#diversknitty (deutsch)

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Es hätte mir aufgrund meines persönlichen Hintergrundes klar sein müssen, dass es nirgends einen Schutzraum für Minderheiten gibt, erst recht nicht in Handarbeitskreisen. Ich bin weiß und damit privilegiert, genderqueer und lebe einen alternativen Lebensstil. Ich bin in meinem Leben oft herumgeschubst und ausgegrenzt worden, aber das ist lächerlich zu dem was BIPOC (black and indigenous people of colour) Menschen erlebt haben und auf Instagram teilen.

Die Diskussion begann Anfang Januar mit einem problematischen Blogbeitrag von Karen Templer über ihre bevorstehende Indienreise. @thecolormustard war eine der ersten, die ihr dazu einige Instagram stories widmete, die die rassistischen, von Privilegien der Weißen durchsetzten Teile des Blogbeitrags aufzeigen. Andere wichtige Beiträge dazu kamen unter anderem von @su.krita, @astitchtowear, @tina.say.knits, @ocean_bythesea, @booksandcables, @burkehousecrafts, @masteryarnsmith und @knitquiltsewstitch. Sie alle haben großartige story highlights darüber, worum es eigentlich geht und wie eins sich selbst mehr Wissen zu den Themen weiße Privilegien und (Alltags-)Rassismus aneignen kann. Karen Templer übrigens hat reagiert indem sie verstehen wollte, was weiße Vorherrschaft bedeutet und wie eins entsprechendes Verhalten ablegen kann. Sehr cool!

Eine oft genannte Quelle ist das Me and White Supremacy Workbook von Layla F. Saad. Es besteht aus 28 kurzen, einfachen Lektionen, die alle an jeweils einem Tag durchgearbeitet werden können. Die Einführung erklärt noch einmal tiefergehend, warum es so wichtig ist, sich mit dem Thema der weißen Vorherrschaft kritisch auseinanderzusetzen und erläutert auch einige Hintergründe zur Entstehung des Buches. Das Workbook ist kostenlos herunterladbar, man kann der Autorin aber auch einen beliebigen Betrag als Dank spenden. Auch ich beschäftige mich mit diesem Workbook, obwohl ich mich schon eingehend mit dem Thema Rassismus beschäftigt habe. Es gibt immer Raum, sich zu verbessern.

Nach etwa zwei Wochen fortlaufender Diskussion auf Instagram dachte ich, jeder hätte verstanden, dass es auch in der ach so kuscheligen Strickgemeinde ein großes Problem mit Rassismus gibt, auch wenn sich der dominante, weißhäutige Teil davon dessen nicht bewusst ist. Dann veröffentlichte Maria Tusken, eine Handfärberin, dieses Video. Wenn eins noch nicht allzu tief im Thema der weißen Vorherrschaft drin ist, ist es durchaus sinnvoll, sich erst mit dem oben genannten Workbook zu beschäftigen, bevor eins sich das Video anschaut. Mit “issue” ist übrigens “Rassismus” gemeint. Menschen werden einer einseitigen Sicht der Dinge (Rassismus) beschuldigt, die sie nur teilen, um andere zu schikanieren, auch wenn damit in Folge deren Unternehmen ruiniert wird. Sie glaubt, es gäbe eine große Mehrheit, die nur Angst hätte, sich gegen diese falschen Anschuldiungen (Rassismus, weiße Vorherrschaft) zu stellen. Als ob das noch nicht genug wäre, ist auch noch ein fragwürdiges Video verlinkt, das ihre Meinung stützt. Das war der Tropfen, der das Fass zum überlaufen brachte.

