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Around the Web – January 2019

A round up of what’s been going on around the web this month.

Diversity in Knitting
This week Instagram has been full of discussion about diversity in knitting. The conversation started with a blog post from Karen Templer called 2019: My year of colour about her upcoming trip to India. Her post received a huge number of comments, many pointing out how much of it was problematic and offensive. Atia (@thebrightblooms) summarised the reaction succinctly in her post About Being Inclusive saying ‘As a piece, people felt it portrayed India into something alien and ‘other’, to be feared in some way. It brought up feelings of anger at white privilege and colonialist attitudes towards travel. Others understood it to be about stepping out of a comfort zone, to take an adventure into the unknown and found the reaction bewildering.’ 

What has followed is a huge discussion on diversity in knitting. Blogger Heidi Wang (@bookandcables) asked her followers to share a ‘favourite POC designer/podcaster/dyer/yarn-y person’ with the aim of firstly highlighting some amazing people in knitting but also to challenge those who couldn’t think of anyone, illustrating that we desperately need to see more diversity and inclusion in the knitting industry. You can find the huge compilation of people’s recommended designers and more under ‘POC Fibre Folks’ on her Instagram highlights reel. 

We agree with Cat (@theolivetreesandthemoon) that however the conversation started, it is encouraging to see the topic of diversity and representation come to the forefront in the yarn scene. In her post on the subject she put together a list of action points to make a change including; supporting designers and publications that are inclusive, supporting POC designers, yarn producers within the industry and following a wide variety of makers of different colours and backgrounds.

We hope that this conversation keeps going and we are hopeful for the changes that happen as a result. 

Wool Lovers Battle Animal Rights Crowd Over Sheep Shearing 
We loved seeing this article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal featuring wool advocate Clara Parkes who spoke up against the recent animal rights campaigns protesting sheep shearing and the use of wool. 

The campaigns included Lucky Brand’s marketing decision to label their synthetic fibre clothes with phrases such as ‘shearless fleece’ and ‘the world needs more fat sheep’ and an animal rights billboard featuring a naked Alicia Silverstone and the message ‘Keep 2019 kind. Leave wool behind’.

Clara and others in the knitting community rallied together against these campaigns highlighting how these protests were uneducated and ignored the facts that sheep shearing is essential for keeping sheep healthy, that most farmers care deeply about animal welfare and that synthetic fibres are not kind but actually damaging to the environment. You can find the article here.

Clara Parkes

Dress Like a Crayon
Finally, we are enjoying the #dresslikeacrayon hashtag from @whatkatiesews on Instagram who has set herself the challenge to dress like a crayon, that is wearing the same colour outfit from head to toe, for the month of January. She aims to brighten up a dull and dark month, to identify potential wardrobe gaps for future sewing plans and try out different ways to pair clothes. Will you be taking part?

whatkatiesews