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Old 02-05-2005, 03:46 PM   #11
Jouf
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Feministmama - just came across this site while looking at spinning stuff - check it out.

http://joyofhandspinning.com/whoweare.html

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Old 02-05-2005, 05:31 PM   #12
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Hey feministmama, I can relate.... Even though I live in incredibly diverse Southern California, I've felt the mild uncomfortableness of being the only person of color (I'm Filipino American) who happens to be in my LYS at the time. I enjoyed seeing patterns by people of color & ethnic models in Stitch N' Bitch -- I really do think that those images helped to reinforce my notion of myself as a knitter. A few friends of mine of all different backgrounds are starting to knit, if that's any indication that the world of knitting is slowly changing its face. I feel ya....
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:45 AM   #13
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Oh my! Such great responses! Thanks for the links Jouf, Amy, Roxanne and the picture Salsa (and I gotta say I absolutely lurve yer name Hildegard Von Knittin). Thank you all such support. I am going to start looking into women of color knitting and I may even try to contact Lily Chin adn see if I can interview her for Interweave press or something. Anyone know how to contact her?
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Old 02-06-2005, 02:05 PM   #14
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Jouf, wow, the Joy of Hand Spinning website is amazing! Great link, thanks!

Feministmama, when I lived in Senegal for a short time, I had the experience of being the odd-one-out. Most of the time I didn't think about it, but over time I really started to long for the culture where I felt like I "belonged." I remember watching an American movie, and feeling like "these are my people!" You know, usually when you see a Hollywood actor, you think of them as on another level of you, or in a different, untouchable social circle. But after being starved of my culture for a couple of months, I watched a movie, and felt like the actors were my best friends, just because they were Americans!

So, I can see how you'd be looking for your own culture in this world of knitting. Best of luck to you, in finding what you're craving!

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Old 02-07-2005, 01:58 PM   #15
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Re: OK I have to say something
Originally Posted by feministmama
Ya know I love knitting with all my heart but as a black woman I just don't feel like I fit in very much in the world of knitting. Many of the patterns and designs, etc are modled on a Irish, Nordik, themes that are beautiful but they're just not .....me. I did read thebook Beyond stitch and Bitch that was written by a black woman but as far as I know that's the only one. I haven't even read about other women of color, ya know women from Latin countries (Guatemala, Equidor, Peru, brazil) I mean they have thier own traditons and all. Or how about Portugal? Or China? Now I realize many warm places are not going to have a tradition of knitting as knitting is going to relect palces that are colder but as a black woman in the United States (from Boston, a very cold place) I thought there may be some black women or women of color to share experiences. Anyway, i don't know what I'm asking or if I'm asking for anything, maybe I'm jsut ranting. But I jsut wanted to put this out there and acknowledge how alone I'm feeling. And if anyone sees a webiste or a book or overhear's a conversation about this, let me know. Thanks. Love this site.
I totally understand what you mean! I recently posted on a thread about not having wonderful experiences with LYS's in my area. They were stuck up and condescending. And I could not shake the feeling that if I had been white, their greetings would have been a lot more pleasant. I'm not one to play the race card at the drop of a hat, but my gut feelings are rarely totally wrong. While I will most likely keep quiet about it, I never ignore it. So I think that's likely why I use the internet as my main source for knitting troubleshooting etc. The internet affords me the opportunity to get unbiased help when I need it. I would never consider going to an LYS for help with my knitting! That'd be like giving them ammunition to play that "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" bu!!$!^ and stick their noses higher to the sky or condescend me further! :x I'd rather pay $10 and go Michael's for help; at least the people at Michael's are down to Earth.

But I have yet to need Michael's for help because I haven't come across a problem that knittinghelp.com or tkga.com message boards couldn't help me through. :D

And I haven't completely given up on LYS's. I'm just on hiatus... next up is The Good Yarn; although, I don't know exactly when. But let's hope they redeem my opinion of LYS's. :?
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Old 02-07-2005, 03:05 PM   #16
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two of the newest yarn stores here in Brooklyn NY are run by women of color. Knitting Hands was originally opened by a black man who has since sold the store to an asian woman. One of the original teachers from Knitting Hands is a black woman named Maxine who moved on and opened her own store nearby called Stitch Therapy. http://www.stitchtherapyparkslope.com/

She has students of all races and they are knitting up some very ethic and exciting designs.

