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August 14, 2007



I read through all the comments, some before my initial response above, some after. I have not read the Harry Potter books, so I didn't really get it. But, it seems like Muggles may not necessarily be used derogatorily. I think some knitters are just trying to have fun. Despite the lack of success trying to fit in at my LYS (and I think what pixie says above is true, that having some confidence in yourself probably has something to do with your experience), I have not found many people at all who scoff at my knitting. Most people I know are fascinated and then ask me for a sweater! My sister tried to get into knitting, but then she gave me her project because she found she just couldn't do it very well.

Yes, blogs are all about opinions, experiences, personal stuff. That's why we read them!


yeah... i kinda think the "muggles" conotation originated in a harmless manner & being that it's been "smuggled" from a children's novel is evidence of that... harmlessness...

but i do agree w/the snobbishness of some lys's... and how offputting it can be... as a "semi" new knitter, i've been TOLD that no... i shouldnt knit that (something i was thinking of knitting) i should knit THIS... and was shown something that had nothing to do w/my initentions or tastes...

i just think some people have a need to feel important or relevant or RIGHT and i'm not really one to pay much mind.... which doesnt mean to say i've ever returned to that shop and given them any of my hard earned coin either...

tell ME what i need to knit... hmmpppffff... cause that'll work... (that was a bit of sarcasm) ;)


great blog! i've been a reader since your orangina post I think but I'm delurking to ask where you find lychee in west LA?!?!?! Deliciousness (yarn and fruit)!


Good old Trader Joe's...

donna lee

After all these comments, I doubt my thought will be original but I feel a need to say it. I don't like the term muggles but only because it is exclusionary and why exclude? I usually don't define myself as a KNITTER, I am a woman who happens to knit. It is neither my life nor my reason for living. I like knitting and have only being doing it for a short time. I enjoy stretching my skills and learning new things. I "represent" everywhere as I take my socks with me and usually meet with amazed comments (although the 5 dollar socks have been mentioned a few times!) I don't understand ravelry (why take pictures of my stash? or needles?) and wonder how much of the popularity of it is that it is by invitation?


Lovely knitting and the lychees look delicious! Yummy!

There's LYS 5 minutes from where I work, I would spend lunch there everyday, except that the women who work there are not very welcoming.


People are people no matter where you go. People who knit are no more or less inclined to be charitable, kind, inclusive than anyone else in the world. I do know that there are people who do not get my fascination wtih yarn but so be it. They don't need to get it...I just like it and that's all.

Miss Scarlett

Mmmm Lychee....

I don't care for calling people Muggles either.

I get why YH used it, but really, it didn't fit (first used it describing people who were anti-knitting and Muggles are just people who don't know about magic, not who oppose it) but was kind of cute/humorous. Now apparently it is rampant.

I am sensitive to things made to feel exclusive. I don't like them or what they say to people not included. I hope people don't use Muggle to denigrate anyone. That would be a real shame.


Never having read a single Harry Potter, I don't understand the 'muggle' thing, and don't really get it when I read it on the blogs. Clearly some influential knitters were big HP fans! I, like so many commenters before me. . . really dislike the implication of exclusivity!


Complaining about other knitters being cliquish by using the term "muggle" is a great way to put yourself in another clique.


I finally finished reading the entire Muggle thread on Ravelry. What a maelstrom of comments!

There is something in the air with the knitting community and unfortunately a negative something since some of the comments in that thread degenerated into what I thought were personal attacks on you & YH, especially with the pitting you against her. Something is deeply wrong.

But not your lychees! Those are always good.


Hmmm, can't say I care either way (about the Muggles this and that). But I thought I'd weigh in because everyone else did.

That yarn looks luxurious, nice!

Karen O

Heck - I AM a Muggle and I'm delighted to have such a great way to describe myself.

I am the mother of a talented knitter, an avid Harry Potter fan and a daily reader of the Yarn Harlot, as well as a few other knitting blogs. (Obviously, this one!)

