24 March, 2008

Technology Amazes Local Woman

I am not a blogger, I am a knitter. I have tried to be a good blogger. I have tried to care about the people who for some reason or another want to read my blog. And I appreciate those of you who do read my blog. However, devoting the last 10 years of my life to knitting, I have never in my life spent less time knitting. Keeping up with knitting these days doesn't mean spending more time with needles in your hands, it means spending endless hours with a mouse in your hand, updating a blog that will never be updated often enough to keep readers happy, listening to podcasts, perusing patterns on ravelry, sending comments, favorite-ing the project of that person you like or want to like you--when the hell am I supposed to spend time on my ACTUAL KNITTING?! Something is wrong when the time that I do actually spend knitting feels riddled with guilt for not updating my blog or getting out my camera to document every minutae of progress on a project. It is incredibly frustrating to me to be seen as a less good knitter because my graphic design isn't as good as the next person.

It's like the Powerpoint-ing of America, but knitting style. Power-pointing? Hear me out: Powerpoint is ruining creative process, and ruining business and academia in this country. If you cannot use Powerpoint no one will listen to your idea, even if your idea is incredibly brilliant. If it doesn't fit the Powerpoint format your idea is useless. Why is academic teaching now all relegated to what is essentially glorified overhead projections? That is not teaching. The SF Chronicle wrote an article on the technological dumbing down of academic work and the way that the technological divide has hurt poorer schools by flooding them with technology they can't afford to maintain or use and is taking away time previously used to learn basic academic concepts:

School papers are so dominated by computer graphics these days that students often spend only a fraction of their time on the intellectual content of the report. Strangely, instead of bemoaning d developments like these, nearly everyone -- teachers and parents, principals and politicians -- applauds them. (
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/11/30/ING8L39SIP1.DTL)

I can feel the computer rotting my brain. Are the blog-less, or those whose blog is not the be all end all of their existence, seen as less intelligent, less driven, less talented? It seems so. But a blog well-photographed doesn't make one a good writer and knitting projects photographed with good lighting do not a technically proficient knitter make.

Writing about a thing and doing a thing are two different things. I am not a public speaker, I am not a writer. I actually almost didn't graduate college because I owed a teacher a rewritten paper I couldn't bring myself to complete. I don't want to go to grad school because I don't want to write the thesis. I am not a writer, I'm a maker of things. And there should be nothing wrong with that. Isn't it someone else's job to write about the things I make if they are considered worth being written about? Someone with some training in, you know, writing about things worth writing about? If I am moved, as I am today, to write I will write. But no one should honestly give a flying fuck what I think about the meaningless minutes of my day. We should all have better things to do and care about, like what our cat is doing. Because we are honestly in love with our cat, not because her latest antics, if properly photographed, will make good blog fodder! The more time we spend trying to be clever on our blogs the less intelligent we become.

Then on the flip side there are all the things that technology makes easier and faster.  Old methods of advertising are no longer working, or simply aren't viable. Paper mailings are dreadfully unsucessful, not to mention all the paper that is wasted. People expect amazon.com-like personalized advertising. We gave up on our newsletter mailings a couple of years ago, deeming them not worth the expense, time or resources. But what happens to the knitting customer who inevitabley calls once a month or so asking if we have a catalog we can mail her? Do we have a newsletter we can send? I have to say no. This woman must depend on a larger company like Patternworks who can afford to meet her non-internet needs or she can't have access to knitting anymore. Her local yarn store has totally let her down. And if we hadn't, if we decided that was unacceptable, how many of our other customers would we loose as a result? When there is a finite amount of advertising money and time we can spend on projects are we going to update the website and advertise on Ravelry, which will cost us less to nothing and reach many more knitters, or go to the printers with a newsletter and spend hundreds of dollars on postage and address labels and hours of staff time sticking mailing labels and sliding piece after piece of mail through the postage meter? And obviously this is a macrocosm of a larger news media advertising problem.  
I'm not saying I'm going to stop blogging or anything. I know that it is too late for that. Joining the throngs of redundant print media writers beleaguering blogs and those "young upstarts" who write them will not serve me well. But, I miss the good old days when someone would prove their talents by being talented at the thing they cared about, not the graphical beauty of it's dissemination.

I am a knitter, and I sometimes blog too. But I am going to try and spend more time knitting and playing with my baby instead of putting him in a chair next to the computer to sit while I blog.

21 March, 2008

oh, the cuteness.

Clyde and I have been home with the flu for 3 and a half days now.  I have not been out of my pj's, out of bed or eaten anything more complicated than oatmeal.  But I am feeling a bit better today so I've been spending some quality time with ravelry.  Hence, the short blog post about this.
Excuse me while I go cast on.

05 March, 2008


Two weeks ago Max and I were planning on a long weekend trip to Tennessee to visit friends, in particular a good friend who was dying. We were hoping on him being able to meet Clyde, whose arrival he was very excited about. Unfortunately we didn't make it in time, and rushed out of Philly at the last minute to drive 14 hours to middle Tennessee with me, Max, Clyde and Queenie and many suitcases in a snow storm. We arrived, late, in the dark, snowy, hungry, tired (especially me, who is the only driver in our family) and cranky (especially Clyde who couldn't understand why he spent an entire day strapped in a chair). But when we woke up the next morning we saw this lovely sight out of the bedroom window.

and while walking around in the snow we saw this in a pasture! Awww...goats. Our friends have goats and sheep and chicken on their farm and while we were there a baby lamb and two baby goats were born! I have more pictures but for some reason they aren't cooperating.

Wednesday night we arrived at our other friend's house, in the woods on the side of a mountain, for a lovely memorial service.
It was a very lovely warm service, full of friends and food and music and much passing of Clyde around the room. This is an alter for our friend that they made. On the little table there was a dish with his ashes and wildflower seeds. Everyone was encouraged to take some home to scatter. We're going to scatter them in our garden on the island since he never got to come and visit.
And the rest of the time we were there we ended up having lovely weather, and what a beautiful place to spend some time, huh?More to come...
Much knitting happened in Tennessee!