Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Frazzled Friday

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 4:14 pm on Friday, March 24, 2006

This spring is certainly playing havoc with sinuses and allergies. I woke up exhausted again, probably because I woke up a few times in the night with coughs caused by post-nasal drip. Plus, I ache all over from the hard work we’ve been doing to get ready for the rats, from long shopping trips to multiple bigbox pet stores to hours spent manipulating hardware cloth into cage-worthy accessories.

Aside from some minor assembly points, though, the cage is ready. We have bedding, food, and containers as needed. Tomorrow morning, we finish the last touches on the cage and then go select our new pets.

Meta-blogging, Again

There seems to be an inevitable cycle in blogland where people devolve into examining their motivations for blogging, and then blog about it. I’ve noticed another such rising of “meta-blogging” lately, and I find myself caught up in it, too.

I don’t really care if I ever have hundreds – or even thousands – of readers for this little blog. I do what I do here because it does serve as an online journal for me, helping me to focus my thoughts. In the process, I have managed to connect with a few like-minded people who visit here and share their comments, and that’s all good.

But you know how it is when you look at that little number under your blog name at Bloglines – the one that says “X subscribers”, and you see that you have one fewer than the day before?

I say I don’t care about subscriber numbers, but then I see a change downward and wonder what I did. I suppose it’s inevitable as a human being – we all just want to be liked, don’t we? So it’s hard to see that reduction in numbers and not feel a little bit rejected.

To that degree, then, I suppose I would like to have hundreds upon hundreds of readers some day. Enough, at least, that I don’t feel like I lost so much if one person changes their mind. I’m realistic enough to know that, even if I have a prayer of ever attracting that kind of following, it’s going to take a long, long time. So I’d better learn to suck it up and not mind so much when someone decides that my blog isn’t so much for them, after all.

Not All Rats – But Not All Knitting, Either

It does make me wonder what people are looking for here – what they’re expecting to find. There are all sorts of blogs out there that call themselves “knitting blogs”. Some are more technically oriented and offer detailed analysis of their latest knitting projects, complete with photos and complete instructions for how you, too, can create the same masterpiece. Some are full of stories about trips to yarn shops and getting together with other knitters, and all about the Secret Pal swaps they’re in and the latest treasures to arrive unannounced on their door steps.

Many have active, large families, and write extensively about their adventures in everything from grocery shopping with toddlers to getting a repairman out to fix a washing machine. Lots have pets, and include anecdotes about their latest antics, with plenty of pictures of cute animals posing, with or without yarn.

So What Is Knitting Around About?

A lot of that isn’t present here at I Knit Around. I don’t have kids, I don’t have frequent reasons to go out of the house for interactions with store clerks, government officials, doctor’s offices, teachers, play-date parents, soccer practices, or the general public. I don’t have a lot of money to spend constantly going to yarn shops, knitting shows, or SPAs. My life is pretty low-key and simple. There will soon be pets to write about and share photos of, but I don’t plan to make that the primary focus of this blog.

I don’t consider myself a teacher, except by osmosis. By which I mean that if people come away from something I say feeling they’ve learned from it, then maybe I served as a “teacher” in some sense at that moment. But I long since realized (while I had the bead store) that teaching is a specialized skill unto itself. Being proficient at something doesn’t necessarily mean you have the chops to be able to teach it, too.* I made an effort at teaching bead lessons at the bead store, and it became clear to me early on that the way I think about my crafting makes it hard to put into lesson form.

And so you’ll not see much in the way of deliberate teaching here, except on the rare occasion where some process makes itself clear to me in a way that lends to clearly explaining it to others.

So what do I offer? Well, this is a general life blog, with some concentration in the area of knitting. The knitting is enough of a star in my life to be in the blog title, but it’s not the only thing my life is about.

I do feature my knitting on a regular basis, but though I knit pretty quickly, I have to confess I’m stymied sometimes by how fast some bloggers out there – with day jobs, even – turn out finished objects. They always have a lot to blog about with their knitting, both about the process and about how well the piece came out.

I don’t finish objects all that fast. Partly because I have a large working list of ongoing WIPs that all get regular attention. When you work on 17 different projects in the course of a week, you may feel personally satisfied with your progress, and you may enjoy the huge variety of different knitting experiences. But it’s hard to blog about.

Stop Rambling Now

Okay, I think that’s more than enough to subject you to. Random rambling makes for boring blog posts, I’m sure. It’s clear that the pouring out of my thoughts onto this screen isn’t resulting in any sense of understanding or focus for me, so I can only imagine how dreadful this is for you to slog through. Assuming you’re still with me.

Sorry for the lack of knitting content today, but I’ve been working hard on other things like preparing for the additions to the family. About which, I’m sure there will be pictures on Monday.

You can go now. I’ll be okay. I’m just Frazzled.

* It seems to be hard for the general public to grasp this fact. They assume that being good at something equates to being able to teach others how to do it. That’s just not the case. My big aha! about my inabilities as a teacher came when I realized what my creative process is. I get an image in my head of what the end result should be, and I manipulate reality until I get there. It’s hard to break that down into steps that a beginner can follow. It gives me an appreciation for how special the teachers in our lives are.

Go, hug a teacher today, and thank them for their talent at what is too often a thankless profession.

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