow workshop attendees. I thought I could be mature and just not mention it at all. Obviously not. My writer's block seems to have jammed up over one or two instances that I keep running in to at every group event I attend. Let me just mention them so I can move on with my life.

Individually I like most of the people I have met from the hosting group. Most are customers, some are co-workers and many are friends. Despite the many personal and professional connections I have with this group and the cordial atmosphere of the knitting community in general, I keep running in to some attitudes that I find challenging.

Some of the attitudes are personality flaws of select members, such as cornering me in front of a group and treating me like a lowly and stupid shop clerk instead of a person. I don't know that I want to spend a lot of time with any person, much less several people, who expect me to be personally accountable for every decision made by the business I work for*. I can hardly blame group dynamics for that kind of attitude. Like I said, personality flaw.

Other attitudes seem to stem from small group dynamics and group culture. Frankly, there is a group subset who seem to resent newcomers. I must emphasize that this attitude comes form a minority of members, but they are just loud enough that it makes it uncomfortable to be around. One instance was so overt that it left me with a feeling I had been singled out personally. Was I? Perhaps.

The group does a lot of good things. Historically they haven't had a lot of events that interested me, but lately they having more events that perk my interest. Lily Chin and their announcement that they were going to knit out at the Strange Folk Festival*** were huge signals to that change. The discounts at yarn shops alone are enough to more than pay for the dues. I have felt welcome by many members of the group and I have a lot I can contribute, but frankly, we got off to a rocky start when I tried to join several years ago. As far as I know only 3 or 4 people in the entire group ever knew about that and I believe the problem has since been resolved. Quite a few members of the leadership committee asked me to consider joining again in the future. When they announced Lily Chin would becoming, I joined believing what is past is past. Maybe not?

I remain bewildered, but now that this is out of my system perhaps I can move on. Upcoming posts: Lily Chin and Batman/Joker.

*I was going to leave Knitorious at the end of this month to spend more time dyeing and possibly try for a few freelance writing gigs. I changed my mind for several reasons, not the least of which is I enjoy being able to reliably buy groceries each week instead of the up-down roller coaster that is freelance writing. Plus, I can't write fast enough to make good money at it. I've been writing this post for over an hour and I'm only on the third paragraph. [Edit to add: Final time to write this post? 2 hours. Make that 2.5. Crap. I'm gonna be late for work.]

**It isn't personal. I really value my at home privacy. Email me all you want. I will help you within reason simply because you are a fellow knitter. Just don't call me after 8 if we're not that kind of friend or stop by my house uninvited, okay? That isn't an unreasonable request.

***The group has since pulled from Strange Folk.