Diversity in Knitting

As of late, there has been much discussion about the level of diversity in knitting. I feel like my thoughts are all over the place, so I’m going to list the questions/comments I have:

  • I know that some people really don’t realize that they say things that are problematic, but REALLY?!?
  • You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.
  • The people who defended Karen Templer’s blog post purposefully are a special group of terrible. Just who are you to actively cosign someone’s ignorance? If they are being called out for disrespect by a marginalized group, you (member of a non-marginalized group) don’t get to say whether or not what she said was acceptable.
  • To the members of a marginalized group, don’t do that thing where you cosign and think that your marginalized status gives her permission to not grow. It just makes you look as if you want to be seen as “one of the good ones”, and that privilege goes only so far. Don’t be a modification of the 53%.
  • This is what it took for knitters to realize that there is racism/prejudice in knitting? Must be nice to be that oblivious.
  • I think that I can understand how Karen feels. Not too long ago, I said some terrible things from a place of misunderstanding, ignorance, and a dash of religious sheltering. I cringe when I think to how I spoke/thought. I was young, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior. If Karen really is past the defensive stage and wants to grow, then she’s on her way to being and doing better just from the crafters who have spoken up and given resources for her to do so.
  • HOWEVER, it is not the place of the marginalized to be your LGBTQ/BIPOC Google. Do not give in to the misguided desire to displace responsibility under the guise of wanting to elevate the voices of others.
  • Every time I think about the situation and how people really don’t understand that the fiber crafts can have divisions, it baffles me. I’ve been to TNNA and I cannot remember any other Black women outside of Grace Anna Farrow.
  • I do, however, remember working in a yarn store and having customers flat-out ask me if I knew how to knit when I offered to help them with their project. I work here.
  • I also remember when certain awful customers would confuse me with the other Black woman who worked there. We do not have the same body type nor did we dress in a similar style. Our voices are not even similar. How Sway?
  • I really hope that this does not end here. Don’t think because you knit a pink pussy hat (or Nakia’s scarf from Black Panther) and commented on some IG stories & posts that this gets you a pass to talk at your neighbors, say things like “I wish my hair did that!”, “Let’s have a powwow”, and continue to support the work of artists (celeb or not) who have trash stances. You know who they are. If you don’t, Google is your friend.
  • That scarf from Black Panther…I had mixed emotions on the pattern’s release. It meant that the knitting world would get to have a piece of the art from the impactful film. Since it was released for free, it was protected from someone else watching the film, dissecting the pattern, and selling it. The thing that sticks out and bothers me the most is that I’ve seen more white women modeling the scarf on Ravelry. It makes me wonder if they saw the film and can really understand the message, or if they are taking/leaving what they like/don’t like. It just felt as if we (Black people) can’t have anything for ourselves.
  • Side note: can we stop watching films/tv shows and making replicas of the costumes for sale!?! I can understand if you want to make it for yourself. Lord knows I have a few garment ideas to make for myself & loved ones from films. However, while you might think it’s smart business to capitalize on a project’s popularity, it can also come across as opportunistic.
  • To continue with the idea of something marketed towards a group not being left for just that group, just like Beyoncé’s Lemonade was not created for everyone, the #diversknitty hashtag was not made for everyone. Having different hobbies & favorite colors does not make you diverse. Unique and diverse are two different words.
  • These points are what I could come up with at the moment. I’m sure that if this gets any comments that I will become aware of other points that escape me at the moment. In the meantime, do better, drink more water, and don’t use gifs of Black people for giggles; it’s digital Blackface. Thank you and good-night.
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6 comments

  1. Lots more f great points here, not just to promote diversity in knitting but also to understand what it means to be a true ally! Thank you for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.” Amen!! And, once I know what I don’t know, isn’t it my responsibility to learn? I hope so, because I have so much learning to do! I am glad I found your blog, and thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m frustrated at how some white makers on IG are using #diversknitty as a way to a) get some more views or followers when their post has nothing to do with the discussion on inclusiveness discussion, b) squirm out of sitting with the fact that they benefit from white supremacy 24/7. It’s a new “I’m not racist/I have black friends.”

    Liked by 1 person

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