I don’t know what Buddhist monks do, but maybe this is similar. (Or maybe it’s only Level 1 in their lifelong video game.)

Lately I’m starting to believe that all anger and all violence is rooted in hurt feelings and fear. And I’m on a continual quest to control my temper. (My temper is roughly 400% better than it used to be, but there’s still room for improvement.) So this means my latest and greatest technique for temper-tempering is stopping to examine why I’m angry, and if the reason is another, underlying emotion (like fear or hurt feelings), then I force myself to admit that and express it in a reasonable way.

That’s not easy. And you know what’s even less easy? Seeing someone else act like an angry jerk and then trying to figure out if they’re hurt or scared and then forcing myself to have compassion for that person and to find a way to deal with him/her without resorting to reciprocal anger. That’s so difficult that I hardly ever get it right. But I keep trying.

It’s like a detective show. It’s like a puzzle. Only some things in this world make me feel angry. So which ones are they, and why? No, honestly. What is the real reason why? And how can I use that to relate to others and to quit being such a bitch all the time?

I’m working on that. That’s my hobby now. That, and the knitting.

different kinds of crafty

I recently went to all the libraries near me and checked out every knitting book they had. In one of the Stitch ‘n Bitch books, author Debbie Stoller lays out the four types of knitters, with equal fun-poking and discussion of the pros and cons of each. The first type was knitters who are really into the technical aspect of knitting and choose to make things that are challenging and show off their skillz. Okay, got it.

The second type was dubbed “She’s Gotta Have It” knitters, and they’re the ones who see something they want to wear/own and then figure out how to knit it. And that, for the most part, is me. Even though I’m a noob, I know I’m that kind of knitter because I’m that kind of seamstress, crocheter and beader, too. Debbie went on to say that those types rarely learn skills outside of their comfort zone, which made me bristle for about three seconds before I realized that I didn’t mind that being true, as long as I knew enough knitting to knit what I like.

Then there were two other kinds of knitters that I can’t remember. Sorry. But it’s there in her book, if you want to go read it for yourself.

Anyhow. This categorization of crafters made the wheels in my mind turn. Yes, the number-one consideration for me is how the finished piece looks, and whether I want to wear it or see it being worn by someone else. Of course it is. But could there really be other kinds of knitters on Earth? And, if so, would I be able to identify them in the future?

So then, the other day, I was skimming through the forums on Ravelry.com and saw peeps talking about Vogue Knitting magazine. That interested me because Vogue Knitting is a big part of why I learned to knit. Every season of my adult life, I’ve browsed through that mag at the racks and wished that I could knit. So it was with extreme rapture that, after taking the knitting lessons last month, I was finally able to justify my very own subscription to Vogue Knitting, whose Fall ’09 issue was so beautiful, it made me sick. Every orange sweater in it, I wanted. And now I can have them. NOW I CAN KNIT THEM!!!!!1!!!1!!!! I HAVE THE POWER!! JUST LIKE HE-MAN DID, WHEN HE HAD THAT SWORD FROM CASTLE GREYSKULL!! EXCEPT THAT I DON’T THINK HE DID CRAFTS – HE JUST KILLED PEOPLE OR WHATEVER!!

So I’m on Ravelry, and they’re talking about the Vogue, and some of them are hating on it. They’re like “Oh, the sweaters are weird” and “The models are posed so weirdly” and “They’re all skinny and I’m not! Eff Vogue!”

And I became confused. Because, one, how could people not see that Vogue Knitting is the perfect blend of crafty magazine and fashion magazine?? Of course the models are going to be skinny and bent at weird angles. But the sweaters aren’t weird, they’re beautiful. They’re fashionable.

Second: Are we not knitters? We are Devo! (In this sentence, Devo means crafty.) Hence, we can take the Vogue sweater patterns and make them whatever size we want. Can’t we? Hope so, because I’m wearing at least one orange Vogue sweater this winter, y’all, even if I have to do quantum physics on the pattern, first.

Then, after all that thoughtage, I realized that people who dislike Vogue might be those other kind of knitters – the first kind Deb Stoller talked about. The kind who really, really like the process of knitting and don’t see it as a means to an end.

And, for those people, there is Interweave knitting magazine.

Right? Am I right? I mean, I like Interweave, too, but I can see that it’s a little hardcore for me. But, at the same time, I love and respect the people who like that magazine better, and all the other kinds of knitters. Because we’re all sisters here, aren’t we? (Yes. Guys, too.) We’re all fellow witches in the coven of craft.

And right now I’m having a flashback to the mid-‘90s, when I used to read the sewing newsgroups on Usenet and be amazed at the vicious arguments that broke out there, among crafters, on a forum that was meant to unite us. Good times, good times, as they say.

the sister-witch site in the coven of me

I finally got my Official Author Site, gwendolynzepeda.com, redesigned. If you look at it right after I’ve posted this entry, you’ll see that it needs a content update, too. But still, it’s kind of new and kind of fresh, and I feel like we should celebrate. So, pretty soon, I’m gonna have some sort of contest and give away an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of my novel that’s coming out in January. To one of y’all, for free, with free shipping. Signed, too, maybe.

I just have to think up a tortuous, narcissistic contest quiz, first. (One that will probably be easily winnable using Google, though.) That’ll be next entry. Also next entry, I’ll tell y’all my favorite easy summer recipes, most of which involve liquor and/or Mexican chili powder.

Take care until then.


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Posted in knitting, psychobabble, writing on 08/12/2009 11:37 pm


  1. Anne Claire

    Hello! Never commented before, but have been reading for a year or so. Anyways, I'm a social worker, and I try to teach my angry-for-good-reason teenage clients to think exactly the way you describe. In fact, you've reminded me to buy this poster for my office: http://portal.creativetherapystore.com/cts/cat/img/TCA-2_l.jpg

    So thank you, and I totally agree with you on the cause of anger. I know it's true for me.

    Also, you've got a swell blog here and you seem like an equally swell person. (Although I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that, it's always nice to hear.)

  2. Ooooooh … you got a good Kirkus Review! They hate everything! What was it a review for?


  3. Ooooooh … you got a good Kirkus Review! They hate everything! What was it a review for?


  4. Ooooooh … you got a good Kirkus Review! They hate everything! What was it a review for?


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