Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Blog

I've debated turning off the anonymous option for comments, but haven't up to this point because often folks choose the anonymous option because they think they need to have a blogger ID to post. You don't, you can choose to post under any name you like.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to turn it off, and I'm sad about that.

And anonymous isn't really anonymous. My web stats tell me where folks are writing from, and it's easy to see when many posts come from the same location.

If what I write 'alienates' folks, so be it. Anyone who is alienated by my blog would definitely NOT like a class with me or one of my books, which are filled with the same opinionated, strong thoughts that the blog is.

I write what I write, and I write the blog for me more than for anyone else. My goal isn't to make as many friends and fans as possible, it's to try to clarify - for myself - what is going on in my life and in my design world.

To read my blog when it offends would be masochistic. Stop hitting yourself. Life is too big and beautiful and full of joy to cling to things that pain us. So move on to something that brings you happiness, don't spoil what time we have.
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posted by Annie at


Blogger Gina Black said...

I think that's the right thing to do. Anonymous criticizers are cowards.

Some people are offended or threatened by others who have strong opinions. That's just the way it is, IMHO. But statements made by people who are afraid to own them do not change the world or lead to what is good. So keep it up!

March 29, 2008 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Annette said...

I don't want to comment on anonymous commenters - Gina is right, they are cowards, and if they feel "alienated", well, who cares?

I just wanted to say that I read your blog all the time, even when I officially stop reading blogs for lack of time.
Sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry, but almost every time, I'm inspired by your energy and creativity, and by the relevance of what you're writing (which probably is what's bugging the anonymous bunch).

March 29, 2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger SnowCat said...

1.) There is no such thing as Anonymous on the Internet. There is a lot of work involved , and that just delays how long it takes you to find them.

2.) You blog, your blather. If others don't like what you have to say. Tough nuggies. Hit next if you don't like it and get over it.

3.) To concur with the above - Those who have to post as "Anonymous" are cowards who don't stand behind their convictions. Face it - this is not national security leaks we're talking about here.

4.) It always starts with one lone voice in the wild, but change does happen. We can't affect things we don't have any clue about since we are not directly involved in the process.

March 29, 2008 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Annie--Some people aren't happy unless they are whining! Unbelievable!! Unhappy people, leave unhappy comments!!

March 29, 2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger QuiltsterMEG said...

Hey, I don't know you and I don't know the history here but I surely agree that people should move on if they don't want to read what you the positive note...stop hitting yourself....may just have to keep reading now....

March 29, 2008 10:13 AM  
Blogger Kathleen C. said...

I know it doesn't make sense... but I think some people choose to read blogs that they know they disagree with just to get themselves riled up. They *like* hitting themselves. Reminds me of some people I know who will watch certain news programs just so they can get mad and yell at the TV (not that I am comparing you in anyway to those programs... you know what I mean).
I don't understand that desire to get riled up at a blog. There are so many good things to get upset about in this world (hunger, poverty, social injustice) and so many ways to use that energy for change. But I do understand that there's nothing you can do to reach them.
I think you were strong to have had anonymous comments for so long.

And I *like* your opinionated,strong thoughts blog!

March 29, 2008 10:14 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

It's your blog - you certainly can! I always read (even if I seldom comment.) You go girl!

Susan in Las Vegas

March 29, 2008 10:15 AM  
Blogger KellyD said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 29, 2008 10:39 AM  
Blogger KellyD said...

I had to read the last blog posts after reading THIS post. I have to tell you, those people are miserable aren't they? I feel sorry for them. Truly. To think that their 15 minutes of fame is in the commentary of someone's blog, and negatively at that. I have read your trials and joys and each one is a reflection of life. If others can't handle it then they need to quit reading blogs.

March 29, 2008 10:39 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Your honesty and candor about your life are always enlightening and engrossing.
Thank you for putting yourself out there, regardless of the petty attitudes of certain sad, small people.
Enjoy this bright Spring day.

March 29, 2008 10:53 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Here, here! Bravo Annie. It is too bad you have to moderate for those who are too afraid to own their own rude comments.

Definitely not anonymous here!

March 29, 2008 11:08 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

They invented a really neat key, called "delete" just for situations where you don't like what you read. Why waste your time reading something you know you will be upset by?

I've never understood hatemongering. Seems a useless waste of energy to me.

As for the comment by "anonymous" in this thread..... these days, the web and blogs ARE diaries. Progression. If you aren't happy with what you read, may I gently suggest you read elsewhere?

March 29, 2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger SwankyKnitter said...

People are entitled to their opinion, this is surely true. But only those who have no conviction in their opinion would need to post anonymously. If you have to hide your identity, you betray your own opinion of your behavior.

March 29, 2008 11:56 AM  
Anonymous mwknitter said...

