Changing plans

The actions of Sockmatician (Nathan) and his husband over the past week have caused BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority), BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and marginalised members of the knitting community great hurt and have compromised their safety. This is unacceptable. Racism is unacceptable.

I (Jen) spoke briefly with Nathan at Yarningham on Sunday, and I apologise unreservedly for the hurt and harm that caused. I was mostly offline last week while we completed work on our book, and I was unaware of the full extent of damage that had occurred. Impact is what matters, and I am very sorry. Our stand at Yarningham was in a side room, and I didn’t become aware of his aggression towards Almas until I was on my way home from the show.

We recognise that remaining silent in the face of unacceptable behaviour does nothing to help dismantle the systems of oppression at work in our community.

Jim and I have set out to create a company that empowers knitters and builds confidence in their own abilities with accessible and clear patterns and tutorials. We place great value on learning and recognise that we ourselves always have more to do. Racism and exclusion have no place in the knitting community, and we are continuing to educate ourselves and to work to improve.

The stated aim of our knitalongs is that all feel welcome regardless of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, size, ability, financial circumstances, language, or where you are from.

Including Nathan’s pattern in Boost Your Knitting is incompatible with those values. Therefore, we have taken the decision to remove Nathan’s pattern from Boost Your Knitting.

Boost Your Knitting was due to go to the printers today, and inevitably such a last minute change will have some knock-on effects. We are working hard to produce a replacement design, and to get the book finalised as promptly as possible, as well as to update our posts in reflection of this change. We are still aiming to deliver print copies of Boost Your Knitting in September, and we will communicate with our customers if that changes. Digital pattern releases will continue to occur as planned at the start of each calendar month.

Boost Your Knitting was commissioned between September 2017 and March 2018. It first went on sale in early February 2019. We fully recognise the structural racism that prevented us from knowing a wider range of designers when we commissioned the collection, as well as our part within that. Our future publications will reflect our values more fully.

We have set comments on this post to be moderated. This is not intended to stifle discussion, but rather in recognition that we have a responsibility to maintain safe spaces across our platforms. Please take time to consider any response before posting.

Edited at 17:13 on 16th July to say: We have removed our Facebook post as there was no way to close or moderate comments overnight. I am now closing comments on Instagram until tomorrow morning. And I will review blog comments and approve / address them first thing tomorrow. I have a meeting tomorrow so won't be around very much, but I will do my best to be as transparent as possible about what's happening.

Edited at 9.40 on 17th July: Thank you for your comments. I have a number to review, but unfortunately could not get to them before leaving for my meeting. When I am back online, this will be my first priority.

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