Monday, June 11, 2007

A journey of 1,000 words...

...begins with a single post.

Having surveyed a grand total of a couple of blog archives (I'm apparently all about detailed research), it appears to be traditional to begin a blog with a list of the reasons why the blogger has chosen to blog. I have always been a bit of a sucker for tradition (more on this in future posts), so here goes. The short list boils down to one reason: my family and friends, non-knitters all, appear to be running out of patience with a constant stream of knitting talk.

Oh, they listen, but the smiles are getting more forced, and there's a certain degree of non-comprehension in their eyes (clearly, any discussion of steeking and my fear of it is right out). As a teacher, I know all about the Look (the glazed eyes, the frozen smile), and while I have the right, and indeed am expected, to attempt again and again to convey to my students why what I'm talking about is a) interesting, and b) important, that sort of license is not part of general friendship contracts. So, I clearly need additional friends. Or at least, I need to talk people who might be interested in the shortcomings of knitting patterns, the problems of the knitting budget (or lack thereof), and the relative merits of laceweight when it comes to stashing (more bang for the space buck).

This problem was borne home to me most dramatically last week, when I, family in tow, drove 1500 miles round trip (we did go the long way, to be fair) to see the Yarn Harlot speak. My family was fairly patient about the whole thing (I promised, and provided, s'mores on all camping legs of the trip, which may have had something to do with it; also, they all benefit from my knitting, in the forms of sweaters, hats, mittens, and socks -- which, frankly, with a six foot six husband with size thirteen feet, really involves a lot of love -- not to mention increased patience, and a lack of yelling). And really, they don't look like they suffered any, no?

But none of my friends quite understood. That is to say, when I mentioned that our family vacation revolved to a large degree around travelling to hear a knitting author speak, boggling took place. Lots of boggling. What particularly seemed to cause boggling was the justification for this trip (aside from "I want to, dammit, and this is as close as she's coming"; to be fair, my friends are all supportive enough of me to think that this was a good enough reason in and of itself) was that I had just gotten tenure. Almost no-one understood that I could honestly think of no better way to celebrate surviving the hell that is getting tenure than going on a camping trip with my family, culminating in a yarny talk, and a visit to a new yarn store.

Proof that we made it (it's a bad picture of me, don't look):

Thus, I hope to perhaps, over time, find some folks out there who do understand. There were people Harlotting in Petaluma who had also travelled long distances, who said that they actually (gasp!) go to places like Rhinebeck (from California!) to see yarn, and who absolutely understood why a celebration centered around yarn activities would be a good one. These are the same people who understand why I had to pack multiple knitting activities for the trip (the lace for hanging out indoors, a simple sock for hanging out on the beach, a sock with a cabled pattern for the car... you get it). I figure at least some of those people have to be out in the blogosphere somewhere, willing to read about my love of knitting, and maybe (just maybe!) someday to actually (gasp again) post replies.

So, I suppose there really is no list. Just the one reason; I mean, sure, there are other reasons. It'll be good for me to write regularly (about something other than linguistics) -- I mean, I sign up for Nanowrimo every November, make it to 10,000 words and punk out, maybe I just need to keep the writing muscles warm? Maybe fiction isn't for me? Maybe I don't have it in me to write an actual novel about knitting, but writing about the knitting I'm doing is possible?

Of course, I can think of lots of reasons NOT to blog. I don't think I'll be telling anyone I actually know about the blog, which reduces my chances of having any kind of readership to approximately those of a bat in hell, but see above for my reasons for this. Also, I read a lot of really good knitting blogs (I'll put a list of them here at some point soon), from people who post a) regularly, and b) eloquently about c) competent knitting, and frankly, I don't know if I can live up to those kinds of standards. I mean, I can offer grammaticality (most of the time), and good spelling, but that just doesn't seem like enough, y'know? So, I guess I'm afraid that I'll sit here, with a well-spelled, grammatical, unread blog. Alone. Sort of like office hours in the week after a midterm. At least in office hours, I can knit.

I suppose I can sit here and knit when no-one reads this, too. That's something.


Anonymous said...

I think your family trip sounds like fun. Long car rides can be difficult for the younger family members, but your family looks refreshed.

Punkin in Oregon

Mari said...

Ooh, you met the Yarn Harlot. Very cool.
I went to her book reading in Austin but had to leave before the signing.