The Last Six Months of Knitting

I pulled together a photo album on my phone of all the things I’ve knit so far this year. This is everything minus two secret projects I completed.

I never think I make a lot until I pull it together like this. And currently I’ve got 3 active projects on my needles. But this year has also been an odd year when it comes to how I feel about knitting. Knitting has always been my stress reliever and comfort, the thing I turn to when work was making me crazy or I just needed something to soothe me. This year, the knitting community as a whole has felt like a bit of a roller coaster ride with all the diversity discussion. People, brands, indie dyers, bloggers, Ravelry, I feel like every day there is a new uproar, call to action, incident and it’s exhausting. And I’m not even a person who is doing the work to bring incidents and issues with racism to light.

I bring it up here, in my own space, to say that racism is real. Racism is alive and well and there’s still a lot of work to be done. I’ve been ignored in stores that aren’t just yarn shops. I’ve felt like I was invisible in school and work environments because I’m black or because I’m a black woman. I’ve been to knitting events and taken classes where no one spoke to me the entire time, despite my efforts to be friendly and speak to the people around me. But now that I’m more known because of this blog, people feel more comfortable talking to me – but it shouldn’t take this blog for someone to see me as a fellow knitter. I knit, you knit, we are knitters. Period.

One of the reasons I liked knitting for a long time is because I could do it alone. I didn’t have to join a group or go to a yarn shop unless I wanted to do that. It is difficult to live in a world where even in 2019 I feel like I’m invisible at times, where people don’t see me. And I keep hearing/reading people say these conversations being had online are awkward or uncomfortable to have but how do you think the person who was discriminated against feels? How uncomfortable do you think some of these scenarios are for me? How embarrassing and hurtful is it to come into a yarn shop and be ignored? How awkward is it to sit in a class and no one speak to you but have boisterous conversations around you? How embarrassing is it to be yarn shamed? It all sucks.

So I’ll say this again, racism is real. Racism is alive and well and there’s still a lot of work to be done. I don’t have the answers or the solution but I hope that if you support me, you like this blog, that maybe you’ll take a moment to stop and think about how you can also make a positive change in this community that we all love.

70 Replies to “The Last Six Months of Knitting”

  1. I’m so sorry. I follow you on IG… and are one of my fav accounts. Your smile, pup, knitting, humour, all amazing. Thank you for sharing. Much love to you.

    1. I love your blog and IG. I have been following all that is going on, thinking and reading, trying my hardest to do better in this world. Can’t be silent.

  2. I support you; I don’t have the answers, but am working on being a more mindful and inclusive person.

  3. Wow! So much sadness for me today in reading your post and then later seeing the House is in battle over racism. My heart is just breaking. My respect for people like John Lewis is through the roof. I often travelled in Europe years ago when my daughter lived there and could be proud to be American. I’m no longer proud of how the world views this country thanks to the current administration. I want you to know your yards of happiness has brought me miles of happiness. I love who you are and all that you do. You just need to know that most of us in this country are NOT represented by what’s going on. Keep smiling and knitting and teaching! We love what you do and who you are. Condolences for your sweet fur baby too. You cared for her so well!🥰🧶❤️💗💕

  4. just wanted to say thank you for sharing your voice and your joy. Racism is real; it’s important it is to keep saying and hearing this, esp this week. Standing (virtually) with you, knitting away.

  5. Twelve Step Programs talk about the three A’s–Awareness, Acceptance and Action. This year has been a huge year of awareness of my own White Privilege and racism, thanks to the conversations going on in this community and elsewhere. I’m sure it’s been the same for a lot of others in this community. I’m now in the process of accepting my own sh*t, and learning what to do about it. Action is next. Thanks for your compassionate yet firm voice on these issues, and your undiluted joy in this craft that we all love.

  6. Thank you again, and always, for speaking from your heart. Yards of happiness, and miles of honesty, good sense, and inspiration.

  7. All I can say is “Amen”! If folks still think–in this age of The Occupant (thank you Ayanna Pressley)–that racism is gone then please reflect on what has just happened this weekend. It’s exhausting! How have we gotten to this place? How have we gone backwards? I am so sadden to see all of this, but…I will try to be positive. It’s hard but we have to keep up the good fight!

  8. I appreciate your candor in speaking of your experience. It is heartfelt postings such as yours that made me realize that those of us who have white privilege need to proactively reach out and invite BIPOC into the circles that we create. So that is exactly what I am doing. I just hope that no one thinks that I am stalking them if I ask more than once if they would like to join the group. I love this group and have even taught a few people to knit. The more the merrier! No one should have to “fit in”, I want them to immediately feel like they belong. We are all knitters or crocheters, so why wouldn’t they?

  9. Dana, you are a ray of sunshine in a world that can be so cloudy. I love your blog and all of your projects, and find myself continually inspired and uplifted by your awesome attitude. Those knitters really missed out on something special when they ignored and excluded you, and I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve experienced. Thank you for sharing yourself so generously.

  10. I am a knitter, spinner and weaver. I’m not a blogger, BUT…. Your email is the only one I read.. I look forward to your posts. If there’s one in my in box, I know it’s going to be a good day:) Keep doing what you’re doing Dana. The world needs more of your beautiful smile and positive energy.

  11. Wow, your comments really impacted me. I have been aware that this goes on and it is heartbreaking. I do not claim to be an innocent observer and I am sure that I have been part of these snubs. I do have a question for you dear DWJ. I live an an area of Colorado that is super friendly. A simple “hi” to someone one doesn’t know is not uncommon. There are times when I have tried to just smile or nod a friendly acknowledgment when I pass a person of color on the sidewalk. In many situations it is difficult if not impossible to even make eye contact. I’m sure that this has a long history of simple survival in so many situations. Do you have any comments or suggestions as to how I can open this up a bit and just give a kind smile or acknowledgement?
    Thanks for all that you do!

  12. I would just like to say that what happened to you in these group settings happens to people of all races. I’ve experienced it and I’m white. Yarn shaming, excluded, feeling very uncomfortable happens to a lot of us regardless of race, creed, color, differently abled, etc. It just is. We all need to be more inclusive and kind to EVERYONE.

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