Monday, March 9, 2015

Introducing the Take 5 Blog Series: Mari Knits

I really like to make lists, and I've always enjoyed reading top 5 (or 10) lists in magazines, blogs, etc. One Friday afternoon not so long ago, I was wrestling with how to keep posting fresh and interesting content on my blog as I took on more and more work which had to remain top-secret. Since I my day job at Stitchcraft Marketing has put me in touch with a lot of awesome bloggers, designers and other industry folks, it seemed like a natural progression to spotlight these folks on my own knitting blog.

Then I dreamed up the perfect twist: invite each person to share a Top 5 List which somehow relates to the fiber arts. Here's the catch: every Take 5 list will be totally different than the next! Each person who agrees to participate in the series is given a list of 20+ topics to choose from; once they select from the list, that option goes away for any future participant.

We'll be covering all sorts of ground - from funny to educational and all points in between. I don't plan on editing or censoring anyone's answers for the purposes of this blog, even if it conflicts with my own beliefs; I think it's interesting to hear from people who have a different perspective than my own. Even if they don't win me over to their way of thinking, I think it's important to consider all sides of an issue (no matter how big or small); I hope my dear readers will keep an open mind for these posts, too!

It seemed appropriate to kick off this series with my friend and colleague Mari Chiba, since she helped me brainstorm many of the topics for this project when I Skyped her one Friday afternoon to tell her my idea. Mari and I have worked together at Stitchcraft for several years now, and outside of that she is a prolific designer whose work has appeared in Twist Collective, Knitscene, Clotheshorse, and Knitty (among others), plus she also self-publishes patterns such as the Laurelai Cardigan, shown at right.

She's a fun and funny person to hang out with, in person as well as via Skype, and I'm so glad she agreed to be the first person to take part in my little experiment.

Without further ado, I present to you....

Mari Chiba's Top 5 Instagram Pet Peeves!

1. Screenshots. Any and all of them, but this winter has really seen an unfortunate increase in weather app screenshots which have essentially turned Instagram into the Weather Channel. Note from Stefanie: our shared frustration resulted in my creating this meme to commemorate the occasion:
2. Photos of your feet. GROSS.
3. Photos of your food. Trust me, it only looks good to the person who's about to eat it - to the rest of us, it's not very appetizing. AT. ALL.
4. Any photo taken with the flash. 
5. When you invade my feed with the same photo over and over. Either get one good shot, or learn how to sort through the many photos you took to post only the best one.

We both have a shared experience of spending WAY too much time on social media channels (as in, at least 8 hours each day), and that has caused us to commiserate about some of our biggest pet peeves via Skype many times over, but perhaps Grumpy Cat says it best (or at least, most succinctly):
To be totally honest, the above list is pretty similar to a blog post I have drafted called "the grumpy person's guide to social media" which I never got around to publishing. I'm sure that everyone has their own list of pet peeves when it comes to Instagram or other photo-sharing sites. I'd love to hear what you'd put on your own top 5 list of photo-sharing no-no's in the comments!


  1. Oh man, I feel like I could've written this post. Too many pics in a row on Instagram drives me crazy. I also hate when people post a "picture" that's just a typed sentence like "What's the best ____?" looking for responses. The worst for me, though, is Instagram giveaways. I understand people are just trying to use social media to their business's advantage, and I might even be a total hypocrite and resort to using it that way one day, but it drives me up a freaking wall when I see the same thing over and over and over again in my feed. I don't even read them anymore, just scroll on past. Instagram is the one social media place I feel I can go to that isn't all obvious advertisement and I just hate when giveaways cross that line.

    1. Apparently I felt so strongly about all that that I forgot to say I love the idea for this blog series and am looking forward to the other posts!

  2. I'm in agreement with Alicia...#1 pet peeve on Instagram is the giveaway pictures :/ Looking forward to the other "Top 5" posts :)

  3. Oh good god, this is fabulous. I would add to this any blurry / flash-burned / not good picture that is posted with any variation of "I'm taking this photo at night / in a hurry just to have a photo". I'm guilty of it myself on occasion, but when I see it in every single post the blogger makes that's when I know they just don't know how to take a good photo.