In the middle of last year I had a go at vlogging. I really enjoyed it, but very quickly realised my life is nowhere near interesting enough to document in that way, and the experiment got rapidly aborted. Along the way, however, I got myself into a bit rant about judgement, and discovered a few deep-seated feelings that I hadn’t really realised were in me. The subject of this weeks giveaway post is therefore judgement.
(If you’d like to know more about my year of giveaways, head over to this post.)
Judgement and craft
I have a lot of anecdotes I could tell about being a crafter who is subject to the judgement of other people. It happens everywhere. On the tube (You’re too young to be knitting), at work (…cool…), on the Internet (The way you are doing that cross stitch is wrong), even in craft shops (Why are you using that yarn for that project, the colours are awful). Every time it happens, I feel a small stab of annoyance at how judgemental people can be – especially when they don’t even realise what they are doing.
Here is one of my examples, which happened well over three years ago, and stung so much that I still remember it with the same little jab I experienced at the time!
For my 25th birthday I decided to give myself a present of yarn for a jumper. I had only knitted two for myself that point, and I wanted to expand my wardrobe and my knitting repertoire. At the time, I was living in an expensive part of London, earning quite a low salary, and living for bright colours.
I found a pattern in magazine where they were offering the yarn at a reduced cost if you ordered a specific type with a certain coupon code, and I went for it. I got neon pink, neon green and cream, and I happily knitted away until I produced this beauty.
I still wear it regularly, and it still gets comments every time I do. I absolutely love it, but I am always slightly worried about wearing it in the presence of knitters. I still remember the comment I got when I was working on it during knit night at a shop in London and got questioned within an inch of my life over my colour choice and material choice. You see, this jumper was knitted out of a blend of acrylic and wool yarn, and was also from a ‘mainstream’ brand. The pattern came from a ‘normal’ magazine and wasn’t from an indie designer known by the group.
With ten people listening in on the interrogation, I didn’t want to give the honest answer of “I couldn’t afford anything else”, but the humiliation I felt at the time has stuck. The woman who was asking me these questions was someone I had really liked, and that was almost the most hurtful part of the experience. If she absolutely had to comment, I would have preferred she’d done it behind my back! I didn’t go back to that knit night after that.
The worst thing is I’m sure she thought she was being helpful. I’m sure there was some logic of “if I give my opinion, this is going to come across as helpful and will be gratefully received”. We don’t always know where people are coming from or what their reasons for doing things are, and I always try to remember to tread carefully before speaking my opinions now that I’ve been on the receiving end of this ‘help’.
Luckily, I wasn’t put off. I carried on knitting and this experience, among with many others since, has helped me reach a place where I no longer care so much what other people think. When people start telling me what they think in a less than kind way, I try to remember that they probably don’t mean it the way it comes out, and if they do, it’s not a reflection on me, but rather them.
Judgement free zone
I’m here to say that Plutonium Muffins is a judgement free zone, and if someone ever passes comment on something and makes you feel bad about it, I’d like to to feel like you can pop over here for words of encouragement and some virtual cake. I’d like to know if there’s something more I can do to improve the situation as well. I said last year that I’d like to do something to try improve the situation, which is why I’ve chosen this as a topic for my first giveaway of 2018, and I’m also going to keep working on it throughout the year.
Is there something you’d really like to knit/cross stitch/make, but are too scared of what people will say if you do? I’m here to tell you to ignore them! Get yourself the materials in your fibre of choice and the colours that sing to your soul. Get your favourite drink and a really guilty pleasure audio book or TV programme, put on your slippers, stick your nose in the air, and go for it!
In the meantime (maybe while your yarn is arriving…!), leave a comment on this blog post to be in with a chance of winning a $5/£5 digital pattern of your choice. Full rules are here – the giveaway will close on Sunday the 14th of January 2018.
We all need a “no judgement zone” when it comes to our favorite and “affordable” yarns. Some projects are made out of love and are not always perfect! but loved just the same. I have a cotton sweater made decades ago; no one “loved” it. Not even the boyfriend now husband it was made for! but he still has it. Because it was a project of love! I’ve worn it proudly once but it resides in a draw never to see the light of day although each stitch made lovingly. NO JUDGEMENT! prized by only the maker! I still laugh about it!
I think almost all crafters have been subject to the unwanted judgement of others. I am very allergic to most wools, so I often use acrylic. Needless to say, there are many knitters/crocheters out there that look down their nose at my creations. Tough, I make what I know I can actually wear. I have a cowl that I made out of wool that I can only wear with a heavy turtleneck which defeats the idea of a cowl. I have found a crafting group that is all about praise. I go to the meetups when I can. Your sweater is beautiful and it makes you happy. That is all that matters.
Oh my gosh … honestly, it sounds like you need a new knit group. They sounded like yarn snobs & of course, pattern snobs but hey, who cares because you knit an awesome job – gold star for you! My biggest critic is myself but then I decided to stop listening to that whiney voice and knitted my first jumper a month ago. Bam, just did it and guess what, I LOVE it …pity it’s the middle of summer here so I can’t wear it! So know to stash dive & pull out an old wip that I’ve been knitting for 3 years!!
