Thursday, August 16, 2007

Looking Through A Glass Onion

Well my pretties, I looked through the bent back tulips to see how the other half lives and, despite my strong opinions made while waiting in line, I hypocritically and silently slipped under the velvet rope to the Place That Shall Not Be Named (hereinafter called “The Place”).

First off, I'll include the requisite: "Wow, the people who created The Place are very dedicated and talented and a lot of work must have gone into it, blah, blah. I'm not undervaluing their efforts in any way with this post."

That said, I can truly see the mass-appeal of The Place.

But I’ve never been one to enjoy a mass of any sort. They make me claustrophobic. What if someone screams “fire!” and the mass starts running—are you supposed to swim in mass of hysterical people? Or is that just avalanches?

I guess it’s moot since I can’t swim.

For shits and grins, I decided to put in my queue a knitting project I’ve been baking up (literally and figuratively--this knit involves cake) in the back of my head for a while to see how The Place would handle something that hasn’t been knit before.


It’s very interesting when you don’t want to color in the lines at The Place.

It gives you all these pop-up warning windows if you try to enter a yarn or a pattern that isn’t in their database. It’s something akin to “Are you sure you want to color outside the lines?” “Would you like to redefine the lines (i.e. add yarn or link a pattern)?” Maybe these things will disappear once The Place chops down the velvet ropes and lets everyone in equally and more bizzaro materials and patterns are added to their master databases.

I honestly didn't feel like taking the time to redefine the lines in which to color by adding my bizzaro materials and patterns to their list.

Why not?

It's my understanding that the Place was set up to unite knitters/crocheters through the common patterns and materials they use.

So if you're doing the Twist on the dance floor and everyone else is doing the Boot Scoot Boogie, you are pretty much invisible.

However, that can be said about anything not just The Place. That's probably an unfair analogy.

The Place is definitely what you put into it. I didn't really feel like putting the effort in to justifying my dance preferences in adding them to the master list of dances (i.e. yarn).

You will freaking love The Place if can’t live without a detailed cyber catalogue of your yarns. Or you might be like me and think cold oatmeal has more personality than a giant list of your yarns (trust me, cold oatmeal has personality when you pair it with saran wrap and your dead pet goldfish).

The ability to catalogue your yarnly goods, or "stash" is a key feature being touted by The Place and it's members.

The word "stash" to me however still conjures up images of tiny elaborate wood worked boxes where one keeps illicitly obtained dried plants for smoking. I may have hung out with the wrong crowd in college though.

Maybe it's my office-monkey training, but I don't see the appeal of coming home to do data entry when more often than not, data entry finds it's way into my day to day tasks at work. Doing what I do at work for "fun" no matter what the guise has zero appeal to me. But then again my catalogue of yarnly goods isn't as voluminous as some--and it never will be. I can live with skipping this feature.

Are you feeling lonely? Misunderstood? The Place is perfect for starting an online group of like minded people with razor thin scopes of interest. You can totally find other right handed, Republican, pro-choice, bunny hugging but deer hunting, continental style knitting knitters that are allergic to wool. They'll even have kicky logo to match their cool group.

I guess I just don’t get what the big excitement is.

If you're still in line, will The Place be for you?

The answer is yes if:

* You don't mind having to color in the lines.

* You're feeling isolated and you want to find other knitters/crocheters like you that enjoy sporting a "W" and a "Pro-Choice" bumpersticker on their truck with the deer antlers mounted to the grill that you drive to SNB where you sit across the room from the people who knit with wool lest you break out in hives being anywhere around it and discuss the unethical treatment of bunnies by cosmetic companies with the others as you pick your stitches.

* Data entry is your next true love (besides knitting or crocheting).

There's nothing wrong with you if you love these things either in whole or in part.

I'm not defecating in your Captain Crunch when I express my opinions of The Place. I'm just saying The Place isn't my cup o'tea because I don't like tea and I don't like pissing in cornflakes.

My hypocritical nibble of the forbidden fruit was not to just taste an exotic, much-hyped overripe apple--I can now honestly stand by every preconceived notion I had before. The Place just isn’t for me.

I feel like a square peg being squished into a round hole when I'm on there. A better analogy is that I feel like a super chunky yarn being knit on size US 1 needles.

It's doable, but it's painful.

To those of you still in line: as I said, if you like data entry, cold oatmeal, and weird super-specialized cyber groups, keep drooling away as you wait in line.

For the rest of yas, don't let the hype overcome you.


