Hurtful things on the forums

Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Haha, hey everyone I hope y'all are doing well. 

I thought I would post something shitty that happened to me a couple days ago. As many of you know, I swear a wee bit in a few of my patterns (and everywhere else for that matter) in this case I'm talking about [The Lonely Tree] (pattern) in particular.

A couple days ago I was linked to a thread though where folks were talking about the use of swearing in my patterns. I was never linked directly in this conversation and I don't think my pattern is named. But it is quoted, and The Lonely Tree shawl is so popular that I was notified once one of my online buddies recognized the quote. 

NOW. I'm posting this here because by the time I got around to reading the thread they had locked it down so no one else could comment. And I wanted the ability to respond. 

Here's the link to the archived thread:

And here's my response:

Two things. 

First: my feelings were hurt here. People are putting my intelligence and pattern writing ability (and quality) in to question because I used the word "Shit". I don't agree with them but the whole event of it sucked and I walked around feeling bummed out all day after I read it.

Second: I feel the need to defend the shit out of myself here. I have been bullied before and it sucks, I don't like that it's happening to anyone. Myself included. Even though I'm a big girl and I don't need approval from everyone.

Third (the last minute defensive point): I wanted to say that I have developed my writing style and personal voice completely intentionally. My use of cursing is totally on purpose and it is meant to convey a particular tone and mood to my patterns. I have been told over and over and over again that my personal writing voice is accessible and funny and I'm going to stick with that chunk of information while I lick my wounds here. 

Now is the time for the slight tangent: Not everything needs to be in a polite highly-edited "neutral" tone. That shit is boring and oppressive. My patterns are me, and I'm not going to stop writing them like that. 

Okay, there, I feel like I was able to get my points across there (I really do like the word shit, I've used it quite a bit here) 

Want to follow the discussion on ravelry? I posted this originally on my ravelry group. 


  1. i swear all the time too! which is sometimes problematic, especially because i work a lot with kids and youth, but if people are going to make judgements on character/skill/intelligence/ based on a (super snobbish and kinda upper-class mentality of) idea of what is "appropriate", that's a load of shit. and means they're probably miserable humans with nothing better to do than try to bring other people down by being asshats. also, one of my favourite quotes that i suspect you'll appreciate (it's national poetry month too, so it's fitting in all sorts of ways): “Cussing doesn’t come from a lack of vocabulary – I know all the other words. None of them speak the same language that my fucking heart does.” - anis mojgani

    1. Thanks for commenting! That is such a good quote! Like, really really perfect for this. It's true too. I mean, I didn't want to get into it and it's besides the point, but they've done all sorts of studies around intelligence and language usage (trying to prove that swearing = stupid) and they found the reverse. They say that people who swear tend to be more intelligent than those who don't. Why? I really have no idea. And I think intelligence is almost a red herring here too. I don't like that people think they can be mean to people who are less smart than them. (if it is even possible to judge that) People can be so mean! Anyway, thanks again for posting & that quote :)

    2. yea, the whole intelligence thing is just bullshit and elitist. i have two degrees, but i also have a lot of friends who dropped out of high school and are some of the most well-read and life-educated humans i've ever met. also, swearing has been proven to release tension, so really, it's better for your health to swear! people are jerks. that's why i tend to prefer dogs and little humans in lieu of the adult version haha. with the exception of some pretty cool folks. they tend to swear a lot too ;)

  2. Lots of people (me included) think that you are awesome, and really enjoy your style. Do not forget that. I think it's pretty weird having that kind of thread that long about a pattern and never referring to it or the designer.

  3. It's kind of freaky to be reading your post right now because I just cast on your Lonely Tree Shawl and am completely obsessed with your beautiful design. Personally, I loved reading your pattern notes and always appreciate everyone's personal style. Sorry that you felt bad all day after reading that thread ~ it's hard not to feel hurt when people talk about us and we don't get a chance to participate in the conversation.

  4. "I hear them say it:
    cuss words ain't for no lady
    but sometimes shit's real."

