Karie Bookish Dot Net

My Lifestyle Guru Disqualification

Online identity, knitting celebrities and internet jealousy. We have covered a lot here recently. I’m going to return to the discussion but first I want to share a slice of what it is all about (for me, anyway): knitting.

Doggerland Sneak Peek

This morning I cast off another sample for my Doggerland collection. I think I first mentioned the collection about a year ago – well it has been a long journey to get here and I’ll write more about this as I release the patterns. But I just love looking at this pile of samples (plus random bits of yarn). The pile looks so right even if the samples still need to be dressed and it is lacking a couple of core pieces still to be knitted.

I am getting there! Woo!

And I think that brings me neatly round to the topic that Fourth Edition has been circling around recently: success.

Some people want a big car. Other people want to be recognised in the supermarket. All of us want to be able to pay our bills. I have spent a lot of time thinking about success and how I define it. I like being able to pay bills, but I am definitely not concerned with driving a car or being stopped in the street. No, I really truly love when what I produce resembles what has been going on in my head. When my brain and fingers work together to produce something that stays true to the core idea and tells the story I want to be telling.

‘Story-telling’ was a recurrent word in the discussion. It is perhaps a post-modern conceit that we tell stories in order to construct ourselves but I think I do relate to my craft and my designs as forms of story-telling. I want to explore my Scandinavian heritage; the landscapes both inside and outwith myself and try to make sense of the world through knitting.

I somehow worry(!) that I hover between textile art and textile craft – that somehow my ideas are too absurd and abstract for the relatively simple pleasure of working a piece of string with two sticks. I have spent almost 12 months trying to nail Doggerland because it started out as a huge, unwieldy idea. When I showed my introduction to some friends, the feedback was enthusiastic but agreed that maybe I should try to be a touch more accessible.

And so I am here looking at a pile of unblocked knits and I feel so proud. To me, this is success.

And this is who I am: I design knits inspired by psychogeography, land art, and Mesolithic archaeology. I wear red and green together. I am quiet in public and most happy when I’m with just a handful of friends. I love early 20th century culture and T.S. Eliot is my favourite writer. And I think the Eurovision Song Contest is the best thing since sliced bread. All that combined pretty much disqualifies me for any position as a lifestyle guru. Also, I eat the cake as soon as it’s out of the oven.

Besides, the idea of a knitting celebrity is still weird. If the founder of Wikipedia has trouble identifying himself as ‘internet famous’, I think it’s fair to say that we need to re-assess the whole idea of internet fame. The internet is an awfully big pond.

3 Thoughts on “My Lifestyle Guru Disqualification

  1. I’ve read each of your last two posts with interest as they appeared Karie but somehow couldn’t come up with a reply to either that fitted how I felt about it all.

    Today though I’m thinking that really the internet is just like any other country, there will always be leaders and followers and tribes, that’s just the way things are. On the internet however that natural sorting happens so visibly that marketers can exploit it and marketers like leaders to become celebrities, that way there is money to be made, and plenty of leaders will go along with becoming celebrities because plenty of followers are happy that they do. Personally I’ll take a leader over a celebrity any day! Celebrity tends to go hand in hand with ubiquity and in knitting that can drastically reduce choice.

    Knits inspired by psychogeography, land art, and Mesolithic archaeology on the other hand … wow!

  2. That is a gorgeous picture, love the textures and colours.

    Could being a “lifestyle guru” not be a bit over-hyped? I like designs influenced by the unusual or that have a story in them.

    And as for eating the cake while it’s hot, those recipe writers are teases aren’t they? Hot cake is gorgeous (and bread).

  3. I find knitters an especially strange and introverted lot. I only recently found out that hiding behind that quiet exterior, lies a mass of seething jealousy, envy and rage. Most aimed at those they consider to have it all, the extroverts. There is often pure poison running in the veins of the quiet knitter. I have only learnt this from the exchanges I read on ravelry, there are so many that are full of unpleasant bile and releasing the pent up fury they store against others. It is only social ineptitude that covers up these horrible traits usually, but the Internet offers a release. It’s been interesting to find that the ‘nice’ and ‘quiet’ people are actually in many instances not at all what I/we have been mistaking them for all this time. It’s been an eye opener!

    Extroverts tend to be more on show and easily judged. Now the quiet ones who are forcing themselves out on centre stage have to have a persona to do so, yet they are conniving to be what they are not for much of the time. This back fires often. The knitting blog is the least interesting of all craft blogs. The knitter is for the most part not made to share their thoughts and ideas with others. They are not good at in in principal, hence all the jealousy or envy in practice, which is why so many knitting blogs are unreadable. I don’t know any knitting super superstars except The Yarn Harlot and I don’t like her blog. Again she is quite an exclusive person. She isn’t really a sharer as she keeps the relevant part to herself or makes you pay for it. I have heard of Woolly worm head but I don’t feel drawn to her patterns and therefore not to her either. That’s it though. And yes I do knit a lot. not exclusively though. I crochet too and I find crocheters more open and sharing and less ego driven. I also quilt and sew and embroider. Knitters are my least favourite people out of the craft world even though for me it is a much indulged craft which I do as much as I can.

    Mind you the reader gets what they deserve. If they support all this nonsense that comes with the craft blog, then we will just get more of the same. I’m not actually interested in ‘you’ that much. Not your name, your home, your family. Just your woolly designs or creations.

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