The Craftocado: Hell is Other People

Howdy, everyone!

As always, first and foremost: Whatcha makin’?

This week, I’m going to talk about something I have encountered many times in my crafting life: snobbery and general negativity. It infects every single crafting endeavour I have ever undertaken.

I’m sure many of you have encountered it as well. Right up front I will say that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with having a preference for finer materials in your work. Hey, I like nice soft skeins of alpaca and silk yarns as much as anyone. But they’re not suitable for every project, and a lot of the time I can’t justify spending the money and I go with cheaper options. If you like fancier materials and can afford them, then use them and enjoy them. Where it becomes a problem is when people treat others poorly for using less expensive materials.

I have seen this type of snootery take many forms. I’ve seen people get ripped to shreds in knitting and crochet groups for using craft store acrylic yarns. (“Acrylic yarn?!? *sniff!* I only knit with yarn handspun from the hairs harvested from a unicorn’s arse by woodland pixies at the first new moon after the vernal equinox on needles hand carved by monks from fallen baobab branches.”) I’ve seen an absolute beginner post a picture of her first cross stitch piece to a group and people tore apart her technique and called it trash. (We were all new at some point and learned along the way.) I’ve heard a story where a new mailler wore a chainmail piece to a comic con, and a vendor selling precious metal chainmail pieces made fun of her to her face for being proud of something she’d made with aluminum. (Plenty of professional maillers use aluminum. It’s cheap, lightweight, and comes in every colour.)

It always catches me off guard how mean people can be, when they make a choice to say something unkind when they could have welcomed a newbie to the fold, or offer suggestions in a constructive manner, or scroll on past and not say anything at all. I’ve seen it so many times, but it still astonishes me every time. It’s not that I want people to be saccharine and fake with each other, or not have opinions about things. It’s just that some people blow so far past that line and gleefully jump straight into cruelty.

Now, there are plenty of good craft groups online where people are helpful and supportive, where the culture of the group is one that frowns upon tearing each other down, where this kind of behaviour is shut down. But there are definitely some that do not have that culture. I’ve learned to become more selective about the groups I join, and if there’s trouble I leave them. So I don’t encounter it as often as I used to. But I do still see it here and there. Just this week I saw photos in a crochet group of someone wearing a crochet bikini that the wearer had freestyled. It was nice work. Most comments were very positive, but some people slid in comments about the immorality of it all, and some body shaming. Thankfully, a mod stepped in and deleted those comments, and wrote a post asking people not to do that. A bunch of people were tossed out of the group, and rightfully so.

Do you have any stories about people being snooty at you or someone else about crafts? Everyone here’s been great so far, but The Avocado in general seems to lean towards kindness for the most part, so I don’t anticipate any issues here. Y’all have been just lovely on these Craftocado threads.

The Craftocado will be off next week for the holidays, unless someone else wants to write something up for next Thursday. Short of that, we’ll be back in the new year.