Tuesday, November 20

I found my stitches!

It's not that they were lost, I didn't remember they existed.

Readers may remember I am working on a large shawl with a long name from Victorian Lace Today. After finishing one of my three skeins, I calculated that I would be 82 stitches short. However, the border gets knit on smaller needles, so I was carrying on and not worrying too much.

Yesterday I was rooting through my swatch bowl and stumbled upon this:

A swatch of Domy Heather. This is at least 25 stitches by 25 rows, at least 625 stitches. Not only is 625 greater than 82, I can add 625 potential stitches to my calculations for skeins two and three. I have a surplus of 1,793 stitches.

Speaking of looking for stitches... I am a member of an on-line social networking site for knitters and crocheters. A place to share information, finished objects, search for patterns, yarn and especially pattern and yarn combinations. It's really cool and useful. One thing about it bugs me though: its slogan. I don't get it. Why would people who probably do not speak in a particular (and controversial) vernacular adopt it for their slogan? Why would two White kids from Boston think it would be attractive to knitters around the world to use improper English grammar emulating a particular segment of Black culture? A piece of "culture" that has negative connotations and a checkered history. (See Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals. He argues that Black English is really an adoption of the White Cracker redneck poor English, not something that denotes any proud African heritage.)

I mentioned this to a friend, a much younger friend, who also is a knitter and participant of this very useful site. Her reply surprised me, but it did explain things. It turns out that the slogan was not just some random bit of Black slang turned into a knitting/crocheting context, it is from a hip-hop song. One of those songs with words derogatory, offensive, shocking to some and just plain incomprehensible to many (including me). So now I understand better why those four particular words were used for the slogan, but I don't really understand. Why would a worldwide community of men and women, mostly women, who share a love for creating beautiful and useful objects with their hands want to use a slogan that is tied to a song with lyrics that are nasty, especially nasty towards women? Actually, there's more than one set of lyrics. I am not sure who wrote the song, who wrote which version, who came up with the line in the first place. Seems to be popular though, with cafepress t-shirts and everything. I've tried to read and reread the lyrics to see, perhaps the song is really a homage to women or a particular woman? A love song? I honestly cannot tell.


KarenJoSeattle said...

Dorothy, I have to agree. I don't get why the participants are so tolerant of this.

I wrote a comment to the powers that be there on finding this offensive along with a couple other comments I thought would be useful. The reply from the male of the pair was 'Because I liked it.'

As someone who invests in businesses, I found that extremely naive. As a woman, I'm offended.

Anonymous said...

I thought the slogan was hilarious until I looked at the song. That really left a bad taste in my mouth. I love parodies, but some stuff doesn't even deserve parodying. Are they going to follow it up using "row" for "ho"?

'Course, I didn't like the book titles _Stitch'n'Bitch_ or _Knitting with Balls_, either.


kmkat said...

I had no idea.

Anonymous said...

So, what's the name of the social networking site?

The more I read younger folks' blogs and stay connected with my teen kid and the way his classmates talk when they think adults aren't listening (like myspace or facebook), the more I understand how some words they use have definitely evolved. Joe still doesn't believe me that black boys call white boys nigga. He also finds it hard to believe a white boy can say that to a black boy without losing his face. It happens here. Every day.

ho, pimp, tight, nigga... these are used regularly in hip hop and rap and they elicit very different responses in this younger culture than they do to 40 somethings. The kids are somewhat desensitized. Slang words are evolving and, even though some are highly offensive to our generation, they are not to the majority of the kids in the HS here. Sup nigga? simply means "What's going on, my friend?"

It's fascinating to me.

Got the wedding DVD tonight - I'll show it to the family on Christmas when we think of family. Money's cool.

We just got back from a trip to London. I'm broke. The dollar is very weak. So, thanks for the check. Now we can eat lol

Later, sis. T