necrophilic otter rape

June 29, 2012

one of the most challenging things about maintaining a blog is managing content flow. one requires enough content to write about and it must be portioned out in regular intervals so as to avoid large gaps or backlog. going away to a big fibery event poses an interesting problem because, while providing excellent content for the blog, it’s really too much for one post. and posting every day at a retreat is, well, unrealistic.

this is the difficulty i face whenever i go to a knitting thing.

instead of giving you a blow by blow,
which, frankly, seems exhausting and rather boring,
instead, i’m going to take a different approach.
we’ll see if it works.
bear with me.
it’s a long one.

a very nice lady who reads my blog asked me at the retreat why i started blogging and i was hard pressed to answer her. i kinda copped out and told her i’d have to go back to the first post to remember why i started this whole thing. but the question stayed in the back of my mind for the rest of the weekend. why did i start the blog? and, more importantly, why do i continue? it’s not my job or anything. in fact, it’s probably cost me money. and yet i continue. why?

the answer came to me during the last night of the retreat at show and tell. at this point in my life, i’m pretty good at getting up in front of people and talking, but for some reason i was particularly nervous. as i was introducing my first item to share, a little unintentional clause slipped from my lips:

“since i moved, i don’t have any fiber people in my life”

and it made me realize that i’ve become a bit isolated when it comes to knitting. when i learned to knit in chicago, i quickly started a knitting group in my neighborhood (which continues till this day, i’m happy to report). we were mostly new to the craft, but in that little group, our identities as knitters were solidified. when i moved from chicago to pittsburgh, i was soon hired at natural stitches and for the next two years, i was immersed in a thriving fiber community. knitting has always been an extremely social activity for me, and the blog has been an extension of that. reading stephanie’s blog as i was getting started was an important part of why i got hooked on knitting. she’s someone i really admire, and i’m sure it was one of the reasons i started blogging. she’s my elizabeth zimmerman, if you will.

but like i told that room full of knitters, i don’t have fiber people in my life here. for the first time in my life, knitting has been a solitary activity for me and i think it’s taken a bit of a toll. it isn’t as if there aren’t people who knit here; i just haven’t had the time to find my niche. right now, the blog is my only connection to the fiber world. i write because people read and make me feel like i’m still part of the knitterverse.

which is why i went on this retreat. god knows i couldn’t afford it (a tax return well and thoroughly spent) but i think i was kinda lonely for knitters. i needed to be in a space where i could talk seriously about things like yarn choice, and needle size, and whether or not knitting a reinforced heal and grafting the toe on a mini sock for a yarn bomb was taking it too seriously. i needed to be with people who didn’t make me feel stupid for getting misty when the skein of laceweight i dyed so carefully to achieve a greyscale color gradient was ruined by a few drops of neon pink dye that leaked from someone else’s dye package. more than anything, i needed to sit and knit for hours with people.

i don’t know if this next year will be another year of knitting alone,
but even if it is, i’ll still have the blog.
so thanks for reading, bitches.

as for the retreat, itself,
you’ll have to settle for the highlight reel this time.
a big thank you to tamara who let me steal some of her photos.
any photo of me you see where i actually look good, she took.
(except the one over there)

knitter shuttle with jen, janice, rebecca, and michelle’s shoulder
our captain, sam (she designed her sweater)
risotto prep
pippin of finnriver farm/cidery
sam and i made the risotto! we were very proud
i look crazy in this photo so you know tamara didn’t take it.
stephen did.
freshy. who is both one of the nicest and most beautiful women i have ever met. also, very short.
no idea what i’m looking at so intently
socks that fit
i have no words
this is sarah. she unvented magic loop. she’s a better knitter than you.
my favorite yarn bomb

a big thanks to stephanie and tina for making it happen.
i really needed it.

what’s that?
you want to know what’s up with this post’s title?
fair enough.

on our first night, stephanie and tina warned us that if we heard an ungodly noise outside in the middle of the night that we should not go investigating. one night, they went to find out what the source of the horrific noise was and what they discovered was . . . disquieting. it was otter sex, which they explained is not something the lady otter is into at all. rather, it is an activity in which she is forced to participate. often times, she doesn’t survive. even if she doesn’t, the male otter . . . leaves satisfied.

you asked.
goodnight moon!

20 Responses to “necrophilic otter rape”

  1. Lynae Says:

    Sad I missed it! Wish you still lived here.

  2. Susie Says:

    I know what you mean about communal knitting. I’m lucky enough to live where there are so many knit shops that I have my pick of where to go so I don’t knit alone. You look like so happy in your photos. Glad to see you had such a great time.

