Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sock Progress, and Knitters' Support Groups

Red wool sock and a half, on Ford tractor

I present this bit of sock progress to maintain my credibility as a fiber arts/knitting blogger. I posted a picture of the beginning of this red sock in April. This week, I finished the first sock, and have started the second, which always goes faster for me--I'm no longer making pattern decisions, and there is sock-momentum.

I carried the first sock all over the place, with much progress happening during frequent visits to the dentist's waiting room and at the first and only meeting of the Hillsboro Knitters' Support Group in May. Organized and advertised by two volunteers at Gesundheit, the meeting attracted four knitters, including only one of the organizers. Now, given the local population density and the natural reservation of rural people, I thought this was a pretty good turn-out, but the other three attendees were evidently disappointed. Although we scheduled a June meeting, the meeting room was never reserved, and there's been no follow-up. Gesundheit volunteers come and go, sometimes abruptly, so that may explain the group's demise, but ever since, I've been picturing the disillusionment of the other ladies. The Gesundheit gals probably hoped to leave an active, self-sustaining community behind, the avid quilter hoped for something resembling the well-established local quilting groups, and the lonely young mom hoped for friends her own age.

My own disappointment has not been sharp enough to move me to action. In fact, I'm of two minds about knitting as a social activity. On the one hand, it's stimulating and fun to share ideas and projects with other people. On the other hand, I've had quite a few hostile encounters with strangers about my knitting. Unprovoked old harpies have approached me in airports and waiting rooms to tell me I'm "doing it wrong," yarn shop proprietors have been unpleasant and dismissive, and acquaintances have sniped about my taste in yarn, needles, and patterns. My neighbors are mannerly people, and I wouldn't expect anything like that from them, but perhaps I should just mind my own knitting.


Larry said...

I enjoyed visualizing your encounters with "unprovoked old harpies"!

Rebecca Clayton said...

I always tried to be reasonably polite, given my ambition to be an old harpy myself. However, I do my best to be a "provoked old harpy."