On a side note: The other day on the subway home, I sat down and whipped out my knitting then looked up to see the black woman across from me pulling hers out at the same time. We looked at each other and started laughing. Who says NY is not friendly... At least amongst knitters.
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:05 PM   #17
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Hi Feministmama...
Hey Mama, what an interesting post. It's lovely to see all the great responses. Life is so strange. I just returned to knitting last May when my dear friend Vincent, who is 85, set his apartment on fire. Woke up with burning hair. (He's ok) I went down to pick him up and met his nextdoor neighbor. The next day, while dropping flowers off to this neighbor, she pressed two balls of Eros yarn into my hand and said, you've just got to knit this up into a scarf. I hadn't knitted in like 10 years. She seemed so intent I thought maybe she needed the money so I bought it. I haven't stopped knitting since last May.

Now. More to the point or maybe not! I have been less depressed, hardly every depressed anymore, because when I am feeling down, I come here. Or I check out The Knitting Guild of America. Or check new patterns. Or, I KNIT! But this site is the best. As stated here, the diversity of knitters here is just so cool. Sometimes I think everyone is probably younger than me, then I laugh at myself and get on with reading the great posts. I don't feel so alone anymore in other words.

I have the new Vogue Knitting magazine here on my desk which I just subscribed to. I opened the magaine, went through every page, saw for the first time, that they are all white. I found one advertisement with 3 non-white faces. Artful Yarns
You've brought some light onto this which is really good. Stitch N Bitch, gotta hand it to them for including all those different people. I love the Japanese boy and knitted his hat! Just think how out of it young guys feel (or old) who knit. This famous designer used to get beat up on the Metro in Paris when he knit, now all his knitted stuff is in the big fashion shows.

I agree, why not create some of your own designs and make some waves? Glad you posted.... Vic
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:37 PM   #18
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I found a couple of blogs and thought of adding to them to this post:

http://asanteyaa.typepad.com/
http://staceysstash.blogspot.com

Enjoy!
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Old 02-12-2005, 03:36 PM   #19
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In the back of Knit.1 Magazine, they have a feature called Uknitted Nations. This month they have a really cool pick from Kenya of Painted Kikuyu dancers...and one is knitting some gorgeous blue cabled work. I thought of you when I saw it.
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:05 PM   #20
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I've been thinking about this thread for a few days now, and finally had to post my thoughts. I've hesitated because my thoughts are different, but very parallel to the things posted already.

I've met with the strange reactions of others, and other knitters, not because of the color of my skin but for other external issues... I'm Polish-American (as in dark hair and eyes and pale, Eastern-European skin), and I'm also quite the gender-bender. My hair is shorter than my bf's, I wear a leather jacket, and other-wise present an image other than that of other young women in my age range. I consider myself queer, not because of my sexuality but because of my blurred views on sexuality and gender (including gender presentation). Aparently, most people assume that a utilitarian view of fassion, nearly buzzed short hair, and sensible shoes (read "no high-heels") must somehow mean lesbian.

When I go to my favorite LYS I always feel a little out of place. Even in San Fransicso's racially diverse populace, almost all of the patrons are white women. And nearly all of them seem to be wealthy, fassionable, manicured white women, with expensive hair cuts and new, designer clothes. The owner (a kind woman who works with her daughter) has been nothing but sweet to me, but the other patrons always look sideways at me, sometimes covertly, sometimes overtly. It is strange to be stared at because I fit a different demographic and sense of self. Even the young, "hip" girls look at me like I'm some kind of strange curiosity on display.

Some of my college peers find it strange that I knit because knitting is so feminine... I guess I don't fit their picture of what feminine is. Though when asked, they have a hard time defining what they mean by feminine.

FeministMama, you posted because of your sense of exclusion based on the color of your skin. I post because of my sense of exclusion based on my expression of self.

So, with that said, a few thoughts; one, no matter how liberal and PC our world is becoming, there is still a long way to go; two, I raise a toast to the impartiality of the internet, where all of us are just humans who come together to talk about the things we all love as humans, not as labels; and three, ROCK ON to all of us who've chimed in to share their thoughts, experiences, stories, suggestions, support, curiosity, interest, and listening ears, and to every one who spent a moment to think about what others were saying even though they may not have spoken up themselves.

Culture may still discriminate in ancient, ridiculous ways, but it is between actual people real life is shared and celebrated. And what a wonderful, enjoyable, silly thing is knitting to bring celebration out.

Ok, I'm done with my sappy philosophising.
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