The Knitting Police……….



It has been a while since I wrote, there have been things going on in my life. Including 2 hours of driving most nights, something which with the commentary on Radio 4, at least allows thought. This is a post I have been trying to concoct for a while and then this post (Science Daily ) came in from a women in business support group I have recently joined.

I try not to judge (I even found judging at local craft shows hard). As a knitter  (and a shop owner) I want to encourage people to do craft. I believe we can learn from all achievements (even the knitting disasters and wrong size choices). I have learnt much about my knitting and achieving fit from my whooooops moments. The biggest recent one is a 4ply top down creation in Alpaca sock yarn I took back the whole body from under the arms down and re-doing it. Something I’m quite proud of ’cause usually that would have become bin fodder.

This now looks like more like this and fits!!

As a social species we have hierarchy or dominance behaviour built it to our make up basically to reduce the number of street brawls and risk of harm to others in the group. Dominance Behaviour means people mostly avoid or defer to aggressive people — pick your fight and know when its worth biting back. Living in bigger groups requires cultural and social rules to control aggressive behaviours and misuse of assumed power. Some would say it is a natural part of being human – but avoiding conflict is also part of being human and being civilised means culturally we don’t like any misuse of the power deferment gives others.  The misuse of power and bullying is not acceptable.

So the The Knitting Police????? –

Knowledge is power. Knitting alot means I know alot about ‘knittins’. Many people come into the shop and make comments about their knitting/crochet. Usually along the lines of ‘its not perfect’ or ‘I don’t do garments because I can’t get them perfect’ or ‘my gauge is off’ or ‘the last thing I did, didn’t work out well’. Self critical judgement with no analysis of why. It may put them off knitting ever again. Heaven knows how negative their experience of learning was, but here are no knitting police.

Then there are the knitting athletes for whom craft is the olympics – competitors who do the hardest knitting techniques or the most complex stitches, the most knitting, the most completed patterns on Ravelry, all the ‘In’ patterns on Ravelry.

Knitting (for knitting read ‘and/or crochet’) really has something for everybody, but it should not be about intimidation.

Only you know all the slipped stitches and extra rows you added to a pattern ’cause you missed an increase. Unless you are competing for a prize in the local show no-one else will know if there are three more rows in the back or front. And anyway adding or taking out rows for your fit are acceptable deviations from the pattern. The designer isn’t going to come after you and inspect your knitting – I hope they have better things to do.

There are no knitting police, only the few people who use your knitting insecurities to make themselves feel bigger (or better). These people should be avoided – most knitters are encouraging, mutually supportive and just happy to share with other like minded soles the joy of a completed item and a well made stitch or a challenge achieved.

First decide if you enjoyed the process then, pick up the insecurities, learn new techniques, be brave enough to make the odd mistake, frog if necessary, find ways around the issue (knit in the round if you hate sewing up), talk to the real encouraging knitters and just avoid all those power grabbers.


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