Thoughts on online communities

Recently I was struck by something odd. I was talking to a friend about my current favourite knit top pattern (Lekala #4245), and how one of the best parts of it was that it was a 1 yard pattern. It was when she, very confused, asked how big a yard was that I realised how much the online community has changed me. And generally in a good way too!

Since I’m from New Zealand, I grew up with the good old metric system – everything comes in 10s. And it’s great. Really simple when you’re a kid too – there are 10mm in 1cm, 100cm in 1m, 1000m in 1km. Nice and simple, all in 10s. I liked it. It worked well for me. And then I joined the online crafting community, and learned about inches. And yards.

Where as I used to only know my measurements in centimetres, and had to find a converter every time I was looking at a size chart in inches, I now know both. I can visualise a yard of fabric in my head just as well as a metre of fabric. I know my height in both centimetres and feet. The phrase ‘I wouldn’t touch it with a 10ft barge pole’ no longer confuses me with how long that barge pole is, no more than if it was a 2m barge pole. I know there are 12 inches in a foot, and 3ft in a yard. That’s 36 inches in a yard. I know that for a lot of readers this seems really basic, but I had barely even heard of the imperial system until I started in the online sewing community.

And for me that’s really cool! Sure, I’ve learned a lot of really awesome sewing and knitting techniques, but being able to understand a pattern without a length converter? That’s a real skill that I can use outside of sewing things. And that’s pretty cool.

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