Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Knitting Connections

I've had a terrible cold for the last couple of days, so I've had a nice excuse to lie on the couch a lot. During that time though, I have also managed to re-read A Tree Grow in Brooklyn, one of the books I'm citing in my master's thesis that uses a lot of ethnic food imagery. It makes me so happy that I have chosen a subject that I enjoy so much. I love how Betty Smith describes the way "Mama" could make even a meal of little more than cheap meatlof which ws mostly bread crumb into a feast.

Of course, I have also spent quite a bit of time surfing the net. I've been thinking a lot about the blog I read last week that was so condemning of the latest Knitters and of Rick Mondragon, basically "outing" him, even though I assume that he is already "out." Anyway, it's gotten me thinking about knitting blogs (and it's only because I am on vacation that I would spend any time ruminating about such a comparatively unimportant subject) I think the knitting world is pretty much like every aspect of life that I've encountered so far. People like to give each other labels, but the labels only hold up superficially. I am a Christian, but I am just as often put off by people who proclaim to be Christians as drawn to them. I am an English teacher, but I often have a completely different opinions from other English teachers.

So, getting back to knitting. I have no illusions that I have that much in common with someone just because they identify themselves as a "knitter." For me to enjoy a blog I usually need a larger connection. I have a list of favorites on my blog because every one of them has something that I have connected with beyond knitting. The blogs that I like are usually created by people who have families that they seem to adore and knit for; who live somewhat simply, often including asides about gardening, baking, spinning, or traveling...or (and this makes me really jealous)...raising sheep. Although I've never knit for charity, I'm drawn to bloggers who do. I often like ex-patriot bloggers - Danes in Santa Barbara or Californians in France, for example. If I find a "super-religious" blogger who also homeschools and has a "I support our troops," button, I usually continue surfing, even though I would have homeschooled if I hadn't liked our local schools and I care tremendously that so many young boys are getting blown up in Iraq. I usually smile at the blogs that have the "Knitters Against Bush" buttons, but they don't get on my favorites list just for that. Lastly, if a blogger uses the f-word or the word "dude", I figure that they're probably too sophomoric for me, not that I have such perfect manners, especially considering that I used the s-word in front of my high school students a month ago when I accidentally knocked a $1200 laptop off my desk!

So Rick Mondragon, I really don't care if you are gay, but it probably does mean that we have very little in common. You probably don't care passionately about breastfeeding or teaching your children to knit or to bake, or have plans to knit christening sets when you have grandchildren. You don't look like you have any intention of raising farm animals, or knitting cashmere baby booties for pregnant friends. Lastly, you aren't a woman, which certainly isn't your fault, but that's another reason I don't feel a big connection with you, and that's one reason that I probably don't like Knitters as much as I used to. It feels kind of slick and "New York-ish" lately and that' just not me. Now, if Mama Bear or Kristen Nicolas were to take over as editors, I'd be renewing my subscription..I'm lying. I'll renew it anyway. I'm just saying.


Julie said...

I'm with you on feeling a connection with someone on their blog. Sometimes I read them and I'm envious of the life they (appear to) live, but then I remember that what is portrayed on a blog is not what they're experiencing everyday. Really, many blogs are akin to reading someone's holiday letter - all news is good news and that kind of thing. I'm at work and typing quickly and I'm probably not making much sense so I apologize. And what is funny to me is that some bloggers I like read other blogs that I don't like. So I have to wonder how thin our connection to others really is. Anyway, again, sorry to ramble. Must get back to work! Glad you're back on the net - I was worried about you - just like you said you get about others - hoping no tragedy had befallen you and glad to hear that it was just life that was overwhelming you and keeping you from the blog!

Mama Bear said...

Wow, I was trying to catch up on blogs a few days ago and read this. I haven't been able to figure out how to respond! Of course that doesn't say much for me being a top editor ;)

I started my blog more for record keeping and notes for my children/grandchildren. However, it feels really nice to know you enjoy reading what I post. Thanks so much for the kind comments and smiles they brought.

If I were an editor, would I have to be able to spell? It's one of my weaknesses! Well.. that and housekeeping.

Julie, I'm just glad people can't see if my house is clean when I post online! LOL