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.