Timing is Everything

“…it helps to continue to practice your classes in other venues, particularly any events that provide a similar teaching atmosphere. In my personal opinion, without this practice, it is very difficult to compete against some of the Stitches ‘old favorites’, who have been with us for many years…”

The above is from yet another form letter rejection from XRX (this one with a nicely xeroxed signature and little cartoon smile) telling me, yet again, that I’m not able to compete with the ‘old favorites’ at Stitches events.

My frustration doesn’t spring from being rejected (okay, maybe it does a bit) but rather from the tone of the letter – a tone that implies, “We can’t use you because you’re not [good enough / well known enough / experienced enough] for our purposes…” It rankles. It would be easier on this end to receive a simple letter stating that teaching slots are limited and they weren’t able to fit in my class.

The extra impersonal paragraphs blandly stating that lack of experience is the reason my classes weren’t chosen feels a bit patronizing. If they want to include a personalized note about why my specific classes weren’t appropriate for this venue, that would be helpful. But a blanket one-size-fits-all assumption that the recipient is not an experience teacher isn’t as useful as it might be. One would expect more.

Of course, at this point with my blog and my comments I really don’t expect Stitches to ever hire me, they seem to have a major problem with teachers and designers who – however respectfully – speak their minds.

There’s a Wal-Mart-ization of knitting involved that is difficult to swallow, especially if one tends to view knitting as more than just a job or hobby, but as a way to connect with an inner peace and meditative spirituality that can’t be found in other non-fiber activities. I love visiting the marketplace, but also feel a bit queasy when I see folks leaving with thousands of dollars of merchandise – realizing that their local yarn shops will not be supported in the way they need to be. I have enjoyed every class I’ve taken at Stitches, but hate the feeling I get from some of the teachers that they can’t ‘be themselves’ during the event. The lesson I need to pound into my skull from this is that perhaps it’s a blessing that I’m not quite “Stitches material”

But – as you know – rejection is rejection. And it’s so funny how I totally forget that I’ve applied for some position until I get the rejection notice, that’s always an additional kick in the pants.

On the less self-pitying front, I had an amazing Yoga class yesterday with a private instructor. We’ve set up an arrangement where we’ll meet each week and exchange yoga lessons for knitting lessons. She’s a left handed knitter who works her stitches from the right needle to the left needle as she works, and it’s fascinating to me to see folks knit like this! I showed her left and right slanting decreases yesterday, she helped me center myself – a nice afternoon! Then on to our last Brownie meeting of the year – badges and yearly membership stars were handed out, stories were told and the girls ran around like maniacs on the playground after scarfing ice cream sandwiches and cupcakes. Then some knitting at Starbucks, outside in the lovely evening in beautiful downtown South Orange. A great day!

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