Wow! I had to go back & reread yesterday's comments (the nasty ones were all written after I commented). Those posters remind me of the nasty, nosy, gossipy neighbors in some neighborhoods when I was growing up - a few in our neighborhood but my uncle grew up with one in almost every house (in the '40's). They spent almost every waking moment peeking out from behind the curtains - spying on all the neighbors. My uncle said that, when he was in his late teens - early 20's & would stay out late partying with his friends, his mother would find out what time he got home from the nosy neighbors before he even woke up! In a way, I've always felt sorry for those who spend their time gossiping & criticizing others - they must have really barren lives to take pleasure in that. And to not even have the courage to sign their names- talk about cowardice! I think you are right to make it so folks can't post anonymously. They are the whiny ones not you. I read every one of your blog entries & not one has been self pitying - even though, Lord knows, you'd have a right to feel that way after what you & your family have been through. Why is it that, whenever someone (especially a woman) stands up & demands to be treated equitably, there are always those who are willing to jump on them & criticize them for complaining?

March 29, 2008 12:49 PM  
Blogger j said...

"stop hitting yourself" :) you have such a way, Annie, such a way with words.

and you're still wishing them well:"move on to something that brings you happiness"

you have a wonderful spirit. I haven't read the comments. been so busy lately, I've been reading blogs in bloglines. but I do read. your blog is always a good place to visit.

March 29, 2008 2:39 PM  
Blogger anniejs said...

I'm always amazed when teachers are not compensated for travel and hotel. Previously, I was part of a group that routinely invited artists to teach. We offered teachers a travel stipend that took into account distance from our venue, airfare, hotel, car, etc. We never had class attendees complain about the cost and people clamored to help teachers find accommodations, etc. Some teachers chose to stay with friends and just pocketed the extra money, but the stipend was given with no strings attached.

While the class cost may have been higher, I found that people saved up for the teachers that they really wanted to learn from. There was not a lot of complaining. Most folks understood that inviting someone to teach involved paying their way.

Good luck. It's hard to say what is only whispered about.

March 29, 2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Tina Rose said...

Hi Annie. sorry that the whiney few forced you to shine the light on the cockroaches.

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading and communicating with you (you're always very courteous in your replies) and also in hearing your point of view which is several areas are polar oppisites of my view.

Guess those who like making a mountain out of a molehill perfer acrylic yarn and white bread and velvetta cheese! (in other words very bland) Have a feeling that they would also ban books of opinions they don't like even if the author is of the same faith etc!

BTW even if I posted under a.nonny. mess I've always signed my name.

Anonomous if for those who steal poems etc and think it's fine if they sign it anonomous!

Tina Rose

March 29, 2008 3:26 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Annie, I hate that you had to use some of the administrative settings to get rid of the trolls, but you were right to do it. If a person is too cowardly to say what s/he wants to your face, then s/he doesn't have a right to say it.

I simply stopped reading the blog of one person who I felt was too full of herself. If these people feel that way about you, they simply don't have to come here anymore. Easy as pie!

Take care and I hope you find some sort of teaching arrangement in my little corner. Heck, I'd even take a vacation day to come see you!

March 29, 2008 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Peggyoxox said...

Rock on Annie! I enjoy reading your blog and I like your feistyness.

March 29, 2008 4:29 PM  
Anonymous quinn said...

Your blog, your rules, Annie! and I was sorry to see the personal attacks on yesterdays comments. Way rude.

BTW, as a freelance writer and photographer, I fight many underdog battles for fair value/payment - I understand your issues all too well, and wish you success.

March 29, 2008 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Kelley said...

Good for you.

March 29, 2008 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Knitone Texas said...

Are you opinionated? Yes you are. Do I like it? Yes I do, if I didn't I wouldn't check your blog every time I log on. Keep it up we all admire you.

March 29, 2008 6:58 PM  
Blogger ccr in MA said...

I must agree with you: I've never understood why people can be so critical in blog-comments (and so often anonymously). If you don't like reading the blog, why are you reading it? Why squeeze lemon juice on the cut?

March 29, 2008 7:59 PM  
OpenID coquinas said...

Phew!!! What a tempest in a teacup! I love your blog, Annie, and always admire the way you present your thoughts. I have always found you to be thoughtful and know that sometimes your posts are really for you alone...helping you to think through the events of your life. It is a shame that anonymous snipers feel they need to spew venom when what you are trying to do with teacher/designer compensation is really for the good of all those in the field. Such tiny hearts they have. I applaud your feistiness...keep it up.
Love and hugs, Barbara S.

March 29, 2008 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm under Anonymous because I can't make my google acct work. It never recognizes me. If I get it to work once, the next time it's back to not recognizing me, so I've given up on the extra work. If you turn it off, I simply can't comment.

