Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Not a lot has been happening at my desk lately, mostly I have been knitting. And surprisingly, I have become a monogamous knitter lol. I finished knitting Briochelicious (but I still have to weave in the ends and block it), then I started a shawl that was above my paygrade, and could not figure out a bit, and since I love the yarn so much (from Wing and a Prayer Farm) I unraveled it and will try again after I gain a bit more lace / keeping count experience. Now I am knitting Drachenfels which has lots and lots of wonderful garter stitch. So the bag has some things that need to be put away, there is also my handy dandy woodburner, some Distress Oxide Inks, Tim Holtz Ideology Roses ready for their project, etc.

Also, there have been some very important conversations on Instagram in the yarn/fiber/knitting/crochet community about the importance of representation and inclusion. It all started when someone wrote a very uninformed post about going to India, and "othered" the shit out of it and the people who live there. When she was called out, she did not take accountability and apologize at first. Her initial response was to become defensive and paint herself as the "victim". People of Color wrote about all the times they have been ignored or worse while participating in yarn stores and other fiber places. Then came the "can't we all knit together" posts and videos or worse the "I am a white supremacist who does stuff with yarn but I'm really vague about so I'll add links to racist videos but still not say the word 'race' ". Even today a prominent knitting supply company asked people to talk about their crafty problems, and then blocked and deleted the comment of a person who said racism in the knitting world.

The book White Fragility (available as real books and digitally) breaks down why these discussions are so hard for so many people. It is a really good read. And there is a workbook by Layla F. Saad called #meandwhitesupremacy which is chock full of good information.

I've learned to sit in my discomfort more comfortably if that makes sense. The biggest roadblock for me to overcome was getting over the "but *I* am not racist" to understanding there is a system of white supremacy in place which is more insidious than burning crosses on lawns. It is all about stifling all discussion that doesn't prop it up. For the sake of brevity, I'll just say we as crafters need to be on the right side of this. We are more likely to twist our ankles when we sweep things under the rug : ). There is room for everyone. We can grow from discomfort. It is a great opportunity, I hope it is not wasted.

For more peeks into crafty spaces, head over to Julia's Stamping Ground.


Felix the Crafty Cat said...

I so miss my knitting, used to do lots and now don't do any. I tend to avoid any discussion to do with racism. Most people who talk about it are only relating to those who are a different colour to themselves yet there are thousands of people who we are never aware of that are from different countries to where they are actually living, we don't notice them so much because they look the same as us. As far as I'm concerned if they abide by the rules of the country and work hard that's fine by me. I have friends who are Russian, Dutch, Irish, Tamil, I could go on and we all live happily together and that's what I would wish for everyone. Have a lovely creative week and a happy woyww, Angela x12x

Julia Dunnit said...

I hate that you had to learn to sit in your discomfort. It’s like a cold custard bath. Why on earth should you. I seriously thought (naively it would seem) that crafting on the internet would make us blind and thereforeat some stage come to realise our individual prejudices. I’m embarrassed to be such an idealist.
Meanwhile, I recommend you stay a monogamous knitter...going between patterns would really cock up your stitch counting! I wonder what the TH roses are for.....

Ohhh Snap said...

My discomfort comes from hearing about all the stupid racist, hurtful things (ranging from being ignored at the counter, to vile things being said at yarn stores) some people have had to endure just for wanting to knit or spin or craft just because some people only saw the color of their skin.

I feel that by listening to what people have to say, and acknowledging their hurts and anger we can all move on to a truly better place to craft. If listening and acknowledging their true lived experience gives them a bit of balm, I feel my discomfort is completely tolerable. The book and the workbook explain it much better than I can. I just want to point them out as resources.

Sarah Brennan said...

How ridiculous that some people think that the colour of someone's skin makes them more or less entitled to join in with any hobby, pastime or form of art or relaxation. I really can't understand the mentality and don't see why anyone should have to endure it. I used to knit quite a bit and still have a 30+ year old jumper that I knitted while spending a year working in Germany. I can't bear to throw it away and it has stood the test of time remarkably well. Every so often I look at my book of patterns from the 40's and 50's and dream of finding time to knit something from it. I'd love to see some of your finished pieces. Hugs and Happy WOYWW Sarah #4.