I had a similar experience. I went to a knit night at a yarn shop to get some help. I was told that my pattern probably wasn’t right because I got it off the internet and then was humiliated in front of the group because I didn’t swatch. Needless to say I never went back and am pretty leary of going to knit night at any yarn shop (at least in my local area). That was a long time ago and I have found groups that I like better at libraries.
Happy New Year Corrie! Well, I think that whenever we do something, anything, you will incur in some level of judgement by other people. I’ve noticed that the ones who judge the most are the ones who really do not know anything about doing things. Several reasons behind, sometimes they are envious of your skills, other times they just like to keep in in a corner and put you on a lower level. Or they just want to show you that they know more and better. I think you should be proud of the great things you’ve made. I love to look at my projects as challenges for myself, I like to make things that sometimes are not exactly wearable but make me happy. My husband, for example, loves to judge all the things I make. That could bring me to a paralysis, but instead I have decided that I simply don’t care if he does not like my projects, I just go on. Recently I put a patch on my suede jacket, and the patch was made with hexies. While some people see it a mad thing, the high school art professor at my daughter’s school was intrigued and just asked me more. You see, sensitive people understand!!! (you can see the patch on my Ravelry page: asteride). Keep on working on your great projects!
I absolutely LOVE your sweater!! Would you make me one?! I would so totally wear it!! And I enjoyed your post. I am always happy to tell people I simply can’t afford something nicer. If it bothers you so much, buy me some nice yarn! I’ll never afford it myself. Chapter 1 was because hubby was in grad school and we were starting a family. Chapter 21 we have nine kids. Still can’t afford the nicer yarn and simply don’t have the time for “hand wash lay flat to dry.” But I still knit. Folks would be appalled how I “care for” my knits, but until they come do my laundry for me …!!! Keep smiling your beautiful smile and making fabulous FOs!!
People do love to judge each other! I have my likes and dislikes in my stitching which are different to other people’s but that’s fine.
You mentioned in a previous post about the baby boom, well the parenting world is probably the worst for judgemental people! You are too old, too young, too many children, not enough, too close together, too far apart, you work, you don’t work and so on. Every choice you make (and some you can’t avoid) is subject to scrutiny from people who really have no business commenting on your family!
I am so sorry you have had that experience. I know how you feel. I’ve been in that spot more times then I can count and it hurts. It stays with you and comes out later in other ways. Myhusband and I were actually having this conversation last night. He made a funny comment about my interest in the Investigation Discovery channel, that I was morbid for watching it. I snapped at him and told him that I didn’t appreciate being teased about my choice of TV shows. He was surprised and in that moment I was finally honest with him, and me. I told him about the jabs and snarky comments my family had thrown my way as a teenager for liking Xena, and how I’ve never felt comfortable letting people know I love to read historical romance beacuse all I have ever received back from that is judgement “That’s not literature.” or “I thought only trailer trash read those” (actual comment I received one time). I could argue with these individuals by telling them how amazing they are, how intelligent they are, and that with a Masters under my belt I am more intelligent then they are- but honestly that is just my insecurities coming out so I don’t say a word, I just smile and retreat from them, and from sharing myself with others.
The funny thing is I have a vlog on youtube as well. I don’t have a large following, however, I do feel that my small corner of youtube and knitting world is very welcoming and nonjudgmental. I’ve put out some scary things on this vlog and only once have I ever received backlash from that. (It took all I had not to lash out at them but I held my tongue). The vlog is an experiment in vulnerability and bravery for. Will I be accepted for me? Happily I can say that so far, yes, no frills needed to be loved.
It is rather sad, this need to belittle fellow crafters. I do not go to knitting Groups do avoid this kind of criticism, and I also am not to sure about my level of skill. (Which is of course just as much my Problem, as the person with the need to judge constantly) I Love exploring the internet and finding like minded souls (drawback: most are faraway). So keep on crafting…and my new year Resolution is to Continue with my crossstich – even though I cant do the stiches “properly” p.s. I love the sweater
I really love that jumper! I too have come across judgement in craft circles – mostly for the fact I’m a “selfish” knitter and make just for myself and a select few others and use high end yarns to do so. I’ve been at the stage just like you where acrylic or blends were my only option (and would still be for a jumper – there’s not many knitters who can spend £100+ on a garment!) and still think they have their place but some people think that unless you’re churning out baby knits of charity knits that you’re a “bad” knitter!
Infuriating – but then I’m the one with Merino Cashmere Socks and they’re not!
I have been following your blog for quite a while and always enjoyed it, you are talented and I can say about most of your finished projects were absolutely gorgeous and I hope you will keep going and sharing, the most important is: enjoy YOUR choices in colours, fibers, shapes etc…not following the trends or the exact way others are going, this is what makes your creations unique and thats what I enjoy the most about your blog, being loved for being yourself crafting is the way to go.
Great to see you here again.
There’s no shame in finding craft items expensive, as they all seem to me compared with years (ok, decades) ago…
Having a result you are pleased with is a wonderful reward for all of the work :)
Love the sweater.
Bloomin’ ek Corrie, what a group of meanie bobeanie’s! Making stuff is about having fun, releasing your creative side, mindfulness, relaxation and enjoyment. It’s not supposed to be a test (apart from GCSE textiles I supposed) I’m so glad you love your jumper – you’ll have to wear it next time you pop up to the NEC so we can admire it IRL. It was SO lovely to see you on Monday, I hope you enjoyed the show.