Falls unklar ist, was so falsch an tuskenknits’ Video ist, hat @antigonanyc eine gute Zusammenfassung in ihre Story Highlights gestellt. Was mir wirklich übel aufstößt, ist die Bemerkung zur schweigenden Mehrheit. Dieser Begriff wird hauptsächlich von Populisten und (Neu-)Rechten genutzt, um ihre Aktionen zu rechtfertigen. @astitchtowear hat auf ihrem Profil auch ein Story Highlight zum Thema “schweigende Mehrheit”, sowohl zur Herkunft des Begriffs als auch zu seiner heutigen Verwendung. Zusammengefasst handelt es sich bei der schweigenden Mehrheit um “gemütliche, gekleidete, satte Menschen mit Dach über dem Kopf, die die Mitte der Gesellschaft stellen. Aber sie streben nach mehr und fühlen sich von denen bedroht, die weniger haben”. Na, ertappt? Handle. Lerne. Werde laut.

Es gibt so viele BIPOC, LGBT und anders diskriminierte Menschen in der Handarbeitswelt. Es ist Zeit, die Perspektive zu ändern, weg vom Fokus auf weißhäutige Menschen. Wir müssen uns der weißen Vorherrschaft bewusst werden, sie aktiv verlernen, aufhören, Handarbeitende mit anderem sozio-kulturellem Hintergrund als dem eigenen auszugrenzen, Unternehmen von BIPOC Menschen unterstützen und aufstehen gegen Rassismus. Rassismus ist real.

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#diversknitty

I should have known there is no such thing as a safe place from my personal, privileged background, particularly not a crafting community. I am a white, genderqueer person living an alternative lifestyle. I have been pushed around and excluded often in my life, but this is nothing compared to the stories BIPOC (black and indigenous people of colour) have shared on Instagram.

The discussion started in early January with a problematic blog post by Karen Templer about her upcoming trip to india. @thecolormustard was one of the first people to dedicate her a series of Instagram stories highlighting the racist, white-privileged parts of the blog post. Other important contributors to this discussion are, among others, @su.krita,
@astitchtowear, @tina.say.knits, @ocean_bythesea, @booksandcables, @burkehousecrafts, @masteryarnsmith and @knitquiltsewstitch. All of them have fantastic story highlights on what it is all about and how to educate yourself on the topics of white privilege and (everyday) racism. Karen Templer reacted by trying to understand and unlearn her white supremacy. Nice move!

The Me and White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad is one of the most mentioned good sources. It consists of 28 short and easy lessons, each intended to be completed in one day. The introduction gives a round-up on the importance of working on one’s white supremacy and a short background to the book as such. It is completely free, but you may also donate a certain amount of money to the author. I am working with this workbook, too, although I have dealt with educating myself on racism before. There is always room for improvement.

After about two weeks of ongoing discussion on Instagram, I thought everyone had understood, that even in the oh-so-cosy knitting community there is a major issue with racism even if the dominant white part of it was not aware. Then Maria Tusken, a hand-dyer posted this video. If you are new to the topic of white supremacy, you may want to start the above mentioned workbook before you watch the video. The “issue” mentioned is called “racism”. People are accused of following a one-sided belief (racism) to bully others no matter if it ruined their business. She thinks there was a huge majority afraid to speak up against these false accusations. As if this was not enough, she has linked to a questionable video to support her views. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

In case you do not understand what is wrong with tuskenknits’ video, @antigonanyc has put a pretty good summary in her story highlights. What strikes me most, is the remark on the silent majority. This is a term used mainly by populist and right-wing activists to justify their actions. @astitchtowear also has a story highlight on the term “silent majority”, its origin as well as its current meaning. In short, the silent majority are “comfortable, housed, clad and fed [people], who constitute the middle stratum of society. But they aspire to more and feel menaced by those who have less”. Please let this sink in. Are you feeling exposed now? Act. Educate yourself. Speak up.

There are so many wonderful BIPOC, LGBT and differently discriminated people in the fibre world. It is time to change perspective from the current white-centered point of view. Be aware of white supremacy, unlearn it, stop excluding crafters with a different socio-cultural background from yours, support small BIPOC businesses, speak up. Racism is real.

2018 Recap and a First Glimpse at 2019

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What a year. There were so many ideas but way too little time to follow all of them. Nonetheless, I have learned from any project I carried out this year.

