Had a rather unpleasant experience on a fiber e-mail list today. You see, I asked what I thought was a simple question about weaving with rayon chenille. One of the more experienced weavers on the list said it took "special handling". I asked what "special handling" meant, thinking that the answer might be fairly simple or that multiple weavers would chime in with their experiences/advice. It would seem that the question may be simple but the answer takes up about four book chapters, which is fine. I was referred to said weaver's book on the subject of rayon chenille, which she also stated was no longer available. I thanked the weaver for her response, replied that I wasn't asking for the book to be reprinted in e-mail and explained that I had thought there might be some sort of general guideline like "always/never wash in the machine, use a tighter/looser sett than for a similar weight non-chenille yarn, or always avoid/use a particular weave structure". The author replied that she understood what I was looking for, but was unable to provide it, which I understand. Others on the list were not so understanding, which led to a nasty discussion of how newbies are too lazy to look up their own answers and expect the experts to tell them everything even in violation of copyright law. ?!?!?
The part that really irked me was that I was advised by a list member to consult with my "weaving buddies" about this question. You see, I thought I was consulting my weaving buddies. I don't have fiber friends in real life, just on the internet. Heck, after moving eighteen months ago, I don't have *any* friends in real life, just on the internet or on the phone. Being ignorant and new to weaving, I thought I was asking a simple question. Apparently I was instead being offensive and an extreme burden to the "experts" who are forced to answer repetitive questions from idiots such as myself.
To top it all off, the list owner says she's tired of it all and is considering closing down the list. Mind you, the person who initially responded to my question doesn't think there was a problem with either my question or my reply back to her thanking her for her explanation of why she couldn't give a simple answer, because there isn't a simple answer to that question. I'm not quite sure why others have gotten their knickers in knots or why the listmom took this as the reason to consider pulling the plug.
Yay. This is the sort of thing that has resulted in my *rarely* ever asking for help with anything and also rarely answering questions on list. I ask one question and the universe blows up. I guess it's my fault that other people on the weaving list have overextended themselves and feel burdened by answering questions. I guess I'm responsible for taking care of people I have never met and making sure everything is ok for them before I say or do anything. I can't manage that for people I see at work or in real life, never mind people on the internet. Grrrrrrrrrr.
Update: apparently the listowner decided against shutting down the list. Now someone else has stirred things up, so perhaps people will forget about me. :-) I did, by the way, get several kind messages from list members who pointed out that I didn't actually start the flamewar, pinning the blame instead, on someone who protested unpleasantly about what she thought was a non-answer from the book author. Anyway, I'm still on the list, but in deep lurk mode, and may drop off in the next few weeks.