Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Good 'ole Days

Remember when blogs could allow you to write anything, no matter how controversial or personal?

Gone Are The Days...
When I first started writing QueerJoe, I was a very different person and had quite a few very different priorities.

I often wrote blistering critiques of magazine and book designs (or designers in general) and I had no qualms about taking on ignorant viewpoints about politics, queer issues or personal pet-peeves.

I was also a lot more anonymous back then. People really didn't know who I was in real life, so I could afford to express my opinions, even when they were offensive.

A number of different factors have taken away some of that anonymity (Facebook, organizing the Men's Knitting Retreat, Rhinebeck, etc.), and more and more people actually know who I am, and might care a LOT about when I say something offensive. In recent months, I even met someone on my current project who knew about my blog.

I have to say, that when family, co-workers, friends, donors for the Men's Knitting Retreats, designers who I know personally, etc. are comprising the group of people who read this blog, it has definitely affected the things I write.

I thought I would hate feeling restricted in this way, but I'm finding it more satisfying to know that I can write a blog to such a complex audience.

Current Knitting
I finished weaving in all the ends in the Asherton Baby Blanket, and now I just need to wash it and block it. I think I'll wash and block both baby blankets at the same time and get them packed up and ready to send off to the expecting parents.

I also went back to an old sock project for this week's travels.

Remember these? I frogged the top of the first finished sock and re-finished it (so I could use up as much yarn as possible and get the longest cuff), and now I just have to finish up the other one.

I also like the Skacel sock yarns so much, it's practically all I knit socks with anymore. If I finish up my current socks, I'll start work on this new yarn, Skacel's Austermann Step sock yarn.

I LOVE this colorway, and I just noticed that one of the vendors who donated this year to the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat...Woolbearers in Mt. Holly, NJ, carries the Austermann Step yarn, although they don't have it in their on-line store. I may have to call them to see what colors they carry!

Readers' Comments/Questions
Leslie Sharr writes, "Pulling something like the Retreats off is very hard work, Joe. Do you think you'll do it again or will you request more assistance or hand it off to someone?"

Actually, coordinating the retreats has become relatively easy. Once we organized the first one, we could re-use a lot of the forms and web pages and ideas for subsequent ones. And honestly, these retreats are a lot easier than others, in that the guys who come to them are all fully committed to making them a success, as opposed to some similar events I've been to where attendees are more expecting to have things done to them or for them...if that makes sense.

All that being said, I am trying to set up the structure and the organization of the events in such a way that someone else could take it on if they wanted to, but I will definitely be organizing next year's event.

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