This year we journey together to explore our knitting roots and learn more about knitters and designers of many different backgrounds. As part of this project, I’ve created a series of guest posts to introduce you to designers who are women of color. Enjoy!
Hello! My name is Gaye Glasspie, most folks know me as GG from GGmadeit.com and I knit. I am the writer behind the blog Confessions of a YarnHo. I also happen to a POC (person of color) Did that statement make you gasp? Did it shock you? I pray your response was “no,” because in my opinion, one has nothing to do with the other.
I have been knitting for about 8 years now. I am self taught and never once did I think I shouldn’t knit because of my race. I have traveled the states for work and have met some of the kindest folks ever through my knitting. I wear glasses but I am not blind, therefore, I noticed that I would often be one of the few, if not only, brown faces present. Again, I didn’t think it was an issue until recently. Well there was that incident in Florida, but we won’t talk about that right now. *rolls my eyes hard*
Let me start with I was raised to treat people the way I want to be treated. So even when life kicks me in the teeth, I greet everyone I meet with a smile. I don’t do labels, wait can we talk about that Plucky Yarn though? I digress, my point is if I meet you and you knit, that’s the important part. I don’t care if you are young, old, male, female, blind..,wait that would be so cool. You all get the point right?
The 2017 Fall edition of Knitscene features lil ole me in the blog spotting section. *insert big ole cheesy grin* Yes they spotted the YarnHo and I couldn’t be more proud. As a result, my followers have increased as well as the activity in my inbox. It goes down in the DM’s, isn’t that what the kids say? LOL! Just about every congratulatory note mentioned the fact that I was black. A few of them even referred to me as the black face of knitting and I was immediately like wait, what? I wanted to say “are you not on Ravelry?”, there are tons of us doing some amazing knitting.
I have this delayed reaction disease, am I the only one? When I think back, anytime I wear my T-shirts with my logo (a natural haired black woman knitting) I ALWAYS get stopped. Heck I was just happy that folks like the shirt, and prayed they purchase. I never ever thought they liked it because it represented a POC knitting. Then I remember when I was looking for pictures for my Knitting in Black History board on Pinterest. I struggled finding many pics, but my reaction was not one of dejection. I just felt like some work needed to be done.
We, POC, can do anything that anyone else can do, if that is what we want to do. I guess the real issue is exposure. I think those in power should be more diverse because we are out here knitting our tails off. We purchase yarn too, hence the blog title: Confessions of a YarnHo, LOL! To quote Lorna Hamilton Brown, who just submitted her dissertation on “ Myth: Black People don’t Knit: the importance of art and oral histories for documenting the experienced of black knitter” at the end of June “Say it Loud, I knit and I’m proud!”