Blogger Cheesy Knit Wit said...

Hee hee. You cracketh me upeth! :)

1:26 PM  
Blogger Krysstyllanthrox said...

That actually rather sums up my feelings on it. I keep visiting it and waiting for lightening to strike so that *shazam!* I suddenly get all the hype.

I find it useful for finding yarn/pattern matchups...well, ideas. Can't say I've actually even started on one of the 'matches'. But that is about it. I loathe their forum setup and several other aspects.

Glad to know it isn't just me that is underwhelmed.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Bezzie, I love you! Brilliant. Just brilliant.

The only reason I would consider getting on The List is so that I might find out the dirt on why so many disgruntled knitty-heads are abandoning ship.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

I totally agree. The more I hear about The Place, the less I want to do it. It just sounds like work to me, and I have enough of that.

Yeah, why are so many abandoning the board right now? I was thinking it was just a bad summer, but now I'm curious . . .

2:34 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Well, I have no idea either why they are leaving, I think some peeps have been picking at other peeps. Anyways... I always like hearing your side of the story so to speak, you see things in a different way and make me think...a lot..thanks for that! :)

2:48 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I am using it as a database for myself. I like looking thru others databases, and finding new patterns that I wouldn't have otherwise seen. While I may have posted once or twice in their forums, I have no clue why knittyheads are jumping ship...if you find out, email me. :)

2:59 PM  
Blogger Poops said...

Um, Bezz. Can you be a Superspy for us? Maybe flash your membership card and see if you can sleuth out why the Knittyheads are jumping ship, and what, if anything, it has to do with The Place?


I would do it myself as a PSA, but I haven't joined because I was pretty sure from the get-go that it would just cut into my valuable knitting and spinning time.

Get back to us on this.

3:20 PM  
Blogger funfairiegirl said...

I like the projecgts page as I take pics of them and then forgot things and I get to look at other people's projects of things that have bad pics in the mag or book or whatever, but I am not putting my stash in. My stash is huge and I already have it in excel.

4:00 PM  
Blogger maryannlucy said...

DD loves your penis, and we both love your crack me up whilst making a helluva lot of sense...caught a bit at "The Place" that there was some snarking on the knittyheads group, don't need that crap so I am not playing at the is TOO short, and it is all VERY unnecessary. Keep it up Bezzie, I will live it vicariously through you ;-)

4:03 PM  
Blogger buttercup said...

People are jumping ship from the Coffeeshop to hang at the forums in at The Place? Really??? Odd that.

I don't do the forum thing there, although I have joined groups. Too much of an effort when have all that KnittyHead love. Besides, I haven't hung out on line cause I'd rather knit lately.

Anyway - all I really thought when I read your post was "Ummmm! Capt'n Crunch!" heh

4:05 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I hear you.

I make it what I want.

I don't upload and cataloge stash because that isn't important to me.

I don't do data entry...if a pattern/yarn (like many I use, think handspun and simple patterns I invent) aren't there I just leave it and put it up how I want.

It works for me. I like the page with all my projects on it for some reason, and I like the pretty pictures everywhere. I'm easy to please though.

It isn't for everyone, but really, what is?

I know I'm not :), nor is sheep keeping.

Hope Chunky is feeling much better by now!

4:37 PM  
Blogger Brena said...

I do have a strange fondness for data entry. Maybe it's because I don't do it for a living, but instead create the data entry applications. That must be it.

I'm hyper-organizable and love lists so I have to admit that's it's main appeal for me.

The groups are out of control though... although why isn't there an OCD ravelry group, you know? i would've thought it would've been the first one!!!! Or did I miss it?

4:54 PM  
Anonymous kristi and otis said...

Ok, so I signed up out of total curiousity but I'm still in line. I'm like you about The Place but just want to see if The Place will prove me wrong...only time will tell. I don't have stash but I am curious about projects and what people use - we shall see.

5:18 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Hey Bez, I'm not really sure why, but I'm starting to get the vague feeling that you're not a big fan of The Place. Intuition, I guess. ;)

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

You know what? I just don't knit enough or have enough yarn or enough know-how to really make the most of The Place. I like it, I love whiling away the hours looking at stuff and whatnot. I don't know.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

I'm still in line for "The Place" because I'm curious. But ya know, I don't currently catalog my patterns and yarn. Why would I take the time to do that for others to go through?

6:28 PM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Well, I haven't moved forward, nor backward in the place's queue, so guess I'll just live vicariously through peoples' comments about it.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Kim-n-Cocoa said...