  3. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    Posts like this are exactly why I love you and your blog. Yes, I love the sassy, irreverant posts as well, but it’s just the best when you show your big ol’ fibery heart. You’ll definitely find your people in MI when you need them, in the meantime thanks for staying connected with us!

    p.s. and Steven Jr. says hello. Or, he would if he weren’t an alpaca. And could talk.

  4. Deb from California Says:

    Thanks for the explanation, I think. Never knew what I missed by arriving so very late. Like you, this retreat was a reconnection to knitters. I am so very glad to have met you.

  5. Nicole Says:

    So glad you had such an amazing time! If you ever want to meet up for some local social fiberism, let me know – Brighton/Howell area isn’t too far from me. :)

  6. Catherine Says:

    Fear of otters is called lutraphobia. This last paragraph was lutraphobia inducing… but the rest of it made me very jealous! :) The retreat seemed extremely nice! And I’m sure you’ll soon find your social knitting niche, for the time being we are very proud to be in your knitting circle!


  7. I’m sad you don’t have people to knit with. Being so close, you would think we would be able to make it work, but I think our schedules are a bit different. Most of my knitting is done alone in 20-30 minute spurts these days. I loved that you, Erica, Jill, and I were able to do the class together in May- it was a very welcome ‘retreat’ from the day-to-day. The gourmet retreat looks fabulous, I’m so glad you treated yourself to the event.

  8. breeanelyse Says:

    You still have knitter friends in Chicago! Another great post – funny and poignant. I’m glad you started the blog – it’s fantastic and unlike any others I read :)

  9. byLorili Says:

    Yes, Sarah is a much better knitter (times infinity) than I am. But one of the most modest and generous hearted people I met.

    She gives me something to strive for when I hopefully retire.

    Good to meet you – just wish I had been able to spend more time with you.

  10. freshy Says:

    You’re so amazing! I’m glad to have finally met you after reading your blog for so long. I know what you mean about finding your niche. I think it’s important to be surrounded by your tribe. And I’m so grateful that I made it to the retreat and found mine. Thanks for being an amazing part of it :)


  11. love your post, and loved meeting you at the retreat.

  12. bekala Says:

    I see an unauthorized use of a cowl! Thanks for the post and photos. and yeah, I hear you on the scarcity of fiber people in life. Port Ludlow is quickly becoming my fiber arts home.

  13. Janice Says:

    What a lovely post, Steven! You’ve expressed, beautifully, what so many of us can’t (I do know all the words, just can’t get them in the right order), and provided evidence that we are not crazy, that there are folks like us who “get it.” This retreat was my first experience with others of my kind, and it has inspired me to put more effort into finding my people locally. Thank you for being such a big part of it.

  14. Jen Says:

    It was great meeting you and knitting with you, and drinking with you! Happy to be part of your community, even long distance.

  15. Anonymous, too Says:

    Wish I could have been there to taste the wine and risotto, sample the yarn, compliment Sam on that purple sweater (the collar and the cabled sleeves look perfect!), admire the socks and a certain (hint, hint) scarf, cheer up Pippin, and find something to yarnbomb!

  16. meg Says:

    It can be hard to find a group to feel comfortable with. I started a group in ABQ that was perfect. And I have never been in a group since that has the same mojo. My sympathies you haven’t found your people yet.

    If it makes you feel any better I still haven’t found a group that clicks completely either. So I am glad that you are seeking out other communities.

  17. Sheila Says:

    Okay, I suppose this is a good time to tell you that your blog is the second one I always check for posts. Who’s is the first? Well, the Harlot’s, of course! You are a good writer, I look forward to your posts, so keep going, young man, keep going!

  18. Romi Says:

    Awwwwwwww! I just moved to a new state and haven’t really gotten into the fiber scene here yet, either. Not that the fiber peeps here aren’t great – they are. It’s just, well. You know. I left behind a knitting group I started years ago with a friend. And it’s sad. So hugs to you. It looks like you had a great time at the retreat! <3

  19. Linda Cannon Says:

    I read your blog and others because I too need the connection and I understand the moving thing and leaving things behind. I am glad you enjoyed your trip and it sounds like money well spent. I make Risotto all the time and we love it, great for a group. It looks like you had a good time with the Harlot and that is the best. I went to one of her sessions about 3 yrs ago and still remember it. Hugs and kisses, XOXOXO

  20. Mary Says:

    Stephen, thank you for putting into words what I was feeling. It was lovely being around all those fiber loving people and sharing in my passion with other people who feel the same. I hope to see you again.


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