UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

November 20, 2009

Jupiter is closer than Saturn

Filed under: discussion — UndyedYarnpire @ 6:54 pm

I am wondering whether I should talk about this again. It seems personal and not very fiber-related.

When I found the *LSG Spinning group on Ravelry, I was interested because there seemed to be less of the newbie repetition and the G part of the name of the group would put off those smarmy women who think the only jobs women can ever have are being a housewife and mother. [*Lazy Stupid Godless]

There was something that went around and I PM’d someone who then mentioned there was a “local” LSG knitters group. It is “Bay Area” but 95% of all activities take place in areas the BART does not go. [Of course, some of that is a BART failing since south bay should be considered part of the Bay Area; San Jose has the largest population and its surrounding satellite towns have a lot of the jobs. There really was no excuse for not having public transit that goes all the way around the Bay.]  Now since I do not usually take public transit, this is not a huge deal, theoretically, but in practice the only places far from BART all require at least an hour of driving. I refer to most of south bay as “orbiting Saturn” to explain why I never go there.

Recently someone set up an excursion in Berkeley. There is no parking in Berkeley. Except for the parts of Berkeley that are worse crime-wise than the reputation that Oakland has of being the murder capital of the country. Still, it is not a spinning thing, so I would only need a small bag of knitting to fit in, and I could get a ride or something.

Then I realized where they were holding it. Realized beyond the logistics. Jupiter is a campus bar.

Several people have posted in the thread saying how much beer they are going to drink. One of them lives hours from Berkeley and will definitely be driving.  I refuse to attend events where people publicly admit they will be drinking and then driving. Sure, if an average size person has one beer with food and then socializes for an hour, it is not going to be illegal. That means it is a peeve and I should just quietly not attend.

I drink alcohol. I am almost 40 and I am an adult without addiction problems. But why would I want to go out drinking with strangers? Why would I want to knit under the influence? It just seems like a bar is one of the worst choices.

Add in the campus adjective prefacing bar and I was left thinking these people must all be under 25, tattooed, pierced, and basically pretending they are not grown up yet. It would be a repeat of Yarn School (may it rot in the lava-blasted netherworld).

I unsubscribed from the group. I am not going to south bay. I do not want to go drinking. Obviously this group has nothing to offer me. I am still reading the LSG spinning group though.

Someone recently invited me to the Knit-One-One spinning group. So I went through the thread. It is an expensive group meeting, $8 per night. But again, I was really put off because 3 people specifically mention that they are bringing wine. I went the first night they did it, and everyone there seemed to know each other and they all seemed to be spinning the same fiber from the same vendor—- who does not actually exist in real life- even though she is local, you must buy online! and the prices are horrible— it was already its own little club and it was quite clear they did not want anyone else.  My major problem with it was that the chairs were too high. My feet did not hit the ground. It was hard to treadle my wheel. But they had more bottles of wine than there were people.

I want to be more social. I think I would enjoy spinning with other people. But then I remember that I do not usually like other fiber people. There are the mommies with their “Thou shalt only make things for babies!” attitudes who say it is [immoral] to make things for yourself when there are children who do not have coats for winter. There are the pierced and tattooed people who seem to run to poverty and their attitude that you should not buy nice things while there are poor people who have much greater needs. I just do not understand either of these extremes. I do not have children. I give generously to charities I support. Other people’s children suffering is really not my problem. Societally there is a problem, yes, but my solution is universal contraception. [And that is “immoral” too, someone actually said contraception is the same as genocide!] I know there are people who are poorer than I am. But a shocking number of them buy alcohol in bars and then get on my back because I bought 2 ounces of cashmere for myself. I do not go around buying myself things randomly, but if I find something I really want and it costs less than $20, I am going to buy it. I can afford this because I do not waste my money drinking in bars.

I am happy enough letting other people live their lives and quietly not attending events where people exhibit choices that do not fit with my expectations. But no one else ever is toward mine.  And the more alcohol they drink, the more I feel like the whipping boy.



  1. Because I’m the one who invited you to the Bay Area LSG group I suppose I feel somewhat responsible for your feelings of alienation. I’d like to apologize for your dissatisfaction with our group, and if I could change anything I’d love for you to give us a chance. Many of the members have developed close friendships despite age differences, personal differences, and availability.

