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May 24, 2006



Having met your girls I think they'll have no problems (outside of the normal ones that are inherent to the age) - they're smart, sensitive, caring, beautiful - it was great to meet them. Thank you!


Viewing teenage girls through sociological and anthropological lenses is such a clever and empathic thing for a parent to do. Very cool!

And your thoughts on knitblogging are great - thanks for sharing them! I would further add that participating in the community beyond one's own blog is important - comment. Regular comments on a variety of blogs make you "visible" in the blogging community. When you're visible, people will get curious and backtrack your comments to check out your blog.

As part of that, be willing to backtrack people's comments and check out their blogs.


I second what Chris said. I found many of the blogs that I now regularly read through reading comments.


What an interesting post :-)
I'm sure your daughters will be fine and find their own little niche. My own daughter is 16 going on 17 and describes herself as a floater - not an actual member of any of the peer groups but accepted by all of them as she floats between them. She is her own person and comfortable with it and I think that is all you can ask.


I think popular is an elusive concept. The act of defining it by someone who wants to be popular changes it's nature. Those who are already popular suspect you want to be "in" and get suspicious.

For my kids I hope they are liked and like others in return. They don't have to have the most friends or the coolest friends (in fact I would prefer they avoid those coolest people due to my own distrust of those cliques likely due to my own exclusion) but I want them to have a nice peer group who they feel good being around.

But that's easy to say when my kids are 5 and 7. I may revise that later.


Excellent commentary!!! It's interesting how we look outside of ourselves for validation. May I eat at your lunch table?


It wouldn't matter what I said or read -- my daughter is going through a stage in which it is incomprehensible to her that I might actually be able to empathize with what she's going through. Very hard to stand back and watch sometimes.

As far as popularity goes, I find myself reading a lot of blogs that I wouldn't feel comfortable commenting on. When there are already 50+ comments, is my "me too" needed? Or appreciated? Or noticed? Probably not, so I go for lurking, which is fine. But as others have already said (me too! me too! :)), comments are a great way to find interesting new blogs.

Lorraine The Knitting Hammy

Very interesting- one two counts: having a 14 year old girl can be so joyous, but also angst-inducing.
I blog because it's fun, and I'm less concerned with popularity. That would also give me angst.


I totally understand your topic and find myself not wanting to comment on the "big time" blogs because I feel that my comments are probably never read. At first I used to think it was cool to have a large amount of folks reading my site. Now, I know that it's not me having to entertain everyone, but it's me entertaining me! Yes, I'm a little nutty...

Lois Budnitsky

Love reading your blog and especially seeing the pictures. I have to thank you for introducing me to other blogs which I also enjoy. You're correct to say the most interesting blogs are the well written ones with pictures. It's so much fun seeing the progress and variety of projects people attempt ( makes me a little jealous that I'm such a slow knitter) but I love it just the same. All of you inspire me to try new projects. I know you're doing a great job with the girls but those teenage years, I hear, are the hardest. Good luck. Love, Lois


Oh gosh, what a subject.
At one point I worried about being popular, now I don't. I have some great blog 'friends' where I try to comment as much as possible. I love it when they comment on my blog because I like to know they are reading. I usually only comment if I see something I really like, which happens more than I like to admit.
One drawback to having huge amounts of comments is that I'm drawn to looking at everyone's blogs and there are so many that I really enjoy visiting, it's getting harder and harder not to just sit at the computer all day going from blog to blog. Actually, I kind of like that idea. ;) Could you take my kids, the cats and my husband for a bit while I read blogs?
I don't usually bother commenting on the big blogs either-too much work and I would just be repeating what others have said. Oh gosh I'm rambling.
See, writing comments is hurting my brain.


Well spoken.

And yet, sometimes it feels as though it's just randomness...I read about this post on someone else's blog and had to click over and read. Because I found an articulate soul (and an amazing sock knitter!) at the other end of the click, I am now subscribed to *your* blog and will read it (with enjoyment...) as often as you post.

When I began blogging I was so excited to find that I had 5 whole Bloglines readers! When I bought my own domain six months later, I had 135 readers. Whoo hoo! Check me! I'm popular!

But those readers didn't all move with me to the new blog. A year later, the numbers still aren't where they were (as if 135 Bloglines readers constitutes a majority...) I had to get over myself though, because something far more important happened.

The six or eight people who regularly took the time to comment on my blog have actually become long-distance-never-met-well-known-by-heart friends. People who care about me, judging by their comments and emails. People I care about. People who mean more to me than seeing a huge number. Who knew? How blessed am I?!

