There was some shenanigans happening on Fiber Twitter, and I cannot believe I have to say this, but it needs to be said clearly: Neo-Nazis, racists, anti-LGBTQ, antisemitism, and other bigotries are not welcome on The Fiber Indy List.
Since Raverly has unravelled failing to live up to its own values of inclusivity the question keeps getting asked: where are we all going to go? Some projects have popped up. Most notably on Instagram Fiber.Club has formed. So far they appear well intentioned, although it will take some time for them to get their site off the ground. