Some conservative knitters are so sick of talking about identity politics in the craft world that they’ve created an entire magazine dedicated to it.
“Blocked,” a new online magazine created by the who’s who of provocateurs in the knitting world, is a reaction to the anti-racism movement that has swept the country – and by extension, the knitting world – since 2019. emoji and instructions on how to assess change, the magazine aims to undo culture, wake up the “crowds” and anyone who dares to disrupt the knitting status quo.
For those unfamiliar with this more niche niche, a refresher: In 2019, a white knitter named Karen Templer wrote a tone-deaf blog post about going to India that sparked a wide reaction on social media. (She has since apologized and posted an editor’s note to the article.) Five months later, knitting social media site Ravelry sparked an international firestorm when it decided to ban all support to Donald Trump, saying “the support of the Trump administration is undeniable support for white supremacy. A number of controversies have sprung up from there, including the launch of a line called ‘PolarizedKnits’ and the ‘cancellation from white knit YouTuber Kristy Glass.
Not everyone was happy with this mindset shift, and a few started their own rebellions, like a YouTube channel called “Politically Incorrect Knitters” and a Ravelry alternative called “Freedom Knits.” But none have united so many people in a collective effort to – in their own words – “be a haven for those who find themselves undone”.
The magazine’s editor, Neil, an English teacher from Manchester, England, told The Daily Beast that he started the magazine in direct response to the Kristy Glass incident, in which Glass deleted his channel. and locked down her social media after several black women made videos accusing her of racism. Positioning himself and his contributors as warriors against angry anti-racists and “bullies with pronouns”, Neil wrote in an email: “Sometimes you have to stand up against the crowd. That time has come and that’s us. (Neil, who declined to give his last name, is active on Instagram; his bio includes the hashtags “#itsoktobewhite”, “#thereareonly2genders” and “#diversityofthought”.)
Most magazines adopt this same aggrieved posture, insisting that the real victims of this culture war are the anti-reawakening activists who are being “picked up” and “burned like wizards.” One article, referencing the day Ravelry banned Trump content, begins with this incredible sentence: “On June 23, 2019, the fiber community in the United States was torn apart by racism against white, Christian, Republicans or otherwise conservatives.
Other stories included in this month’s magazine – the first and only issue to date – include a six-page treatise on the Glass incident and a personal essay from the “PolarizedKnits” creator complaining about ” traumatic scars” she bears while speaking out. . There are several cartoons – including one mocking a Finnish publication for suggesting that knitters should not use the term “Chinese waitress” to refer to a specific technique – and an open letter to “influencer knitters” signed: “the blocked and canceled.
“Male knitters and crocheters face far worse rudeness/ridiculousness than anything I’ve heard from a black knitter.”
— Neil, editor of Blocked
That’s a lot of complaining about the difficulty of being white and conversational for a magazine that, as Neil said in his email, was intended to be “an antidote to the nonsense of identity issues.” On page 27, Neil himself writes a full essay on how male knitters have it harder than anyone else, which includes such gems as “male knitters and crocheters face far worse rudeness/ridiculousness.” than anything I’ve heard of from a black knitter. and “We don’t tell black women they shouldn’t knit or crochet.” Male knitters/crocheters are aware of this.
The magazine ends with a preview of next month’s cover: a black-and-white photo of a woman with wire wrapped around her mouth, presumably signaling her silence.
The magazine caused an uproar in the knitting community. A crocheter named Erin Von Holt posted the contributors’ names on Instagram and urged people to unfollow them. A post about the magazine on the “craftsnark” subreddit – which calls the post “a dumpster fire” – garnered 266 comments. According to the magazine’s Instagram account, he’s been repeatedly reported to both his editor and Instagram.
“I don’t have time for this mess.”
— Gaye Glasspie, black knitting blogger
But most of the magazine’s targets seem largely unfazed. Adella Colvin, one of the women who grew concerned about Glass – whom the magazine accuses of so-called ‘black frailty’ – said she hadn’t read the magazine and wasn’t planning on not to do it. Gaye Glasspie, a black knitting blogger whom the magazine singles out for trying to “own the color orange,” had a similar reaction.
In a phone call with The Daily Beast, Glasspie compared the entire post to teenagers snubbing their peers in the cafeteria.
“It’s this whole high school thing like, ‘You can’t sit at our table, and now we’re going to make you uncomfortable every time you walk into the cafe,'” he said. she declared. “Well, you should have done your homework, I graduated from high school in 1984.”
“I’m a grown woman,” she added. “I don’t have time for this mess.”