Although I do know how to knit, I just ... don't. I've always felt welcome in LYSs and feel comfortable admitting that I don't knit, but admire the craft, the materials and the skills. To me, being able to call myself a Muggle lets me show my respect and appreciation in a lighthearted way.

Don't worry, there will always be groups and we'll fit in some better than others - just remember that we all live in the same village!


Glad you and your friend reconnected! I have a few friends that recently re-found me after 15 years on myspace. Is so strange to spend more than half your life with them, lose touch, then reconnect. But good!

I knew the word "muggle' from HP (the movies not the books) Had not heard it in the knitting world. .... life is to short to label.

hook & needle

You know what that makes me? A mudblood. Because I am the only person in my family to even own a pair of knitting needles, let alone know what they are used for. :)

I am not on Ravelry, but I SO get you on the LYS. I just wrote a post about that last week. I definitely feel like I'm the odd-man out, a self-taught yarnist amid bluebloods. I went to a crafting party once and mentioned that neither my mother nor here mother do ANYthing crafty, and you'd have thought I said they had no arms or legs and only one eye between them.

Anywho, I guess I am sort of proud of being the oddball. It's hard to walk into a yarn shop without feeling like I'm being stared at, but it's their loss. Someday, my knitting will run rounds around theirs. :)


I don't think the term "muggles" originated with idea that if you don't knit your not in our club - I will gladly convert any non-knitter if they will listen. I guess if I were to consider someone a muggle they would be someone who looks at me like I'm crazy for knitting, and they cannot possible comprehend that anyone could be passionate about knitting and yarn.

the kitchener bitch

Thanks for bringing this up. I know it wasn't coined out of any mean-spiritedness, but I find that I too cringe when the word "Muggles" comes up in relation to non-knitters.

Sure, there's magic to knitting, but it's just one of a million things you can do that have a little magic to them. Thank god for people's many varied magnificent obsessions, you know?


I agree with the sentiment that we don't need a term for those that don't knit. I respect Yarn Harlot and I feel that if she started the term, even given the negative circumstances, I'm sure she didn't mean to start any sort of exclusive slang.
However, given the fact that this is a made-up word from a children's book, can't we all just see the word as just that? A whimsical word with little actual meaning? This world is too politically correct already.


I'm with you on the muggle thing. I find it irritating and childish. Not a popular opinion since HP is treated like the second coming, but I'm sticking to it. And good for you for sticking to it, too.


I'm not a huge HP fan, however still it annoyed me when I first heard the YH use the word Muggles.

I understood what she meant (and I don't buy into it totally) but I do wish she had used another word.


A little late in joining the party, but I really agree with what you said about finding the gumption to sit down at that table in the LYS with all the other insiders. I'm a college student, and all the "insiders" at my LYS are way older than I am, and even though I've been going to that store for almost a year now, I haven't once sat down with them. I'm a great big chicken, and I feel like such a baby compared to all these women who are knitting away at top speed with their fancy complicated projects.


Love the lychees! aren't they yummy, my kids could peel and eat them all day

Katie V.

I would imagine most people would use such terminology in a lighthearted way, just for fun. There are plenty out there who look at me like I'm nuts when they see me knit, and relatively few who share my passion for the craft. I am a huge HP fan, and my first project as a knitter was a Gryffindor scarf for my daughter's Halloween costume, so I'm a bit biased perhaps. But I do see that there will always be those who feel compelled to exclude others, and they are not doing so in a lighthearted manner, and certainly there's nothing fun about it.


That's funny. I just ran into an old pal, too. I wouldn't go as far to call him a long lost friend, but a long lost friend of a friend. And it was a bit funny because I was excited to see him, but apprehensive at the same time. I am very bad with keeping up with friends and am very low maintenance. You could see the apprehension in his face, too. I think it's funny, that first moment you meet someone again after so many years because there's always that split moment when you're sizing them up to see if they really want to say hi and meet up again, or if they're just biding their time before they can go and never see you again. There's always a number exchange, but very rarely a call.

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