Since I started this blog, I've never really given much thought to posting pictures of stuff I've made. That was the point of the whole exercise. I started the blog so that I could share with my knitter friends all the things I've been making. It's why I read their blogs, after all.
This past week, the Yarn Harlot posted the finished pics of a pair of socks she's been working on. Long story short, 800 of her fans gushed about them, and two people said, "Meh." And the Harlot picked out the two less-than-complementary posts and addressed the issue of "why you would comment just to be mean." What purpose does it serve to look at something the poster is obviously proud of and say "I don't like it"? Or worse yet, "Those are the ugliest socks I've ever laid eyes on. What a friggin' waste of time and yarn that
Opinion seems to be divided on the issue.
On the one hand, a blog is public forum. Anyone can read it, though it my case, it's not likely they do. And everyone who comes to visit is entitled to leave a comment, because as the bumper sticker says, "Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one." (And despite all the hits my "Tiny Pussy" post got off of google searches, not one disappointed porn surfer felt the need to call me names. Pervs are people too!)
I guess I don't think of this as being "public" because I myself am not a public figure. People aren't googling my name. I know, I've checked. Unlike the Yarn Harlot, I've never written a book. I don't have legions of fans. When I show off my stuff, I'm lucky if a handful of people even see it here, much less comment on it. So for me it's been kind of like hanging projects I'm proud of on my Virtual Refrigerator Door.
Now, should I get a volume or two published or have my own reality show, things would likely change. My blog, if it still existed, would likely get a lot less personal because presumably more people would be reading it. And where there's crowds of fans, there's going to be a handful of critics and even a few flat-out douchebags in there for good measure.
I guess I think of blogs as being only as private as the life of the blogger in general.
Of course, it could be I've been lucky. Maybe my knitting has passed muster and is generally approved. Perhaps my kids are
as cute as I think they are. Or most likely the people that read my blog know me from the Knitty Coffeeshop or in real life and are inclined to come by and check out the stuff I've hung on my Virtual Fridge. And being Knittyheads themselves, they remember to play nice and treat others with the respect they themselves would like to receive.
It's the Golden Rule.
I personally don't visit someone's blog or website and criticize their work, ever. I believe that if you can't say something nice, just don't say anything. Unless your critique is asked for, that is. If you say, "How does the back of this look? I think it might be kind of wonky in spots...do you notice it?" I will tell you. Because you asked. And I'd be sure to find something about it I did like and point it out. Yeah, the back is wonky in a couple of spots, but no one really sees that part and I love the colors you used.
I think it's a direct response to being from a hyper-critical family. My mother's family has a tendency to tell you just what they think of...well, just about everything. These people think nothing of telling you that you look like you've put on weight, that your shirt looks like you slept in it, that spending the weekend at a fiber festival is stupid, or that they can't see why you'd spend that much time knitting something that looks so handmade.
They're not much with the praise for things they actually like, either. Not a gushy group. They've done some damage over the years, too. I know my self-esteem isn't what it could be, that's for sure.
Genetically speaking, I know that I have an innately critical nature, but I also know that with practice I can find something good about most things. So I would never tell you that I hated something you made, especially if you made it with your own hands and were obviously proud of it. If I couldn't find something to say, I would navigate away quietly. (Then again, I might do that anyway. I'm very lazy with my comments. You should know that about me. Some days I feel like reading, not typing. It's just how I roll.)
Do I have the right to expect to be treated the same way?
I guess I do expect it. It never occurred to me not to. I've never known different. I think if people came here and told me they hated my knitting, I'd stop blogging about it. I'm not the type of person that can keep putting myself out there to be rejected. I wonder if it would take the enjoyment out of knitting altogether?
Come to think of it, maybe having a blog is a bad idea in the first place...a major blow to my ego just waiting to happen.
I think the Yarn Harlot expected to be treated differently on her blog. Perhaps she is confusing fans with friends. She certainly wouldn't be the first celebrity to do so. Maybe she doesn't understand about the critics that lurk in any mob of fans. Or the douchebags. 'Cause they're out there.
Then again, I don't know her. I don't read her blog on a regular basis. I don't read any celebrity blogs. Perhaps she's one of those celebrities that expects everyone in the world to bow low before her. Again, she wouldn't be the first.
Perhaps as a writer and public figure she should grow a thicker skin.
Perhaps as a blogger I
should toughen up too. Maybe there's no room on the internet for sensitivity.
I just don't consider myself in the same blogging strata. I'm not a celebrity and I don't have fans; ergo, I don't expect critics. I think of myself as having friends that stop by from time to time to see what Poops is up to these days.
I do expect the occasional douchebag. Those bastards are everywhere. *snerk*
Did I tell you about the time I completely flipped out the editor of our town newsletter? I can't prove it, but my emails back and forth to her might be the reason she quit and we no longer have a newsletter. I was in a battle of wits with an unarmed person, poor well-meaning dear. I hope she's doing well saving the earth with her organic farming and drum circles. As long as she's not editing a public newsletter. *shudder*
But I digress.
I finished a sweater for the Bug last night. She likes it. I like it. And now I'm hesitant about showing it off. Pride goeth before a fall.
It's a basic top down raglan in TLC Cotton Plus, color "Kiwi", with a lace insert panel down the front. You may (or may not) remember that I made a similar sweater that has since been sold at a craft fair. That one had a ruffle at the bottom and on the sleeves with a simple moss stitch collar. Bug's has a moss stitch hood and I omitted the ruffled cuffs and hem to streamline it somewhat.
I actually had a friend from church admire the one in the craft fair and request it in a larger size. Usually, people don't follow up on such requests and I find myself making something that I didn't feel like making only to have to try to sell it to someone else. But she asked about it at a later craft fair, so I figured she was still interested. I ordered up the yarn posthaste and emailed her to double-check the size she wanted...which is when she decided she'd changed her mind and that she'd finished her Christmas shopping and didn't want it after all.
So, now I had four balls of the stuff in the stash. I thought Bug would look cute in it, so last week I cast on and bashed this out for her. She's outgrown most of her handknit sweaters as it is. She was due for something new from Mama.
I should have taken the pictures outside in the sun, but despite the sun it's only 8 degrees out there with a wind chill below zero. You will have to think of them as artsy-type photos and pretend I meant them to look that that.
Before I sign off, I should clarify one thing. I didn't give up the computer for Lent. As a family, we are sacrificing the great joy of restaurants and takeout during Lent. (Except on Sundays which are feast days and one never abstains on feast days.) I only gave up the computer on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday because they are days of fasting, and being pregnant exempts me from that. So I fasted from the computer instead, since Dave needs nourishment.
So that's all for today. My contribution to the fray.