Just the other day on a Facebook group I saw a comment which started innocuously enough but by the time I had read the thread to the end I had steam starting to come out of my ears. And so, another slightly ranty blog post ensues.
I hasten to add that it wasn't the Everyday Knitter facebook group where this thread happened and I'm not going to name it for fear of adding fuel to the flames. I think I've said enough over there for the time being. Anyway, it started out as a comment about people learning to read charts and whether there was any advantage in being able to do so.
There then followed lots of helpful advice with people merrily debating the pros and cons of each. There then followed a series of far less helpful and constructive comments which is when my right eye started to twitch ever so slightly.
"Knitters who read from charts are lazy"
"There is no reason to use charts when all the decent designers provide written instructions"
And my personal favourite "Charts are antiquated"
By this time my blood had started to boil and I had to step away from the laptop.
Seriously, why on earth do people think they have a right to criticise others for how they chose to assimilate pattern directions. If they think the use of a chart is lazy what does that say about the use of stitch markers, or heaven forfend, lifelines. Why not go the whole hog and insist that we all knit complicated fair isle in mercerised cotton whilst adhering to directions written over 2 pages of densely packed 8 point Arial font? Surely anything else is just bone idle?
As soon as people start asserting the viewpoint that there is only 1 way to do things I know it's time to back away slowly. Strangely enough, this 1 way, this solitary way always seems to coincide with the speakers way of doing something and they are never backwards at coming forwards with this view.
Faced with the Knitting Police - whether they appear in front of you in public and whip your sock from your hands, or whether they are behind a keybaord on a Facebook group I now employ the tried and tested technique which got me through many a visit from the Health Visitor when my boys were babies.
Simply *smile, nod, ignore. Repeat from * to end.
Disclaimer: In case anyone were to think I am maligning health visitors let me be clear. They do a wonderful job in difficult, trying circumstances. We had 3 HVs during our baby days (prem babies, lots of TLC needed - won't bore you with the details). 2 HVs were wonderful, sainted creatures who made me tea, dried my tears and told me that despite all my protestions to the contrary I wasn't the worlds crappest mum. The third was awful. Opinionated, bossy and never failed to make me cry. I learned to deal with her by employing the above advice and it worked a treat.