February 08, 2003
Online Knitting Bozo
Why do I call myself an online knitting bozo?
The origin of this particular epithet is an editorial that appeared in the November 2002 issue of the online knitting magazine KnitNet?in the original version of this editorial, that is, before it was modified to remove the terms "fool" and "bozo" in reference to people who provide guidance about knitting through the Internet. [They are lucky they are not a print medium or they wouldn't have had the option to seamlessly replace such immoderate statements, only retract them in the public record]. The language in the editorial has now been toned down but rereading it still raises my blood temperature by a few degrees.
Part of the reason I still get so het up about this is that I've gained some valuable knitting information, entirely without obligation, from some online sources: Bonne Marie, Clara (Knitter's Review), Flor, Kim (wiseNeedle), Sarah, and Wendy just to name a few. I own many knitting technique, reference, and pattern books and I can assure you that the information you find in these free, online resources is of the same (and in some cases, a better) caliber as you will find in most commercially published resources. [Of course, you have to take that as the opinion of an online knitting bozo].
I'm not trying to diminish the importance of the editorial review process. Indeed, I'm a member of a profession that relies heavily on evaluation and review to ensure that only the highest quality work is distributed and preserved. However, I also know that this isn't a perfect process; worthy research is occasionally passed over and some real dreck is allowed to pass into the canon.
Ultimately, it's the responsibility of each seeker of knowledge to evaluate both the source and the information provided. Information from a trusted source may still be flawed.
I'm not trying to instruct anyone here. I'm describing my own trial and error experience with a craft I love. I make mistakes and do stupid things. I've been doing that since I started knitting, now you get to have a front row seat to it. [Lucky you]. I'll present my work here the same way I would if I met you at a knitting group in real life?honestly and without any delusions of being an authority. I'm an online knitting bozo. Take my advice and opinions with an open mind. Evaluate them relative to your own experience and to other sources you have access to. Use your intelligence and your creativity the best you can and take pride in the results.
Alison and Melissa had some questions about yesterday's post. To clarify: I didn't add extra stitches to the steek at the front of the cardigan because I was so excited to start the body that I forgot that had I intended to do so. [Whoops]. I did add extra stitches to the arm steeks (even though the pattern doesn't call for it) because I remembered to and because of the advice I received from a much more experienced knitter who has made a number of PW sweaters and has found it useful to do so. I've never attempted a Dale sweater, but when I do I may add extra steek stitches even if they aren't indicated because it's reassuring to have that extra buffer and additional bulk can always be snipped away.
For Melissa: In every row, the middle stitch is purled with both yarns held together. I tried to take a picture of the inside of the arm steek, but the yarn there is too dark to really see what's going on. Here's a picture of the inside of the steek up the front with all the ends where I change colors. [Wendy showed the inside and outside of her front steek on Friday].
I'll probably give more information about my Philosopher's Wool experience as I go along, but for now I'll say I'm enjoying the process.
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