Stealing Her Thunder: KnitDweebs

 If someone has taken a brief wander around the knitting blogosphere—by the way, I hate the word blogosphere—then they’ve probably run across Marilyn’s blog. However, I always think of her by the name of her blog—the Knitting Curmudgeon. In her latest edition of Open Mic Thursday, she asked;

  • Are you still using Ravelry? If not, why not?I continue to see the value in Ravelry, although probably not for me. One friend, who shall go nameless, says that it can be an enormous time waster. Another friend is convinced that it has become KnitDweeb Heaven. Well, that was rather easy to predict. It is what it is, and you can use it as you wish.

 I love the phrase KnitDweebs. After being mauled by a panting, frothing mass of irrational knitters, KnitDweebs is a comforting term. I briefly answered Marilyn’s question with 3 easy ways to avoid KD, but it got me thinking, about Ravelry and dweebs in general.

 The funny thing is that good old fashioned trolls bother me less than some of the dweebs that I see on Ravelry. Having someone post, “Acrylic is for dirty people,” is less disturbing than the Nice Nazi. The first person is simply stupid. The second group is everywhere and they are CONVINCED that anything less than sugary heaven means that Ravelry will fall apart.

 This means that even reasoned discussion is immeaditely followed by a thread entitled,  “The Hand-Holding Thread” or, “The Lovey Thread,” or something similarly saccharine. That irritates me. Irritates the heck out of me.

 That may simply be because I am not a naturally nice person. Sarcasm, a quick retort, snotty quip—come on, I’m a teenager, you’re surprised at that? But overall, I think Ravelry helps to tone down the loudest dweebs. The worst forums are inbred little enclaves of “regulars” who all have labels next to their names like “Permanent Resident” or something similarly patrician. Ravelry is too huge for that to happen easily. The few people that get noticed are noticed because they’re nice, not because they’re trolls.

  As a teenager on forums other than Ravelry, my regular posts get pats on the head. My opinionated posts have gotten me into some of the weirdest, nastiest discussions that I’ve ever had, barring the fanfiction emails I once exchanged with a fanfiction goddess and her outraged fans. (That story LATER) That exchange left a bad taste in my mouth, so I very rarely frequent that forum anymore.

 My absolute favorite was when I posted about a certain yarn that I liked. This was after the first incident and I decided to give the forum another go. I did not start a new thread. I added my thoughts to an already existing thread. One person was virulent about their dislike of this yarn. Whatever, I didn’t respond to that.

 Imagine my surprise when a little message arrived for me–from that same person telling me all about how horrible this yarn was and how since I was a “new knitter” and all stuff that I probably didn’t know how this yarn was just full of knots, etc.

 I politely responded that our experiences differed and our exchange ended amicably enough. No harm, no foul. But it reminded me of how incredibly…incestous it all felt.

 So, yes, there are definitely dweebs on Ravelry. Can we possibly hope to avoid them all? But it’s certainly far more valuable than the few trolls. Stick to the knitting, or crocheting or spinning—it all works out.

 

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June 8, 2008. ravelry, Snark Editorial.

5 Comments

  1. SweetP replied:

    Knitdweeb! Haha I like that one. I guess there a dweebs everywhere in life. TBH I dont frequent the main R forums that much, I guess that is where most of the dweebing is going on? I like looking at great things people have made. I must be pretty easy to please

  2. Dava replied:

    I hope you will point out any dweebiness that I convey.I need all the help I can get.

  3. jinniver replied:

    The nice patrol on Ravelry really doesn’t bother me much, any more than the trolls do. There are two types that bother me:

    1. The “Yeah, but look at THEM…” Crew. They’re the ones who have been either snarky or opinionated (or both), and when called on it, prove to unwilling to stand behind what they said. Instead of owning their statement, they respond with finger pointing. What they said wasn’t bad, not if you read what’s going on in suchorsuch forum/group. Seriously, if you’re that insecure that you need to put someone else down to lift yourself up, save us all the trouble and keep your thoughts to yourself.

    2. The Entitlement Brigade. I unwittingly tangled with a member of this group a while back. Apparently she’s relatively well-known among knitters and has a podcast and a blog and EVERYTHING…and I failed to treat her statements with the deference and respect they deserved. She’d made a statement insulting members of a group that I belonged to (and she no longer did) that I felt was factually incorrect. So I didn’t understand what she was trying to say, and tried to pin down the incident that had allegedly pissed her off. She responded with an insulting, name-calling temper tantrum about how she was being persecuted and we’d proven that Ravelry was full of mean people.

    The good news is that those people usually storm off in a huff when faced with reasonable discussion, so that makes them easy to ignore.

  4. Linnea replied:

    Yes, it is what it is, and you can use it as you wish. But the complaint that it can be an incredible time-sucker is pretty foolish. Ravelry doesn’t force you to stay on the computer for hours at a time – and, while I’ll admit that I have done this very thing, it was MY choice to do so.

    As for KnitDweebs, Trolls, and Sugary People, same thing. Ignoring them, as you did, can be a good tactic. But, again, if you choose to enter into a debate or a conversation about Red Heart vs. Noro, there has to be some degree of personal responsibility taken into account. If I respond to someone who really pisses me off because they say that sock knitting is useless while it’s my passion and calling in life, I have to realize that I may 1) piss off someone else and 2) never, ever, convince anyone that MY knitting is best. In the end, getting into such tiffs is usually just a wasteful expenditure of energy that leaves negative vibes for everyone concerned. (I avoid the BID threads for this very reason – I realize that I could spend hours arguing with someone until I’m blue in the face, with no end or agreeable outcome in sight.)

    So, timewaster? Mean Person/Self-Righteous Life-Long Knitwear Designer/Opinionated Individual magnet? You bet. That’s what happens in a large community, especially one in which so many diverse backgrounds come together in the name of ONE (okay, TWO) crafts. I say that Ravelry is still a very, very good thing, so long as we do remember that, in the end, we are all responsible for our own behavior, and that no one MADE me spend three hours drooling over Niebling lace patterns or arguing about Merino Superwash/Kromski vs. Lendrum/etc.

  5. jinniver replied:

    “…and that no one MADE me spend three hours drooling over Niebling lace patterns or arguing about Merino Superwash/Kromski vs. Lendrum/etc.”

    Or read that post about “What I can make with sock yarn other than socks?” that resulted in a couple hundred patterns being added to my favorites list…sigh…

    (Not dissing the socks, BTW. Love the socks. Knitting some now. 😉 )

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