Thank you for taking the time to think through and document your thesis. (I think this actually has the makings of a dissertation, if you were so inclined!)

And those girls...the ones who started you thinking about all this? It looks to me as if they're fortunate enough to have an empathetic mother who'll be there to help and console and encourage as they mature. Would that my own mother had cared as much!

~Your new fan ;-)


Great blog tips! Thanks!


I have lamented this myself. Do I want to be a popular blog? Should I try harder, am I doing something wrong?

I find that while I may not get oodles of comments I tend to maintain a relationship with my regular readers. So far that has been satisfying for me.

But I like the blog tips.


Yeah, I've noticed that every time my bloglines subscribers number reaches a new high, it only takes a few weeks of irregular blogging with fewer pictures and enthusiasm to lose a few. I've come to terms with it, though. I enjoy having gotten to know a few people through blogging, though. I'm too busy to worry in depth about whether I'm popular enough, even if I get a little high from seeing my comments and stats.

And, a good book on the politics of growing up female (with all the backstabbing and other horrible treatment addressed): Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons. It'll at least make you realize you weren't the only one tortured by other girls while growing up. This knowledge could certainly help when your own girls experience things like that (they or even you, as a mother, could wonder what's wrong with them to get them treated this way). Interesting read, anyway.

And, thanks for the shipment of goodies. I look forward to its arrival. It's floating around out their with 5 other packages I'm expecting. Can't wait!


Isn't it much like high school, wanting to be in the "in" crowd, or not wanting to be. I was always just happy to be, and pretty much in that way with my blog. I like lots of comments, sure, but mostly because I like having interactions with people. Then again, I also like a place to post pictures of my pets, like it or not they define me in many ways.

Really good read your post was.

carrie m

perhaps you've already read this one, but "reviving ophelia" and the rebuttal to it, "ophelia speaks," were good reads.


Thanks for the interesting and informative post. My partner and I just had this discussion because we both started blogs this month. He was lamenting the fact that no one was reading--or at least commenting. My question to him was: 'Well what do you want from blogging? Fandom?' It made him think, and maybe admit, that perhaps fandom was something he wanted. But more importantly, we both agreed that what we were looking for was community and connection to people with similar interests. For me, this is what most attracted me to the knit-blogs: a communal spirit comprised of generous, sharing, intelligent and creative people who are willing to exchange ideas, thoughts and friendship with each other. I defintely don't want fandom; I do welcome, however, some good connections and some interesting dialogues with creative, thoughtful, and engaging people. And if I don't have commentators and readers, then so be it. At least I have a "[space] of my own to write," and create, a la Virginia Woolf.

Thanks again for sparking such a good conversation. Cheers--


for me, it's more inportant that my 17 yo dd is able to stand up to peer pressure and be true to herself than if she is popular. man what i have seen happen to one of her friends in church youth group is disgusting. i am happy that she stuck up for her friend, and didn't feel the need to go with the crowd.


Comments from a semi-recent teenager: :)
I started off, in Junior High, trying to "fit in", worrying that I wasn't popular, etc, my mother trying to convince me to join "group activities" to meet more people... and it totally didn't work, because it wasn't me. What I eventually concluded was that it was better to be myself (which was, for a while, "the girl with the blue hair" :), be kind, ignore the people who aren't kind in return because they aren't worth your time, and it will all work out in the end. And remember that, thank god, adult society is MUCH more civilized than high school ;-)
Good luck! I live in terror of one day having to parent a teenager...


Interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing your thoughts ;)


What an interesting post & some great ideas about knit blogging - thanks for sharing with us!


It's so interesting that you've mentioned this because I was just thinking about doing my Masters' Thesis on this very topic! (What makes a knit blog popular?)

Elizabeth D

Two replies: (1) if any of those books are wonderfully enlightening, please share that info. My 9-year-old is rapidly approaching those perilous ages. With two parents who never were very good at fitting in, or very comfortable at those ages. (2) I do not have a blog. I used to feel kind of "left out" because all the big-name bloggers seem to know each other and form a closed set -- especially when they're all talking about things like those Better Pal exchanges, or what a wonderful bloggers' get-together they just had at X, Y, or Z wool festival. Then I realized I'd really rather knit, and didn't need them to make me real. Still enjoy them, still write comments (see? here I am doing that), but the discomfort is gone. I don't know how/why that happened -- possibly because blogging and reading blogs is no longer something new? Interesting to speculate about.



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