Sunday, March 09, 2008

Living Laptop-Free in a Technical Knitting World

...or something like that.

The past couple weeks of not being able to use my computer have been equally frustrating and relaxing. Sounds kinda contradictory, doesn't it? With the kids being sick and wanting to spend their "recuperating time" sitting in my big bed watching their favorite dvds on the laptop (and dabbing their noses with Puffs Plus), made for very little time to blog, check Ravelry, read other people's blogs or knit/spin.

I don't resent their confiscating the computer. At least, now I don't. I realized that I've been much more relaxed and less stressed than I usually am because I hadn't been constantly reading emails, getting random irritating junk in my Outlook, spending extra money on impulse yarn/fiber purchases because I was bored, and making sure I kept up with this or that....It was a huge relief. I started out my knitting lifestyle without a blog, without Ravelry, without reading anyone else's blogs or even knowing there were online yarn stores out there. (Yes, I've led a sheltered life.) I was blissfully knitting along, happy as a clam, enjoying all my knitting time and knitting one thing at a time! Crazy, huh?

Every year since then, I've branched out...first with a blog, then reading other people's blogs, buying yarn/fiber online (sometimes without thinking) and then the wonderful Ravelry. I had to stop one day and realize that I'd spent more time on the computer than with needles, yarn or fiber in my hand. I'm, like, "Hey, what the heck am I DOING???"

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being able to blog, read blogs, meet new people, have the convenience of buying the most awesome stuff online AND all the fantastic things I can't possibly name that are on Ravelry. But...this is a somewhat big but(he he)...I miss just knitting.

I miss feeling that I can knit without having to keep up with all the new patterns, yarn and "stuff" out there, which can be entirely overwhelming sometimes. I know I don't HAVE to keep up, but there is sometimes the feeling that you need to in order to know what the heck in going on in the knitting world...and, with me working at the yarn store, sometimes it's essential. Some of my friends look at me and say, "You don't know about so-and-so or such-and-such????!!??" and I feel like an idiot.

But, having a forced "internet time-out" or ITO, is refreshing. Uplifting. Motivating. At least for me. I was knitting at my own pace, not worrying about finishing this or that, not running over to check someone's blog, etc. And it was nice. More than nice. Magical!

Now, I don't expect that I'll ever stop blogging anytime soon or buying yarn online or visiting Ravelry (Heaven forbid! I'd die!), but taking a break (even if it's unexpected) is something I'm going to try and do more often.

And, look, I didn't even include pictures! (not that you'd want to see me sitting on the couch knitting or my kids being sick and grumpy)

I still love writing letters to people by hand (imagine that!), keeping a pretty bound journal, reading books (not ebooks, though I've heard it's great), and knitting (and spinning) with my hands...not with my eyes on the computer.

Do any of you miss the "old times" without so much technology interfering with your knitting? Or are you so happy that knitting is so much a part of technology/internet/etc? Would love to hear your opinions on this.

Happy Knitting!


Rachel said...

Hi--I've been reading your blog for a few months now and enjoying it though I can be horrible about commenting. Felt the urge to answer your question tonight though! I do have a blog, read lots of others, and am hooked into Ravelry as well. I do enjoy all of that and love the ability to find great yarns and patterns and see others creativity because it motivates me. But in general, I'm fairly anti-technology and really start to feel the walls closing in on me when I spend a lot more time at the computer than I have to for my research (am a biologist doing a PhD). When I'm in the field away from it all, while I feel an occasional urge to get back to that online community, I really like/need that 'offline' time. So I completely understand how you felt relief...I think all of us could use an 'unplugging' more often than not! And you are right, we'd probably be way more productive on the knitting front if we did that. :)

cayli said...

I totally agree that there have been days that I get off the computer and say to myslef if I had just spent all that time knitting I could of been done with what I was working on.

Crazy but true.

Jackie said...

I agree 100%. I spent the day yesterday just knitting and felt that I actually accomplished something. The computer takes up so much time, and there are way too many beautiful knits out there to look at. Sometimes you need to pull the plug for a while.

freshisle said...

I agree totally. There are many wonderful things that the Internet has brought to my knitting life but more actual knitting time isn't one of them. I frequently have to say to myself, "Knit what you want, not what would make good blogging or what is 'in' at the moment."

KSee said...

I also have to agree. I get on the computer as soon as I have my first cup of coffee in the morning, then get ready for work. When I get home, I check my email then google reader. My knitting time is when I sit in front of the TV in the evenings and weekends. Love DVR! It is the email at work that gets to me. I feel that each email needs immediate attention so my work life is in a constant state of bouncing from this to that to accomplish and get it done off my plate.
I have learned so much more about knitting with the internet. I have made many friends through reading blogs and have been lucky to meet some in person. And yes, spent money buying yarn. I am hoping that I have attained a balance. Now, on to second cup of coffee, shower and to work!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina -- I think that the word is balance and all to many of us don't make an attempt to find a balance for all of the things that are important to us in our lives. I was feeling negligent that I don't have a laptop and am not keeping up as well as I should. While I am still going ahead with that purchase I am going to keep in mind the need for balance in my life -- family always first. Take care -- Patti