Episode 66: Real Talk


Filmed on July 19th, 2019

Real Talk

  • Ravelry
    • Since my last episode, Ravelry has updated their TOS to be more strict with prohibiting hate speech and white supremacy, which I fully support. There has been a lot of emotional labour involved in the BIPOC community to push Ravelry to make their site safer for BIPOC members and I’m really glad to see that Ravelry listened.
  • Nathan Taylor and Benjamin Till.
    • Nathan made a post tone policing BIPOC contributors under the #diversknitty hashtag
    • When called out and educated on his post, Nathan closed comments and edited most of the text on that post.
      • I posted about this on Instagram, but I saw a troubling amount of silence from white folks regarding his post. There was also an unsurprisingly large base of fans supporting his tone policing.
      • His post was damaging and irresponsible, but I was not surprised by it.
      • Nathan is an openly gay man with HIV, which is not at the top of the priviledge ladder, but he is a white, cisgendered man in an affluent country who, from what he presents to us online, does not live on or below the poverty line.
      • Those are a lot of things that boost him closer to the top of that privilege ladder.
      • I have seen him more than once equate his struggles as a gay man with the struggles of BIPOC and non-cis folks, so it didn’t surprise me that when people pointed out how his words were harmful to BIPOC in particular and provided resources for him to educate himself, he shut down the thread.
      • There are screenshots of the original text of the post and of Nathan’s and his husband’s responses in the comments available on Instagram.
    • Benjamin Till (Nathan’s husband) posted to Nathan’s account saying that he had to be hospitalized and places the blame on people calling out the racism in the prior post. He continued to engage and encourage racist behaviour and language in the comments of that post.
    • Benjamin shut down his own Instagram account and has posted multiple times to an external blog, which has included detailed, graphic descriptions of his husband’s mental breakdown and calls to action against BIPOC commenters on Nathan’s account, singling out specific BIPOC Instagram users
    • Sunday, July 14th 2019, Nathan made an appearance at Yarningham to sell books and teach workshops (which had been in contract prior to his inflammatory posts on Instagram), despite his recent hospitalization. When he was approached at the book table by a woman of color and asked questions about his post, he attacked her, had to be physically restrained, and had to be removed from the event.
      • This is appalling and violent. This is why BIPOC do not feel safe in majority white spaces.
      • White supremacy is an infection. It’s everywhere, just slowly seeping in. We need to crack ourselves open and carve it out. There are many ways to do that and the amazing BIPOC in this community have been handing us the means to do it with books, workshops, videos, and posts on how to use our power, patronage, donations, words, and voices to make change and hold ourselves accountable.
      • There has been, and still is, a lot of disappointing silence from white makers, podcasters, and businesses in response to Nathan and Benjamin’s behaviour. It took physical violence against a woman of color before a lot of people even started to see a problem. This is not okay.
  • Online Responsibility
    • I also want to make a point about taking responsibility for your audience on social media and other spaces online.
    • For comparison, these are my numbers– YouTube (1389), Instagram (732), Tumblr (369), Twitter (187). If we pretend that there’s no overlap in those numbers, that’s 2677 people. That’s enough people to nearly fill the Danbury Ice Arena in Danbury, CT.
    • Nathan has over 20K followers on Instagram and over 17K subscribers on YouTube. His Instagram followers alone could fill Madison Square Garden.
    • His behaviour regarding not taking responsibility for how his audience will use his words is a serious problem.
    • This is a problem that I’ve seen time and again on YouTube and Instagram as people become online celebrities, since the first YouTube mega-celebrities back in 2008.
    • When you have those numbers, posting to YouTube and Instagram is not hanging out with a few friends in someone’s living room.
    • When you have MY numbers, it’s not just hanging out with a few friends in someone’s living room. I know it feels like that, but it isn’t.
    • When you have those numbers, ANYTHING you post is an announcement to a stadium full of people.
    • It is SO EASY for that amount of people- even if each one saw the post or video alone- to mob, to jump to conclusions, to react in a way that they never would if someone said an ignorant or hurtful statement one-on-one.
    • It’s okay to make mistakes. Offhand Twitter comments or troublesome language in a post is going to happen.
    • When it’s pointed out to you, feel your feelings in private and then stop to think about it. Reach out to people who are volunteering the emotional labour to educate you and, if they are willing, discuss the situation with them. Admit your mistakes. Own that you messed up and clarify your mistake and what you’ve learned. It’s okay to change your mind on something! This is how we learn and grow.
    • But when BIPOC point out how your words to 20K people are going to hurt them and your response is “I don’t care about that,” that is irresponsible, entitled, and damaging to the community that you INSIST you are trying to “improve.”
  • Alright. I’m going to ask you to pause this video and feel your feelings about what I just said. Come back tomorrow if you need to. The crafting? The crafting will be here.

Dye Stuff

  • Lichen Dye – I’ve had lichen soaking in an ammonia and water mixture since December and I decided that, since there is an ammonia base to this dye, I would be solar dyeing this mixture for less smell. It sat in a jar in the sun for about a week and a half.
  • Purple Basil Dye – True solar dye, about 50g purple basil leaves from my garden in water in a jar in the backyard for 4 days, 8% alum solution on the fiber, fiber sat in the dye stock for about a week
  • Eco Printing
    • Oak leaves, maple leaves, ferns, sumac leaves and berries, queen anne’s lace, sprinkled some calendula petals
    • Tea – Fabric was folded and tied into a cube shape, 12 teabags from a box of English breakfast tea, brewed at a simmer for 1 hour, no other fixative on the fabric.
    • Coffee – Fabric was rolled into a cylinder. 50 g coffee grounds, brewed at a simmer for 1 hour, no other fixative on the fabric.
  • Tea Dye – Wool – Second dye bath. No other fixative on the fiber. Fiber sample sat in tea overnight.
  • Tea Dye – Handspun – Third dye bath, sat in tea over the majority of two days.No other fixative on the fiber.
  • Coffee Dye – Wool – Second dye bath. No other fixative in the fiber. Fiber sample sat in coffee overnight.
  • Coffee Dye – Fabric – Third dye bath, sat in coffee over the majority of two days. No other fixative on the fiber.



  • Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry – Once Upon a Corgi Handmade yarns (Queequeg/Briny Beach,Tomorrow I Shall Be Fetterless/Lemony Snicket, Miracles and meatballs/ Ghoul Haunted Woodlands of Weir, Dark as a Crow at Night/ Dying to Burn at the Stake) – US 4/3.5 mm needle
  • Blue Cone Boxy Sweater – self drafted pattern, Brother KH 836e main bed, dial 1 (even on the tension rod), tuck stitch pattern punch card 2 on long, mystery cotton cone from a closing mill
  • Pinwheel Scrap Blanket by Mina Philipp – fingering weight held double, US 4/3.5 mm
  • Jedi Order Symbol by WootGraphicDesign – 14 count black aida
  • Button Down Shirt – drafting a pattern from an existing shirt I like the armhole fit of using painter’s tape and paper.

Other Stuff

Stuff I’m Listening To:

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J Maas
    • Real boring in the middle and this book would have been a hell of a lot more interesting if Tamlin was a woman.
    • I’ll probably listen to the rest of the series, but I’ll probably see if I can library the audio instead of buy them


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