March 29, 2008 8:37 PM  
Blogger Joan K said...

I read your blog frequently but hadn't read the comments until today. Your take on compensating teachers seems so reasonable to me I hadn't realized till now that it was controversial.

My wife travels for work frequently. She is compensated for travel, hotel and meals. She doesn't have to share a room. This is the standard at her university. Why should knitting teacher be any different?

Keep on fighting the good fight Annie. Hopefully things will get better for knitting teachers everywhere.

March 29, 2008 10:44 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I think anonymous comments are very rude and have very little value. How could they have value? If they were really valued thoughts, they'd not be anonymouse.

March 30, 2008 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use anonymous not to hide my identity from you, Annie, but from other readers and the google bots. I'm much less likely to comment if it's not available.

I do, however, respect the choice. I'll miss being able to comment in a way that feels safe, but it is your blog. I really enjoy reading it. Thanks for putting it up even when people are being jerks.

March 30, 2008 1:40 AM  
Blogger Jakki said...

I live in a small, LYS-less, Midwestern town and haven't had the opportunity to attend one of your (or anyone's) knitting class.

But, I agree with you that an instructor should be fairly compensated. And to me that means full transportation, private room, meals, etc.

March 30, 2008 6:53 AM  
Blogger Bonnee said...

Annie, I think you're an absolutely incredible person. You make me smile, cry and every emotion in-between. But, most of all, you make me think. How can I, a simple knitter, know about the inequities within an industry if someone doesn't shine a spotlight on them? Yes, it takes guts to do so and there are those who will always step up and tell you that it's better to sit at the back of the bus rather than not be allowed on the bus at all, but I say "you go, girl!!!" If you don't take a stand, who will? You're willing to chance harming your career by bringing those whispered corner conversations into the light and I applaud that kind of bravery and will continue to read (and help wherever I can). Heck, if it weren't for women like you, we still wouldn't be able to vote, now, would we?

And for those who take offense to your protest? The fact that Annie is attempting to make a living wage at something you see as nothing more than a hobby is your problem and not hers. You remind me of a man I work with. He'll tell anyone who asks (and many who don't) that he hates his job and he hates everyone he works with, yet his name is the first on the list every time there's a sign-up for overtime. I feel sorry for people who spend most of their life doing the exact things that make them unhappy. I begin to wonder if spreading your unhappiness is the only thing that makes you happy and that's sad.

March 30, 2008 7:01 AM  
Blogger AliceBknitN said...

I was happy to read your previous blog. I'm glad you shared your experiences and opinions. I'm sorry that people felt the need to be negative.

Thank you Annie.

March 30, 2008 7:14 AM  
Blogger no-blog-rachel said...

Very well said Annie. I'm sorry you had to read those hurtful, hateful comments. They gave me kind of a sick, hurt feeling and they weren't even directed at me. I can't imagine how they made you feel.

Some people just want the world to think and act as they (self-righteously think they) do, and bully those who don't into conforming. It's your blog and I'm very glad you're going to keep it that way.

I'm sorry the Anonymous commenters who have positive or at least constructive things to say are going to lose out. It sucks that a nasty few ruined it for them.

March 30, 2008 9:07 AM  
Anonymous twinsetjan said...


When you leave your comment, just choose one of the other options to post. You can use OpenID or Name/URL (if you have your own blog.) You don't have to be logged to a Google/Blogger account to do so. Annie isn't blocking you out...just those who won't identify who they are.

March 30, 2008 9:31 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Anonymous ( the negative poster, I'm sure there is only one and the same ) why are you continuing to read and post here. You have made your opinions clear...Annie has left them on...go away, get a life, write your own blog since you have so much insight to offer us all...knitting and otherwise...stop hiding in anonymity... let's see what you are made of ....but then who really cares!
Seek attention elsewhere you are tiresome.

March 30, 2008 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First, IÕm amazed at how poorly paid instructors are at these events. I always assumed that the lionÕs share went to the instructor. How na•ve of me.

The sponsors of these events need you more than you need them. Event planners come a dime a dozen, whereas talented knitwear designers that have the ability and desire to teach do not. The comments your students leave vouch for your teaching skills, warmth and compassion.

I canÕt imagine who would have so much bitterness that they would lurk on your blog, waiting for an opening to post such venom. I admire your outspoken nature and hope to take a class from you some day. Keep on truckinÕ (there, IÕve dated myself)..

Cynthia from Mpls

March 30, 2008 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Aquarianshoes said...

Wow, people can be mean, mean, mean! I just went back and read through the comments for the last post. I was so surprised!! Why on earth would you continue to read a blog when you so obviously dislike the author? My own blog-reading is for fun and enlightenment. I can't imagine making myself so upset and angry I would have to be so mean.

