Hello, dear knitters!
I hope this post finds you and yours well, enjoying the warmth of early summer (or chill of early winter, depending on where you are). Things are okay here: Despite a tough loss in our extended family, the four of us (plus cats) are healthy and treasuring the last summer before our eldest starts high school.
I don’t know how to be anything but truthful with you all, so I want to acknowledge that balancing the needs of family and day-job continues to squeeze my knitting time down to the barest minimum. I’ve intended to reach out here on the blog many times, only to find myself preparing for another client visit, or helping the boys pack for a weekend campout or study for a final.
But it’s come to my attention that this weekend, there’s something important enough to pre-empt the rest of my knitting time.
We’re in the news again
It would be disingenuous for me to say that I’ve done anything other than read a news article and Rav’s actual policy. I haven’t.
It would be even more disingenuous for me to say that I think this is a simple issue. I don’t think it’s simple.
Even so, I support Ravelry’s decision. And if that’s all you’d like to know, by all means scroll down to the knitting content (or don’t).
If you’d like to know more about my perspective:
Well, first, Ravelry is a private company and as such they have an absolute right, with no oversight or obligation to explain, to draft whatever rules of conduct they wish. Period. Even if I didn’t respect their decision at all, I’d support their right to make it.
But I do respect their decision.
Look, I’ve been on the internet since very, very shortly after the world wide web started. I started with ytalk and various alt.* and rec.* groups on usenet. I moved into personal web-pages and mailing lists and online RPG forums and more usenet, and honestly? By the time Netscape was replacing Mosaic in my daily life and we had those nifty little “Under construction!” pictures, I’d already needed to develop mechanisms for staying sane online.
The most important, for me, has always been:
Take time, and care, to read absolutely everything in the best possible light.
This rule has never, ever steered me wrong. And in that vein, here’s what I see in Ravelry’s policy:
- They see that the online space they’ve created covers far more than just fiber topics
- They’ve got a deep desire to provide a space that’s inclusive and welcoming to all, especially the most vulnerable among us
- They’ve found that the presence of visible support for governance that’s pushing us toward a more firmly white-ruled, patriarchal system is incompatible with that inclusivity
I know the team at Ravelry, and I know them to be thoughtful, careful, kind people. They have a much deeper and broader view of what actually happens all over their platform than any of us possibly can. If they’ve observed that third bullet to be true, I’m inclined to believe them.
Particularly since I think it’s also disingenuous for any of us to tap-dance around some of the themes emerging from this administration. A visible chunk of the current administration’s rhetoric encourages fear and intolerance of the Other. A visible chunk of the administration’s actual policy attempts to back that rhetoric up. Open pining for “the good old days” feels threatening to groups who often didn’t survive those days, and I don’t think that’s an irrational response.
Reading Rav’s policy in the best possible light, it seems to me that they’re trying hard to ensure that the views expressed in their space don’t cause harm to the folks who share that space.
I do not see a policy aimed at shunning individual people, with all their complications and internal struggles and life-informed contexts and compromises and varied, messy experience.
Instead, I see a policy that tries hard to make sure the air is okay for everyone to breathe. That’s something I will always support.
On Discourse and Discussion
It would be an insult to all of you to pretend that I have the capacity to actually engage in the knitting world’s conversations right now. (Even if I could, another of my coping mechanisms from way back is to avoid discussing things that require a lot of emotionally-charged nuance in online spaces. Let’s chat about that stuff over a coffee or a beer and some knitting, instead.)
So while you’re absolutely free to agree or disagree with me, I won’t be responding to comments. I wrote this post because I wanted to let you know where I’m coming from, and I’ll delete anything hateful that shows up in response.
And, the knitting.
While I will have at least one more design to release before the fall comes (and my usual retreat sweater designs with it), for the moment all I have to share are some updated photos.
The amazing Gale Zucker and Maya J teamed up again to re-shoot some of my older designs, and I was over the moon when I saw the proofs. For everything, check out the Cypress Cove, Point Pinos, and Mount Merritt pages in the shop. But for a taste, check these out:
They’re my favorite of the bunch, and I’m so grateful to have such a talented team making my sweaters look their best.
I want to end this post the way I began it: I hope you and yours are well, and sliding happily into the season, and that your needles are full and soothing.