I got into the place recently. I'm enjoying it for a couple of reasons. I have been trying to organize my life recently: My house, my office, my classroom, and my crafts. This has been a help. Do I have all my stash in there yet? Nope not nearly. But when I do I think it will be great because for a non organized dweeb, I'll be able to see what I actually have without having to pull out the stash and make a mess. And perhaps that will stop me from wasting money (That I can use better elsewhere) because I will stop buying the same/or similiar yarn because it is purty.

8:38 PM  
Blogger janna said...

Well, Bezzie, I've gotta say I'm enjoying the Place. I especially like seeing other people's versions of stuff I'm thinking about making. But if you don't want to go there, no one's making you!

9:22 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

people are jumping ship? hmm. i think that just happens once in a while anyway, whether or not there is a new place to go. i took pretty pictures of my yarn. it will be nice to look at now that i culled and moved to a new place. need to remember what i have. but yeah, it's not some huge deal to me. so what the heck is your name on there?

9:54 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm not joining either. It's not my thing, and I hate crowds.

I teach college courses online, so I really don't want to spend time uploading tons of knitting stuff too. Too much like work, and I wouldn't be in charge.

7:11 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I don't get the whole thing. If I want to take pictures of somethng, it sure isn't my yarn. And if I can't remember if I own some kind of yarn, then I have WAY too much. I have a small bin of yarn and I like it that way. I buy yarn as I need it and can't see the purpose of keeping large quanitites of it around. Are we afraid of a sheep famine? The only time I bought yarn for no purpose (other than it was pretty) was at Stitches last year. It is still sitting there. Sock yarn is my exception because I know I can always make another pair of socks. I guess my uncool knitterness is showing. Knitting is something I do, not what I am.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I'm in the Place and I like it - but the data entry is quite time-consuming and mindless. What I like the Place for is looking for pictures and links of free patterns. Quite often you find neat patterns that a single person has come up with (like some of your own) that are not on Knitty, Magknits, or other free sites.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Magatha said...

I wonder what the end use of all that collected data will be.
I'm paranoid like that.

Our stash box was a 'hollowed out' Sociology textbook. We though it was funny. ;-)

10:48 AM  
Blogger Starfish said...

I don't think I have any interest in "the place". Especially if there are already cliques bitching about who's yarn site is better. Yikes. I guess I'll wait until all the bugs are out and everyone stops complaining.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I came across your knitted penis on The Place and I was like hey, I recognize that penis! Sure enough, it was you. Anyway yeah, I find the coloring within the lines part annoying too, I have some brandless yarns and it seemed like I had to click ten thousand buttons to convince them that I really didn't know what this yarn was called. I definitely enjoy the searching through other peoples' pictures more than putting up my own stuff part, and am a little scared of the forums in general over there. There are A LOT of groups. Personally, I've been using The Place more like I would use Wikipedia - I've never posted a Wikipedia article, but I sure read a lot of them.
FWIW, I've read the threads at The Place and still have no idea what the heck is going on at knittyboard. Things are no less cryptic over there.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Sherry W said...

I love you Bezzie, but I have to admit as one of the many volunteer editors this post kind of pains me.

I'm in full support that this may not be a 'thing' for everyone or worth the crazed hype. But Ravelry is not some kind of conformist factory club because they are making an attempt at creating an accurate database of commercial yarns and patterns. You are in no way prevented from adding your own things. The message is there so there are not 900 misspelled entries of cascade 220 in the master database. That we have to then edit out.

IMO, it's kind of an ouchie that I spend time editing stuff that I think may be useful to my knitting kin (who chose to use this tool), and you think that it is somehow making anyone 'color in the lines'.

Pass me the oatmeal and I won't make you eat it. Just please stop throwing it at me.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

You know I'm boring when the first thing I think about magatha's stash-box is "but you can't fit that much yarn in a sociology book!"

I don't have much interest in The Place, I've heard it's a good place for cataloguing & searching. But I'm in no hurry. Once the hype settles down I'll check it out.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

From what I've seen, The Place is nice enough, but would take a lot of my time. And I don't really want to know how much yarn I've got backlogged. :-)

5:20 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I agree that it sounds like far too much work. Lists do nothing for me. I need to fly by the seat of my pants and I kinda think The Place wouldn't be so great for a fly by the seat of her pants knitter.

Plus what the heck is up with making people wait?? That is just weird.


6:00 PM  

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