Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Some of you may already be aware of the events of this past weekend surrounding the rude and micro-aggressive comments made by a certain knitting influencer (I will not name her because I believe that gives her power) about the Vogue Knitting cover photo and story featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama that became the last straw for a number of makers in the industry who have been taken advantage of and marginalized by this particular influencer. The situation opened up a discussion of the struggles and difficulties experienced by BIPOC makers and how harmful the actions of the influencer in question have been. In particular, several makers revealed that this individual was charging them to be interviewed and to then include their logo on her site. Additionally, many individuals have come forward, sharing their experiences of rude and dismissive comments and behavior by this individual. While her behavior has extended to people from a number of races, backgrounds, and genders, she has been especially egregious towards Black women. The influencer then posted a lackluster non-apology that essentially blamed the makers, claimed her dismissive and rude comments about the Vogue Knitting cover were about the layout, and then lied about her dealings with the makers who came forward before deleting both her Instagram and YouTube Channel.
Let's be clear. What this influencer has done is wrong. We should be celebrating the fact that Vogue Knitting featured a woman of Color who is both a maker and a former First Lady, not make petty comments about the cover photo. We should enjoy the ensuing article that shares the start of her knitting story and encourages other makers, including the 14-year-old interviewer, by reminding us that mistakes are a part of stitching, and a part of life. We can learn from those mistakes and then move forward and try, again.
Further, we need to support makers, particularly those who are not part of the larger commercial, big box arena, because their road is not an easy one, especially if they are part of the BIPOC community, not take advantage of small business people who are simply trying to support themselves and their families.
So, I stand with GG and Adella and Lady Dye Yarns and Ceci and the other makers who have come forward. They are our sisters in stitches and a vital part of community.
UPDATE: If you want a clear outline of what happened, check out Knitboop's Instagram story: