Separating Knitting and Politics - PussyHat 01

Separating Knitting And Politics

Knitting with QueerJoe Episode – or read the blog!

For 18 years, I have been combining, not separating knitting and politics. With a blog name like mine, it’s hard NOT to be political. But in recent years, the overlap of these two areas has caused a number of issues.

Separating Knitting And Politics – Is It Even Possible?

“Why can’t we just stick to knitting?”

Years ago, the KnitList used to erupt in the annual political argument about the war on Christmas.

That morphed into many disagreements about setting boundaries around religion or non-religion. Does someone with a signature file of “Have a blessed day” somehow disrespect my identity as an atheist? And then there was the passive-aggressive signature file of a knitter who ended each post with “Blessing to all whether you believe you need them or not.”  How about a signature file that says, “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior?”  Where does it cross the line. Or does it?

While I’m not really qualified to discuss this, but then you add race, ethnicity and privilege into the fray, and lines get really blurred. Ask the white knitter on Instagram who discussed the fear of traveling to India and compared it with traveling to Mars. Was the blowback deserved? Or better yet, ask Nathan about this issue.

And of course, there’s the Ravelry decision to exclude anything that promotes Trump. Is equating Trump-support with hate a valid comparison? Initially, while I really liked the decision that Ravelry made, I didn’t think their decision as right. I have since changed my mind about it.

“…there is no possibility of separating politics from knitting”

In fact, I have come to the conclusion that there is no possibility of separating politics from knitting when it comes to groups of knitters.

There will always be the fanatic assholes who insist on testing the limits. I’m not talking about people that protest injustice…I’m talking about people that insist on being able to hate self-righteously and often in a passive-aggressive way.

For example, I read that someone published a free crochet pattern for the U.S. flag to Ravelry, and it got deleted. With great indignation, they posted Ravelry’s shame far and wide. I mean really, how unpatriotic can Ravelry be? Of course, what the indignant designer failed to mention is that the name of the design was FLAGA. And it was clearly inferred that MAGA and FLAG had been combined to come up with the name.

Always some asshole who has to test the limits of just how much of their asshole behavior is allowed.

Finally, let me be very clear about where I stand. I don’t believe anyone will be surprised by this statement.

As a cis-gendered, white, queer man, I am against racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, classism and xenophobia. I also clearly recognize that there is much I don’t know. And I have made my share of ignorant mistakes in the past. Finally, I am receptive to any and all feedback where I can be a better person when it comes to my blindspots. I may disagree with your feedback, but I will always try and objectively assess whether it’s valid or not.

Current Knitting

I am test-knitting a new cowl design by a budding new designer, Crafty Lucas.

Danao Cowl Patter Cover Page

It’s called the Danao Cowl, and I’ve just begun with the stranded knitting portion of the cowl project.

4 comments on “Separating Knitting And Politics

  1. If someone sent me a note or something with one of those signatures I would not be a friend of theirs for one thing and would be very angry that they had sent this to me.

  2. It’s tough to separate politics from anything these days. I’m a liberal white old lady and some of my golfing buddies are quite conservative. They’ve been more vocal lately because of the restrictions due to Covid 19 and their feeling that it’s too strict. I try to find diplomatic ways to express my views because they’re good people and I want to remain friends with them, even if I don’t agree with their political views. Sometimes I just don’t join in the conversation. I used to think it was a cop out and that I should really say something but I realize that everyone has their opinion and we are free to express that feeling as long as it isn’t hurting someone or causing suffering in some way. I just consider the source.
    At first I didn’t know what was going on with Ravelry and their restrictions. I had never heard of justice warriors even though I tend to lean in that direction. However, I agree with you that some of those individuals are posing as upholding justice for everyone when in reality they are being unkind to some people that really do not intend to do any harm to society. The people they target may be ignorant or naïve or too protected in their little environment to realize what difficulties many of us experience.
    I did read the statement that the woman wrote about her life-long wish to travel to India. I didn’t get the notion that she was intentionally trying to hurt anyone or put herself above them. She impressed me as someone who lives a very sheltered life and doesn’t have a clue what the rest of the country much less the world is about.
    I’m going on way too long. I just wish that people could open their minds to accepting others and not be judgmental. Obviously there are some people who really do wish harm on others but that’s not what I’m talking about. I think a little more compassion and empathy is what we need especially now. Plus finding ways to stand up for what’s morally and ethically right. That’s my big challenge – to speak up.

  3. Not the “politics” part, rather the knitting …
    That cowl looks wonderful. It reminds me of a Turkish knitting pattern. Tnere is a book of Turkish sock patterns which are really exciting. I have used some of them for jackets in the past, and been delighted with the results.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  4. My knitting group of 10 years was undone by the election. It started slowly but eventually it became two groups. It seemed the election unleashed opinions that were previously left unsaid. When you see real harm being unleashed on people it’s hard to ignore. So while I miss some of them I don’t think the rift can be mended. The same happened with Facebook.

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