Hello! I’ve been AWOL again, sorry. There has been crafting, though of the five WIPs I wrote about in my last post I’ve only finished one, the Bobbie gloves:
I haven’t actually worn them that much, as the colour doesn’t really go with the maroon parka I’ve been wearing most days, though they look great with my green coat.
The Deco cardigan is going well; I’ve nearly finished the body which is pretty good progress for me. The Runaround Loop has stayed stalled, because I still can’t run, and now it’s pretty much spring anyway. Maybe next winter. And as for the two shawls, I binned the moth-damaged Out of Darkness, which was as traumatic an experience as you’d expect it to have been, and I frogged the Ysolda shawl and used the yarn to cast on a Byatt, which is currently blocking on the living room floor and is gorgeous. Even if I did fail in my plan to read A S Byatt’s The Children’s Book while I was knitting it; I did try, but it took me six weeks to get not-quite halfway through, and I really didn’t care about any of the characters. And then Terry Pratchett died, so I decided to re-read some of his books instead. I think I may just have to accept that Possession is the only Byatt novel I’m ever going to like.
I’ve been doing some sewing, too. The shops are full of lovely lightweight spring/summer scarves at the moment, mostly at prices which I balk at paying for what is, when it comes to it, just a bit of fabric, so I decided to try my hand at making my own summer infinity scarf using a metre of flowered polycotton I bought last summer.
And then this weekend I transformed some lovely Liberty lawn which I acquired as a rather droopy charity-shop skirt into a second Afternoon Blouse.
So I’ve been pretty productive, and have even got through what is normally my worst time of year feeling remarkably positive and cheerful, thanks to a combination of a job I’m much happier in and stopping taking Cerazette (looking back now, I see that my mood nose-dived a few months after I started and began to recover almost as soon as I stopped). And yet I haven’t been blogging about anything I’ve been doing, although I’ve been missing the blog. I kept thinking about sitting down to post, and then I looked at the pictures I’d taken for the post, and found myself thinking how amateurish they looked, and I looked at all the blogs in my feed reader with their stunning photography, and I sighed and went off and did something else instead.
Still, I haven’t stopped missing the blog. And I’ve been thinking about blogging in general, and amateurism versus professionalism. Because more and more blogs are becoming professional. I noticed this phenomenon years ago in the outfit blogging world; gradually, the blogs I followed either shut up shop or the bloggers decided to ditch their day jobs, sell advertising space on their blogs and turn them into a business. I don’t follow a lot of outfit blogs any more; my interest was in seeing people’s individual styles and how they used the clothes they had, and the blogger as brand and style guru, holding herself up as something to emulate, leaves me cold.
A similar thing has happened with sewing blogs, as far as I can tell; this excellent post from a few months ago certainly suggests it has, and I have noticed a tendency for bloggers to move into designing or offering tutorials, or simply having a lot of sponsored posts, rather than just sharing their experience of their hobbies.
When I was talking about the Kestrel Makes blog post on Twitter last September I said that I hadn’t seen anything similar happening with knitting blogs, and I really hadn’t. But now, only six months later, things seem to have changed in my part of the knitting blog world. Scrolling through the knitting blogs in my feed reader, there’s hardly anything by anyone who isn’t a designer, or a dyer, or a yarn shop owner, or a tech editor, or the organiser of a knitting event, or otherwise connected with the business side of knitting. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful that so many people are making their living, either wholly or in part, from the wonderful world of knitting and fibre, but I am starting to feel like I don’t quite fit in the knitting blog world if I want my hobbies to stay as hobbies (and I do; I’ve actually just had a bit of a career change myself, from accountant to university administrator, and I don’t have any desire to change again or to try to make money out of the things I do for fun). And although there are still a few blogs around by people who are just doing it for the fun of it (Roobeedoo and Dolly Clackett are shining examples here), I wish there were more. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being an amateur. When it comes down to it, an amateur is a person who does something for the love of it. How could that be a bad thing? And I enjoy blogging, so I’m going to carry on doing it, even if my photos are taken with my phone rather than a fancy camera (I do have a point-and-shoot camera, but it annoys me, and I can’t ever get the colours right, and I’m not convinced it takes better pictures than my current phone anyway) and my blog is only read by five people and a small dog and doesn’t generate loads of comments and retweets. Just like I carry on knitting even when we have overflowing sock drawers, and I keep sewing things even though my seams are a bit wonky. Sometimes the point of things is just doing them, not what you get out of them.
I do wonder what happened to the other amateur knitting bloggers, though. Is there anyone still out there who fancies blowing the cobwebs off their blog and starting to post again? I know I’d like to read it if you do!