Thursday, May 10, 2007

Disappointing . . .

I got rejected from knitty. I wrote an article, and it was rejected: So, here it is for your pleasure.

I actually REALLY liked it, but whatever. Wow, this was a great time to be rejected. Right before my AP US history exam. Which is tomorrow. Oh, and by the way, I'm terrified.

Knitting has come into vogue in the past few years. It has changed, and not any more is it for only grandmothers and great –aunts, but for those younger, those in their 20s, and in my case, teenagers.
I didn’t learn how to knit in the beginning of the knitting craze. I learned when I was eight and hated it. Who wants to have metal sticks and fuzzy yarn on their lap when they could be playing outside? I dropped stitches left and right and eventually gave up.
My second adventure into knitting would come my freshman year in high school, a time with little homework, lots of free time, and consequently, lots of yarn.
Fast forward to now. Three years, more yarn than freshman year (about ten times as much), and a considerable amount of knitted objects later, I have found there are problems with being an intermediate teenage knitter.
Problem #1: Time. While my first, innocent year in high school gave me more then enough time to sit and knit, I now find I am forced to squeeze in time to knit between after-school activities and homework. I also find (oddly enough) that I enjoy knitting a large amount more then homework. Therefore, I tend to rush through homework in order to knit. How strange: not only do I rush through homework; I also find myself searching for knitting patterns on the net instead of typing up that English essay or doing that chemistry lab.
Possible solution: I have tested many possible solutions for this dilemma and I found one that is practical, timesaving and might make me fail out of high school; this being, of course, not doing my homework and knitting. However, this is just not possible. A very lovely woman who lives with me (I call her mom), would not like that whatsoever. So the only logical solution would to be knitting between classes, at lunch, at chorus, and generally any time I get a free moment.
And while I suppose this would work in theory, I tend to screw up a lot. So therefore, I have learned to love my mistakes that make my knitting one of a kind (unless of course I made an unnaturally long thumb for a mitten, in which case I would wear it on my foot).
Problem #2: Money. Yes, teenagers have the most disposable income; however, I have no income of which to dispose. Because I am one of the youngest in my grade, and therefore behind on the whole getting-a-job deal, I do not aspire to spend upward of fifty dollars on yarn. No matter if I aspire to spend the money or not, I still want the yarn. Who doesn’t want more yarn?
Possible solution: Well, because of my tight budget for yarn, I have come to love the Internet. Not only is there cheap yarn, but sometimes, there’s cheap name brand yarn! However, this money block has still kept me from making my first sweater. I’ve tried, but to no avail. This problem with money is what has really weighed me down, not to mention the time factor; I’ve made nearly everything else, socks, gloves, mittens, tank tops, shrugs – but never a sweater.
Problem #3: Friend/Boyfriends: This problem also fits into the time category. Yes, I enjoy being with them. Would I rather be knitting? It’s a tough choice.
But the time problem is not the end of it. Though I love them all dearly, those friends who I am not too close with do not understand why I never get around to knitting that iPod case for them. The reason? I just have better things to knit. I might end up knitting it while in a knitting funk, but I probably won’t.
The third problem within this category is boyfriends. Now who in the world told them mittens are girly? Those of you who knit (I’m assuming almost all) understand that mittens are much easier and less frustrating than gloves to knit. With gloves, ten fingers. With mittens, there are just two plain finger packages and two thumbs. Does he understand that? I think, but how could he understand how annoying sewing up the holes between the fingers is?
Possible solution: Not making my boyfriend mittens (if he won’t appreciate them…) and knitting while with friends and at parties. I will often get confused stares and once someone said to me “You’re at a party and you’re knitting?” Well, what else would I do with my hands?
And finally the last and most important and annoying problem:
Problem #4: People (especially older knitters) underestimating me. When I knit in public, I normally get something around this conversation (if it’s a non-knitter):
“Are you crocheting? What is that?”
Me: (trying desperately not to be annoyed) “It’s knitting.”
“Oh. Its so nice to have young people knitting. I’ve heard it’s terribly popular.”
Me: “Oh. Okay.”
Normally, this is where the conversation ends. Sometimes they ask what I’m knitting or how I do that (to which I promptly answer “I don’t know” – because I often just do it, I don’t know how), but they are normally just trying to be polite.
And while its nice for a compliment once and a while, it makes me squirm. It makes it seem like I have some type of hand disease and, consequently, it makes me create things out of yarn.
Other times, a knitter will ask me what I’m knitting.
“Hello, what are you knitting? It’s so nice to see young people enjoying such an old craft!” (Showing considerable interest in how I’m knitting it)
“A sock/hat/tank top/ purse/ or whatever else I’m making.”
“Oh, how nice. What’s that you’re doing with the stitches? I don’t think you’re supposed to do that!”
And that, my dear fellow knitters, is where the problem lies. While many older knitters understand that it is possible that I might knit just as well as them (or even differently then them), there are many that underestimate the amount of skill I have with my string and sticks. I heard it once called the “you’re-not-an-old-lady-cold-shoulder”.
My possible solution to the “you’re-not-an-old-lady-cold-shoulder” is not to care. I work hard for my knitting, and despite the lack of money, time constraints and friends, who cannot possibly understand the knitting addiction, I find time to cherish and love knitting. The idea that teenagers cannot possibly excel at, and enjoy a passion for knitting the way adults can is ridiculous. In my experience, adults seem to have this idea that knitting is an above-age18 hobby, but honestly, I think it’s better for the younger generation. I’m in my last two years of high school. Every day, more and more stress is put on my graduating class to do well on the SATs and get into a good college. Knitting eases that stresses, letting me forget my life for a few hours or minutes. To me that is worth finding solutions to the problems that I have faced.

I don't like the beginning, but oh well. I'm not going to dwell.


Sarah said...

Ugh, AP History. That exam just sucked. But just think, by this time tomorrow it'll be over, and you'll have till June to stress about your score!

I really like your essay, but I can maybe see why Knitty didn't publish it. It's important, I think, to talk about the resurgence of knitting among younger people, and the challenges they face. If you'd like, I can write up some comments on your essay that'll make it more like what the Knitty editors want to publish. You can email me at sthomson06 AT gmail dot com.

jim knits said...

I read this instead of writing my french paper :D good luck on your exam.