This winter has seen a flowering of conversations within the Instagram knit community about the impacts of racism. Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) knitters have shared examples of the racism they’ve suffered both online and in real life at knitting groups, yarn shops, and knit events. Vox published a summary of the discussion […]
I love to knit, but since I’m one of those people who knits in isolation, that means I don’t interact with the wider Fabricking communities, although I do know of their existence. I did not know about some of the recent racial upheavals in the Australian Knitting community, that somehow managed to work their way out of there, to affect the yarning and spinning communities over here. This may come as a surprise to some of you, but we’re talking abou is a billion dollar a year industry.
If you’re not a knitter, spinner, weaver or otherwise work with fabrics and threads, all of this will probably either surprise you or puzzle you, after all, these communities have always presented themselves as these tranquil peaceful inclusive spaces where everyone just gets along and politics has nothing to do with it.
But I will remind you, all communities are made up of individual people, who bring all their real world bigotries and prejudices into all the spaces they create. So many of the prejudices we hold are unconscious (and unexamined) that we can’t help but bring them into all of our creative spaces, (just like with fandom). And I’m not immune either. Often we don’t discover we have them, until someone brings it to our attention, that we have done someone harm, or otherwise not made it clear what we stand for and against.
While I’m aware of the existence of a wide community of yarn creators, I had no idea things had reached this level.