Our knitting community is in turmoil. You must have undoubtedly seen or taken part in the ongoing discussion on inclusion, equality, and diversity in the knitting community that started in January this year. Or to put it in less pleasant terms: the discussion on racism, oppression, hatred, bigotry, and ostracization.
Over the past seven months my emotions have been on a see-saw path ranging from "this doesn't concern me" to "this makes me uncomfortable" to "I'm afraid to voice my views". As a white, middle-class, size S, cis heterosexual female with a university education I can't even begin to comprehend the level of privileges that have been bestowed upon me. I have the liberty to step away from a situation that makes me uncomfortable; not everyone does.
I believe your moral convictions should permeate everything you do and not be brought up only when they suit you. A recent sequence of events (yes, this is the whole Sockmatician situation I'm talking about) made me question if steadfastly holding on to your entrenched ideas at the expense of other's safety is worth risking your health, career, livelihood, and reputation for. How would have I behaved in a similar situation? What are my core values? How are they reflected in my design business? What do they mean in every-day decision making?
I invite you to read my Code of Conduct in full but to keep things concise for this post, I attempt to summarize my values below.
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Integrity & transparency
I communicate and operate in an honest, open, and transparent way, and am committed to cooperating with others who also operate ethically. In the interest of transparency I've written out my test knitting guidelines, detailing how and on what grounds test knitters are selected.
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Inclusion & equality
I welcome everyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, body shape or size, mental or physical ability or disability, nationality, race or ethnic background, religious or political convictions, or similar. Size inclusivity is only the tip of the diversity iceberg. I've revised my sizing template (twice) this year and have also made begun to take steps to offer my accessory patterns in multiple sizes. I'd love to provide patterns that are accessible with assistive technologies such as screen readers but this is an area that I need to do more research on to find the suitable technical solutions.
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I'm also committed to reducing the environmental footprint of my activities, directly and indirectly. Knitwear that stays in use longer has a smaller overall environmental impact over its lifespan. My aim has always been to design timeless and elegant pieces, something that does not go out of style and that you'll love wearing even years after knitting.
I'm also actively looking for yarn alternatives that are environmentally less strenuous in production, dyeing, or other yarn-treatment processes. I have a blog post planned on the topic of superwash treatment and its ecological impacts but that is another subject I still need to do some more research on.
This non-superwash treated yarn is locally produced from sheep raised in Finland and is hand dyed in small batches.