QueerJoe West Coast Watchcap 10-28-19

Just Be Nice!

Who’s been reading QueerJoe since the beginning? Remember when I used to take great joy in disparaging bad designs and stupid people on the KnitList?  During that time, a friend asked me, why can’t you just be nice?

QueerJoe’s Journey To Just Be Nice

First of all, the old QueerJoe.

The only knitting blogs I knew were Wendy’s and Marilyn’s blogs.  Wendy could knit a Fair Isle sweater in a week. I couldn’t really compete with that.  Marilyn had a sharp wit and a knack for pointing out flaws with sarcasm and humor. I enjoyed reading Wendy’s blog, but I LOVED reading Marilyn’s.

So, in large part, I learned how to write a blog that drew people in.  Controversy, cutting remarks, sexual innuendo, and vitriol seemed to attract a quick and bountiful readership.

I do remember the first time I blog-disparaged a magazine that it got a lot of response. Both positive and negative. And gravitating toward topics that generated engagement became a natural behavior.  And so it continued.

I’ve never been good at a balanced approach, so I took it as far as I felt I could without being assassinated by some designer or magazine editor who I had viciously maligned.

As the pinnacle of cynicism was reaching its zenith, I went to a Stitches East event.  I had three designs I was going to present to publishers. They were agreeable to publishing them. Until they saw a blog entry where I was disparaging one of the vendors as Stitches. I was told they couldn’t publish my designs if I continued to write insulting blog posts to their customer base. At the time, it wasn’t even debatable. I took my designs back and basically said “fuck you” you can’t decide what I post.

It was at the point, a designer friend of mine asked me the question.  “Why can’t you just be nice?” She didn’t chide me. It was very supportive. She seemed to really want to know. I don’t remember what I answered, but her question stuck with me for years.

And now that I’m at a place in my life where I prefer to be more supportive and affirming, her question was a very valid one.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret any of it. All of those “mistakes” were very necessary life lessons. And who knows where my life might have gone if I had gone on to become a successful knitwear designer.

Lessons Learned

A few things I’d tell my younger self about this if I could go back:

  • It’s easy to critique and requires less effort than to find affirming supportive viewpoints
  • Fast/easy ways of garnering attention aren’t always as valued
  • Put more value in advice from successful, smart friends
  • Act in a way that brings you more joy and serenity rather than excitement, thrills and ego-boosts

I honestly doubt I would have listened to my older-self. But I am glad for where I landed.

Current Knitting

Another infinity scarf has been finished.

Universe Infinity Scarf 03-05-20 01a

It’s in the same yarn/colorway as the first one, but this one is done using the stockinette on the outside of the tube. Here’s a closer up comparison of the two variations.

Universe Infinity Scarf Comparison Stockinette and Reverse

The one on the left is stockinette and the one on the right is reverse stockinette. They both have their charms, but the remaining scarves will be plain drop-stitch stockinette.

I have also started the second leg on the “Splongs” although I need to add a few more inches to the first leg.

Splongs 03-06-20 01

I somehow totally misjudged the length of the first leg, so I’m undoing the ribbing and adding some length.

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