The first project I want to mention here is the bullet journal I started in February. I have tried to involve monthly and weekly calendars, but changed to monthly and weekly to do’s as I tend to feel stressed by rigid deadlines. I also included mood and habit trackers which I gradually adapted to my needs. In late summer, I quit the concept of an analogue bullet journal and changed to an android app for mood and habit tracking as well as online notes I can share with others for my to do lists. This was the best decision as I did not like to always carry an A5 notebook with me and do not like to illustrate the pages, either. However, the notebook as such now serves as my DIY knitting planner and poetry notebook perfectly.

In March, I joined a WIP bingo which I followed loosely over the year. My lesson learned is, that any pressure does not help me to finish anything. When I am in a bad mood I will rather cry over the project I am forcing myself to finish than actually finish it. Nonetheless, I have finished 7/9 projects, another one requires only finishing and the last one is currently in progress. Not too bad, in my opinion.

I have participated in Fibreshare twice among other, smaller swaps. I was not aware I liked the idea that much, but it makes me happy to surprise other people. I will probably stick with this new approach.

The Inside Schoeller event was an overall highlight. I totally enjoyed the deep insight into the Schoeller company as well as the opportunity to test some of their yarns. I also was completely stunned, when Novita sent me a pattern booklet and some yarn samples for free after I had asked how to get a specific pattern. I meanwhile have ordered and stashed the rest of the yarns needed for the pattern. I actually wanted to knit the sweater as a KAL together with my friend Alice aka Brezelbutter, but this did not happen for several reasons. I hope we will start again in January.

Another development I am totally happy about is that I finally have freed myself from knitting patterns. Of course, I will always buy and knit patterns I like, but with projects like my Black Metal Hoodie and the cropped linen sweater which I have both designed myself, I see myself able to follow more my own ideas of fashion now. Maybe, I finally will publish some of the patterns. Be scared. 😉

Designing my own knits goes hand in hand with sewing my own garments. I have sewn myself an all black Linden Sweatshirt which I will show you in January as well as some party garments and have prepared some pure Merino cloth I am going to turn into a pair of pants, soon. I am dreaming of a 100% handmade wardrobe, but I am not sure how long this will take.

A project I have been working on for years now is my ever-growing stash. I currently hoard about 34 kg of yarn. About 7 kg of it are yarns I have acquired only last year and not used up. At least, I have knit almost 2.4 kg of yarn equivalenting 7670 m. That makes my average yarn weight in 2018 a sport weight. I hope to reduce my yarn stash in 2019, but we will see.

In contrast to my yarn hoarding problem, you will definitely see me at several meet-ups this year, which does not mean I might not show up at others:

29.-31.03.19 H+H Cologne

13./14.04.19 Leipziger Wollefest und Stoffmesse

17./18.08.19 Wollfestival Düsseldorf

September 2019 Berlin Knits

19./20.10.19 German Raveler Meeting Leipzig

02./03.11.19 Yarncamp Frankfurt

Enough for now as the first fireworks start to illuminate Leipzig’s evening sky. Have a fantastic New Year’s Eve and an even better start in 2019! Thank you for following me!

Summer Knitting/ WIPs

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I am a winter person. I love the cold and long nights. I truly suffer when the temperature rises above 30°C, which has been the case since weeks. As German summers usually are a lot cooler than this year, I tend to just knit finer wollen yarns in summer. This year, I do not feel like even touching any wollen yarn, so I had to change my project schedule heavily.

The good news is, I have almost finished a lacy, silken top I had been working on since 2016 as the pattern is full of mistakes. I also have started with embroidery, something I had been keen on trying out recently. Deep down in my yarn stash, I found some aqua (!) Lana Grossa Mare, a linen/cotton/rayon tape yarn. As it should be easy to overdye it with black, I have started a Sugarcoated cardigan with it.

I also have ordered some black Raffia yarn to DIY myself an oversized sun hat.

