It’s Not Your Grandma’s Knitting Anymore -- If Grandma Is A Trump-Loving White Nationalist Dickbag
A guest post by "Knitsy McPurlson," which we suspect is not a real name.
Yr Wonkette is not the only website run by brilliant peoples unafraid to poke people with sharp, pointy sticks. Ravelry.com – a website for knitters, crocheters, and other folks interested in textiles and fiber arts – is poking people with knitting needles, which are very sharp indeed.
This past weekend, Ravelry.com's founders showed the world how easy it is to de-platform white nationalists and racists when they banned all "support of Donald Trump and his administration" from their website, concluding they "cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy." Seems like people smart enough to decode a knitting pattern are also smart enough to decode Trump's not-so-hidden message of racism and white nationalism.
Effective immediately, the ban includes "support in the form of forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content." Is there really that much political content on a crafting website? You betcha. Ravelry not only contains yarn and pattern data and a platform for PDF sales, it also allows users to create groups that include their own message boards. Groups don't need a knitting purpose per se, so political groups sprout up at random intervals only to die off leaving an unsightly residue, like Chuck Todd's facial hair. Designers also create knitting patterns that cater to political or social causes -- think pussy hats or rainbow pride socks. (In the wake of Dubya's Middle East debacle, a group called "Afghans for Afghans" formed.) It is rumored that in the midst of the 2008 election cycle, the Secret Service was alerted when posters on an anti-Obama forum on Ravelry made threats against then-candidate Obama.
Nor is Ravelry some half-ass niche site. Let me knitsplain: Ravelry has eight million registered users, is a platform for pattern sales and advertising on a substantial scale, and has over 100,000 Twitter followers. This ain't some itty-bitty website thrown together with bad spelling, duct tape, and a Weebly template – it's a major player on the crafting scene.
As per usual, the white nationalists responded with incisive political commentary:
They were met by world-class snark, of course.
Trump-loving crafters threatened to leave the website, only to be reminded their departure is unlikely to hurt the bottom line of a free website. Other flouncers were offered a list of snowflake patterns – available on Ravelry. Another Twitter user had this helpful suggestion: "Folks leaving the site will find themselves with extra spare time. I bet the kids in cages would appreciate some lovely handcrafted blankets." OH THE HUMANITY.
So the next time you see some badass knitting on the train or crocheting in a waiting room, don't say something stupid like "why are you making socks when you can buy them for a dollar at Walmart?" You might get a nostepinne up yer nose. And the next time Twitter or Facebook or Reddit pisses and moans about the difficult of removing hate speech from their website, send 'em a link to Ravelry. If two crazy kids from Massachusetts can figure out how to stop letting nouveau Nazis shit in the sandbox, I'm sure the geenyuses at Google can figure out how to make a pooper-scooper of their own. Knitted or otherwise.
And now it is your open ...
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