    I know that it’s highly unlikely that you’d choose to attend the knit night in Berkeley at this juncture, but I would like to say on the behalf of the group that we’re not a collection of punks under 25 that don’t want to grow up. Many of us are over 30, career women, some are nearing (or into) retirement, most of us spin, most of us knit, many of us crochet. We’re all very, very different people, and we’re all incredibly respectful of each individuals personal opinions and beliefs – something I’m particularly proud of.

    Everyone is cautious and keeps an eye on one another to insure that no one drives home drunk (we even have a DD usually).

    While many knit nights are in the south bay we do venture out; There are many members that live in SF, Oakland, Berkeley, and beyond (some in Davis, some in Santa Cruz, some as far out as Fresno). Just about every meet we have involves at least one new person, coming for the first time, and I don’t think we’ve ever experienced any genuine discomfort to that end. Not everyone comes to drink alcohol and knit, but we do all attend these nights because we want to be social. We have members in AA that don’t drink, we’ve got women who can’t drink, women that won’t, and women that just aren’t interested in alcohol at all.

    I’m very sorry that you felt you wouldn’t fit with us; I wish you the best of luck in finding a social knitting group should you decide that the LSG contingent isn’t for you.

    Comment by knitwithit — November 20, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

    • I am totally willing to accept that I have a false interpretation. I just do not go places where I feel I will be uncomfortable. I usually make the decision to quietly absent myself because other people’s choices are not about me.

      I think knit nights for the group are wherever someone has enough enthusiasm to actually organize it. I am not organizing any, so we can clearly see one part of the problem. When KLAS things are announced in the south bay, lots of people jump in and act all excited. When the Berkeley thing was announced, it seemed like most of the people replying were saying they were uninterested. Meaning that no one wants to feel stupid enough to volunteer for the abuse twice. Almost everything in south bay has parking and everyone knows you can’t get there on a bus, so the obvious naysayers are tired. Or maybe they get drowned out by everyone else being excited.

      I am sure you are all wonderful people. But if I am going to be intolerant about people drinking and driving, then I should not go to a bar. That is where it is.

      You are running up against a comparison to the Yarn School people who all seemed mostly adult, but when I arrived it was like 9th grade gym class picking teams for volleyball. I was, after seeing most of the women in various states of undress due to *gack* shared bathrooms, I can safely tell you I was the only woman there without a tattoo. I am the only person who can go from California to Kansas and end up being the most conservative person there.

      Comment by UndyedYarnpire — November 20, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

      • “Berkeley thing was announced, it seemed like most of the people replying were saying they were uninterested. Meaning that no one wants to feel stupid enough to volunteer for the abuse twice.”

        I feel like that may be an unfair judgment? The East Bay nights are a new thing for us, this is our first East Bay KLAS and we’re still getting our bearings, but we’ve got 10+ people planning on being there. Jupiter is convenient for BARTers, most of us won’t go into Berkely/Oakland/SF to get to a location that involves complicated PT, which most of us rely upon (one of our members buses up from Santa Cruz every 2 weeks to join in).

        As one of the people organizing this meetup I feel that the “no one wants to feel stupid enough” comment is inaccurate. We make sure to have one organizer there every time we have an event; perhaps the laid back attitude doesn’t work for some but it’s seemed to work flawlessly for us for the past year. The four moderators/organizers spend a lot of time every week making sure that we’ve got all of the details correct, we make sure to pick a location that is acceptable for the majority, and to rotate evenings so that everyone gets a chance to come out. We never make plans for an event that the four of us aren’t 100% behind, unanimously. Each meeting is planned behind the scenes for ~2 weeks before it’s announced to the group.

        To each his own, I guess. :( I completely understand where you’re coming from, I just feel that shoving one group of 100+ people in with an organization we’ve never been involved with is a little sad. I think there’s a 50/50 split as far as tattoos go, some people have them, some don’t – probably about the same when it comes to members that drink/don’t drink.

        As I said before, I wish you the best of luck in finding a social crafting group that’s right for you. There’s got to be one out there somewhere. :) I’m sure you’ll find the perfect one eventually, maybe you can even start one of your own!

        Comment by knitwithit — November 20, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

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