  5. I don't get the connection that people have between swearing and intelligence. I'll just say that I'm not really even a knitter but I follow your blog just because I like your writing and your pretty photos. Know that you have lots of fans who enjoy you because of the personality you inject into your work. Don't let boring folks get you down. :)

  6. Hi there, I've never commented previously on your blog, but I wanted to chime in with my support. I think its a fun and casual pattern writing style. I would read that pattern like I'm sitting in a room chatting with my best friend about knitting "Lets knit this SHIT!" I see it as fun and encouraging use of a cuss word. Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote very casually and encouragingly in her patterns too and we all know she's the bees' knees of KNITTERS. Anyone who would get offended by the use of SHIT in a pattern in the context that you've used it is probably a little tightly wound and definitely being overly sensitive. I say just keep doing what you're doing and don't even bother with uptight people. Your patterns are very lovely and haters are gonna hate.

    OR--- haha-- this is kind of an evil idea, but what if you offered two versions of the pattern-- the one with the cuss word could remain free and you could charge $1.00 for an edited version without the "dreaded S-word"? I guarantee she wouldn't be so offended by the word if she had the choice of paying to not see it!

  7. Keep doing what you're doing!
    Some people are just angry.
    Be who you are. What else can you do?

  8. You're amazing, don't stop swearing because of some boring haters!! You're great and your patterns are lovely.

  9. I read it and smiled. Had I designed a pattern as gorgeous as that, I would have used the exact same verbage! I write how I speak! Casting on tonight and VERY excited :D

  10. I read hrough the thread and I was actually happy to see that 75% of the posters were totally down with the cursing (but for real is the word SHIT actually a curse word?). Love your voice, forget the uptight haters.

  11. Good good good for you. <3

  12. I'm sarcastic. Many people hate that shit.
    Does it hurt? Of course. But do I really care? Nah!
    Say what you want to say. Do what you want to do.
    Be honest. Be kind. But above true to who you are.
    Ignore the bullies. Embrace the lovers!

    HUGS-Peg Graham

  13. Eh, if people have time to bitch online for hours, then they aren't using that time designing amazing patterns....and also FREE amazing patterns. It's your pattern, do what you want. Don't change. And if they did knit anything, I bet they weren't complaining when they used your fab patterns to work up something awesome. Folks have so many silly hang ups and waste so much time fussing.

  14. Nathalie Girard1 June 2014 at 04:28

    I just want to notify that you are a very generous person, you offer your patterns generously to everyone. Your writing style is refreshing and unique to you.
    If some people feel uncomfortable with your style, that they have to go their way without making nasty comments and hurtful. they are not worthy of your knitting ....
    I support you completely, you have a lot of talent and your patterns are amazing.
    Nathalie, from France.

  15. Wow! Now I'm inspired to go knit and crochet and shit like that! lol~~ People can really get on their high horse, can't they? I love your patterns, and wouldn't change a thing! Keep on the way you are,' cause obviously that's what shines through in your designs. Best wishes and happy stitching!

  16. I just finished your "All About Love" pattern. I learned to knit some 50 years ago, but just recently took it up again and this shawl was my first "re-dip" in the pool! I found your directions clear ad straightforward. In fact, I was drawn to this pattern because of your language! I figured I could easily understand anyone who talked like I did! Go Girl...from a senior Seattle knitter!

  17. Bullying is jealousy of the person that they really admire. So, I say keep up the good work. Most knitters don't give a shit what you say.

  18. Personally, I prefer the F-bomb, but to each her own! :) Love your patterns.

  19. I dont swear, and i hate swear words but i love your writing style and i just finished that pattern and love it!! You need to be you, and i need to be me. Thats what makes this world so beautiful.

  20. I swear all the time, at work and at home. I thought your "realness" was refreshing and I say, truly, the bullies can go fuck themselves.

    Check out my ravelry profile, maryskid-I state right up front that my favorite curse word is "shit".

    I forgot my google password or I would not have checked in here as anonymous.

    -I'm Heather, I'm 48 and I swear every day. However, I do NOT bully anyone, ever.

  21. Lol. I was reading your blog post in my mother-in-law's voice, adding a few of her favorite choice words for good measure!

  22. You probably missed the 220 "disagree"s the Op got. I added mine.

    I'm sorry you went through this, but keep in mind, the thread has 82 msgs, and a lot of them support your use of language. You have my support too.


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