Friday, January 18, 2019

Seek peace and truth in 2019...

Sometimes things happen because of luck or good timing.  Canadians don't observe Martin Luther King Day, but as a dual citizen, I can't help but think about it, even as it's not an official holiday here.

The Jewish Independent just ran my piece:
Seek peace and truth in 2019

And this hearkens back to many things I've learned from studying Dr. King's words over the years.

(Note: Jews come from all over the world, and therefore we're a people of all colors.  Also, historically, in some societies, Jews have been seen as "People of Color" regardless of their skin colour.  We share this issue of discrimination and prejudice with King, and many others, even if the country, time period, and context sometimes differ)

An important and interesting conversation has sprung up in the knitting world about race, inclusion, and diversity.  It's all over the knitting web right now, but if you're on Ravelry, the knitting database with 8 million members, there's a good summary and discussion here. 

When I wrote Fiber Gathering and Knit Green, beginning in 2007, I was insistent that the models and designs address diversity--in women's sizes, skin color, and more.  This meant that my first book deal fell through, as that publisher didn't agree with me. I wanted to include models whose sizes looked more like the average woman's size 12.  I wanted to include People of Color.  I wanted the books to look representative of what I saw in our fiber arts communities.  When Wiley & Sons (the 2nd publisher) chose and published my books, they helped with this goal.

Unfortunately, what I noticed, over time, is that some of my favorite projects, when featured as Ravelry ads, did not seem to sell patterns.  For whatever reason, those designs were not selling.

Maybe the adverts or designs weren't good.  Or, was it because of the diverse models who represent what we see around us,  (beautiful knitters -and people- come in all colors)--but don't acknowledge--every day?

When I redid the advertisements so that skin color was less apparent... Guess what?  More people clicked through to see the designs.  To me, this informal ad campaign showed me that sadly, the knitting community, like all of us, still has lots to work on when it comes to loving and appreciating diversity.  Change and inclusion takes time.

This week, I chose to buy an ad on Ravelry again, to support their efforts in a small way.  The photos in this blog post are the ad images I am running.  This time, in 2019, and on MLK weekend, I hope more people click through.

Designs featured in this post:
Tank Empire
Spire Smock

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Blogger Alison said...

Wow. Wow. I just--wow. Well I'm glad they're selling better but horrified at what it took.

January 20, 2019 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hi Alison. Well, so far, these patterns are not really selling better...but they do have more "click throughs" when I edited the photos. This weekend is good proof that things have not changed enough. So far, very few people have clicked on those ads. Maybe it is a problem with the patterns,but I doubt it. I am saddened by this, but unfortunately, not surprised.

January 20, 2019 at 11:50 AM  

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