Now to the bad news, postponed projects due to the hot weather. I am eager to try out my Schoeller yarn samples, but all of them are wollen. I wanted to surprise two friends with handmade accessories later this August, but I am not sure if this will happen. My dad has asked me to knit him an argyle sweater for this fall and I haven’t even started. I also wanted to knit two baby cardigans to give them to two friends in September, apart from a mohair sweater for myself that is almost finished.

I am fully aware, these are first world problems. People in other countries have been facing extreme summer weather since years. Nonetheless, it is a different experience being exposed to it for the first time in Central Europe.

Sewing for WGT 2018

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This was my first Wave-Gotik-Treffen since I have moved to Leipzig and I have to admit, it also was the first one I survived without a vast lack of sleep. I even did not need to sew the last bits of my outfits during Wednesday night!

As my style is more or less futuristic/ minimal, I can always mix and match store-bought fashion items, sports wear and handmade garments. With the cropped linen sweater still in mind, I improvised a rectangular top from some black viscose jersey. It needs the viscose for drape and the jersey structure for weight. I copied the neckline from one of my favourite store-bought t-shirts. I wore it with a pair of sports leggings with mesh inserts.

My favourite garment this year was definitely the plastic half-skirt. I made it from a seat belt, a heavy buckle, eyelets, snap hooks and an ugly, cheap plastic tablecloth cut in stripes. It is super heavy, but nonetheless I styled it with my YRU Qozmo Hi 2 platform boots to make walking even more a workout. 😉 As the half-skirt is more an accessory than an actual garment, I wore black sports leggings underneath and a black laser cut sports body on top.

I try to see a lot of concerts during WGT, so I do not socialise too much over day which is why pictures of me taken by someone else are pretty rare. However, I have enjoyed the majority of concerts I saw. My top 3 concerts were Beinhaus, whose show is definitely a must-see with lots of scrap metal on stage, three people drumming on it and one of them screaming German lyrics over it, Jo Quail, an electric cellist and composer who plays intricate soundscapes that make my mind dive into it, and the solo concert of Einar Selvik from Wardruna where he also explained a lot about his approach to ancient Norse music and the historical instruments he uses.

Other remarkable concerts in my opinion were Boy Harsher, Mr. Kitty, Wardruna and Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld. As always, there was not enough time to see everything I would have liked to. At least, I am happy with my selection. And now it is time to think about the 2019 outfits.

Bullet Journal

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Yes, I’m pretty late to this party. However, I did not feel the need to organise myself better in the last three years. I did not go out a lot, which is why I probably wasn’t aware of how heavy my three (!) notebooks weigh on my shoulders when I carry them around all day.

I decided to merge my lyrics notebook with my scribbling pad and to add a diary. Years ago, I tried to adapt my routines to the Filofax system, but fixed appointments do not work for me. I need something more flexible, a feature I like about the idea of bullet journaling. Actually, I wanted to recycle my Filofax and find suitable refills, but my search for simple dot grid pages was not very successful. So I went to the city centre to buy some Leuchtturm book, which seemed to be a compromise between a flexible system and dot grid pages, but I found something way better: an X17 planner.

x17 planner.jpg

I bought a 3 ring model in A5, equipped with two dot grid booklets and a plain booklet. In addition, I bought a pack of ribbons to mark some pages and a double pocket for small notes.

My test setup is a one page year calendar, an index, a future log with two months per page, a list of books I’ve read, a list of check-ups taken for me and the cats, my year in pixels, a monthly habit tracker and a week on two pages.

2018 on one page.jpg

future log.jpg

books 2018.jpg

check-ups year in pixels.jpg

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I actually wanted to start today, but as the setup was finished Tuesday already, why wait. Hopefully, this organiser is the solution to my problems. The first days were promising, at least.

As the choice of pens for one’s bullet journal seems to be a significant question, here is mine. A selection of Muji 0,5mm gel pens and some of the famous Tombow dual brush pens.

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How do you organise your life? Online only, by filofax or do you bullet journal as well? What are your experiences so far? What works for you? I’m curious to know!