No notes for the Spin to Knit class just yet because Coleen N. will be demonstrating silk reeling in the class on Thursday. I will make an effort to post pictures of the evening.
It's raining, cold and dull here and I have a bit of a mood to match it, so I'm off to do some sorting in the fibre room, organizing needles and yarns and looking for more stash to clear. It seems to be a day for reflection and problem solving and it's a good day to stay indoors.
I've been playing on Ravelry over the weekend, answering a few questions and making an effort to be helpful. I went on a bit of a rant because sometimes it seems to me that people want all the answers before they start a project and I think this can really inhibit one's learning experiences.
Questions are very, very good things. I hope that people ask all the questions they need and I hope no one ever hesitates to ask me those questions as many times as necessary. Still, I believe that mistakes are where it's at: messing up helps define your limits, teaching you where you can and cannot go, forcing you to think critically and creatively about your problems. What works for someone else, amateur or expert, may not work for you, so once in a while, I deliberately give very little information about something I'd like class participants to do because I want them to discover the solutions through personal research. Sometimes, you have to just jump in and see what happens.
Ravelry is an excellent resource, but like every other playground, not everyone plays nice. Over the past two days, I've read discussions that have become arguments which have descended into personal attacks on other Ravellers. Some behaviour is quite childish--code words used to insult other people? Really?
It's too bad, but the fact that some people attempt to silence and intimidate others is good reason to speak up. Everywhere I turn, in Internet forums, in business, in the press, in all our levels of government, people use personal attacks, deceit and dirty tricks to strengthen whatever agenda they're championing. No matter which side you're on, this behaviour should worry you because when someone else (or you) behave this way, when we're all expected to be in lockstep with one another, we're well on the road to losing our freedom of speech, among other democratic rights. If you think these behaviours don't affect you, think again. If they don't now, they will and that should scare us all.
The next time someone challenges you this way, don't return the favour. Continue to speak up, let your voice be heard, as loudly as you need, but refuse to be silenced. Most of us want to be kind, good people (even bullies often realize that their behaviour is unacceptable), but sometimes, you have to "whack someone hard with your umbrella with all the lovingkindness you can manage."