I am taking your Combination class at Shepherd's Harvest on Mother's Day with a friend, and we both are looking forward to learning from you. And as for compensation, I am taking an all-day workshop with another teacher in April, and the price is on par with what I paid to take your class, Annie. And I would have gladly paid 20% more for either class, too!!

March 30, 2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger Skeinky said...

I just went back and read those ugly comments. First of all, that person made it seem like it was a conversation with other people. I'm sure it was one ugly person that wants to be you, so badly, she can't stand it. And this person actually met and took your class? Ick. Hugs all around.
Gina B.

March 30, 2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annie, I love your blog and your forthrightness...hope to take a class with you in Blacksburg. Mary in Cincinnati

March 30, 2008 1:10 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

ARRG, I HATE Grumpy Smurfs! Seems to be part of the way of life with this type. I was on the personnel committee at my church, which required complaints about the ministry staff IN WRITING and signed. We had more trouble with back-whispering, complaining to anyone except the minister in question, and absolute refusal to put a name to any formal complaint.

I do my dead level best to make sure that what comes out of my mouth (or off my fingers) I would do in front of anyone's face. Keeps me more positive and sure cuts down on gossip!

Annie, I don't always agree with all you write, but I've learned from you too. I appreciate your honesty and forthrightness, and your blog is accessed off my bookmarks daily.

You sure picked the premier yarn shops in Georgia this time! You are going to love Knitch, and Debi Light and the gals at the Whole 9 Yarns are darling. Haven't been to the shop in Watkinsville, but they get a lot of buzz from the fibernistas in that area. Bring your allergy meds if you don't like pollen--we have tons of it here in April.

March 30, 2008 1:46 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

I expect you read Dooce anyway, but just in case you missed this one, see

And if Anonymous really works with sick and dying children, I'm a spiny anteater. Hugs.

March 30, 2008 1:56 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I've opened a google account(my word verification was "demiked"; my husband's named is Mike. . .yikes!) so I can post here unanonymously. I have previously posted here anonymously, but it was never my intention to be a coward. I'm just a little slow in the head and couldn't figure out how to do it. It just chaps my butt that some people have nothing better to do with their time than to come here and write nasty comments. You are probably one of the nicest people on this earth. I hate it that people are being so mean to you.

March 30, 2008 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 30, 2008 10:10 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

You Go Girl!

March 31, 2008 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

Your blog is not like the other blogs I read. It really is a reflection of what you are thinking and feeling. It makes me think a bit more. Regarding paying knitting teachers more, I look at this as another example of a "woman's" profession. I was a nurse for a number of years and we suffered in the same way until the market left the hospital administrators no choice.

March 31, 2008 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer in Ottawa said...

I value your opinions and I've enjoyed reading your blog. You are honest. That is a tough commodity to come by. Anyone who understands that and who knows how to respect people, gets you. The others just don't matter. I'm so glad that you take your adversity and fortify yourself with it. Never give up!

March 31, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Char said...

Actually, I have no problem with people who disagree,even sharply, with a blogger's stated opinion. I would guess that Annie would welcome a lively discussion regarding any of her opinions, be they about designers' or teachers' compensation. HOWEVER, these anonynmous posts didn't offer anything of the sort--they were just mean-spirited and didn't move the discussion forward.

For what it's worth, I agree with just about everything that Annie has written on both topics. Most of the teachers I know *really* resent the mandatory attendance at banquets w/o additional compenstation (and no, I don't consider the meal ticket to be adequate compensation). It's incredibly draining to have to be "on" for several days in a row.

Years ago when I went to a series of workshops with Alice Starmore, she specified that she would NOT be joining the students at mealtimes, so we didn't expect her. One evening, she felt like "joining in", so she did and we all had a pleasant time chatting. But that was *her* choice, not that of the organizers.

April 01, 2008 1:11 PM  
Blogger Dana KBS said...

Speaking as a member of a labor union that has worked for a hundred years to make what was a "female" profession a profession with benefits and rights and recognition for experience and are on the vanguard.

YES there are people who make less than knitting instructors, but should we all be dragged down to that level? You have education, expertise, and something novel to teach.

All helping professions--teaching, nursing, counseling, social work, etc--are exhausting, physical jobs regardless of whether one is working with sick & dying children (as anonymous claimed--yeah right) or sticks and string.

But everyone thinks they could be a great teacher--or that it's an easy job--because they went to school. Which is like saying you're a master mechanic because you know how to drive a car.

April 02, 2008 8:31 PM  
Blogger 5elementknitr said...

I always say, "If absence makes the heart grow fonder, anonymity makes the heart grow colder."

F'in cowards all.

April 09, 2008 12:05 PM  

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