Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Should Have Been ClarkKent

Next week, the Yarn Harlot will be here in Portland and I may just make the trek downtown to see her. I wouldn’t even know of her visit if it weren’t for a Yahoo group called the PDXBloggers. I joined this group of knitting bloggers about a year ago. In addition to the chit chat through the Yahoo Group, they also have weekly meetups in various locations, occasional outings and yarn crawls. I attended one quite a long time ago when the group first got underway, but other than that I almost never participate in the group. It’s not for lack of interest (although to an extent lack of time does play a role). Rather, it’s a hesitancy I always feel about joining in online knitting discussions and forums. For whatever quirky reason, I find it difficult to participate in the same way that I would if I did not sell yarn.

For many yarnies, the fact that they sell yarn means that they are more likely to participate in online forums. Maintaining visibility and networking within the community is a good thing. In most cases, the yarnies are welcomed with open arms. Other than perhaps just a few who take “participation” to an extreme, the yarnies are like any other knitter or crocheter who enjoys a bit of cyber fiber chatting. (Hmmm. Cyber Fiber Chatting. I like the sound of that. Perhaps a new acronym to add to the long list of knitters’ lingo? “What did you do last night?” “I went to my LYS and when I got home I did a bit of CFC.”)

I’m trying to get over my hesitancy to participate in these online discussions. I’m missing out on all the fun! In the case of the PDXBlogger group, I’m beginning to feel as though I’ve taken “lurking” to a whole new level. Every day, I receive an e-mailed digest of the messages from the group and I always read or at least scan it. Not only do I know about the knitting and spinning pursuits of the members, but I also know about new jobs and lost jobs, illnesses, moves, and all sorts of other things. My lurking is beginning to feel a bit like voyeurism!

Sometimes I think I should have signed up for the various online forums as ClarkKent, an alter-ego to FearlessFibers. In the guise of a mild-mannered and straight-laced (no pun intended) knitter, I could have participated without the nagging fears of being viewed as a spammy intruder. But, of course, then I would have felt disingenuous, hiding my true fearless self behind a pair of horn rimmed glasses.

If I can make it to the Yarn Harlot’s Portland appearance next week, I’ll surely join up with the folks from the PDX Blogger Group. What if I had been ClarkKent all this time? What if one of the PDX Blogger group had innocently brought up the subject of where to find nice sock blockers? Would I break away from the group, dash into a nearby phone booth (or perhaps restroom since phone booths are virtually extinct these days), and emerge wearing a cape and a leotard with a big F on the front, with a set of sock blockers in hand? Yes, it’s probably a good thing that I’m not ClarkKent.

If I do make it to see the Harlot, I’ll be sure to report back here. I’m very interested to see what the experience is like, not only in terms of the Harlot’s talk but also just the experience of being in the presence of such a vast number of knitters.

Before signing off for today, I want to change subjects entirely for a moment. I don’t generally post about the various charitable fundraising activities going on in the knitting world. Knitters are such a giving bunch and I hear about so many worthy causes that my whole blog could easily turn into a Sally Struthers commercial. Nobody wants that, I’m sure!

There is, however, one going on right now though that I want to point out to you. Krystofer (knitswithballs on Ravelry) is participating in the Aids Life Cycle Ride (cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles!) in June. When I learned about this from Krystofer, it struck me how little we hear about Aids these days. In a sense, I suppose there’s a small positive in that. It’s not the same mystery – nor the certain death sentence – that it once was (at least not in this country). This, of course, is a very good thing, but the sad part is that the strides that have been made since those early days make the topic less newsworthy to the media and so it seems that we can easily fall into the trap of “out of sight, out of mind.” There is so much more work needed still and that means funds needed, of course. You can visit Krystofer’s page on the Aids Life Cycle site for details. He’s also giving away some of his wonderful knitting in a drawing for those who donate.

My apologies for ending this post with a bit of down note, but is it not really a positive note? Yet another knitter reaching out and doing good. ClarkKent would be proud.


Cindy said...

Hey, Deb, come on over to Starbucks some Wednesday evening. We don't bite folks who make yarn, we buy stuff from them! Bring a few hanks of your newest products (hint, hint -- Merino/Tencel) and I bet you'll go home with money in your pocket instead of yarn in your bag! :)

Michelle said...

Oh, you should definitely go! I'd be there in a heartbeat if I didn't have to work until some ungodly hour that night. (And what an awful coincidence that is--I only have to work the crazy long hours once every two weeks and it has to fall on the same day??) The PDX-K-B'ers are a blast to hang out with. :)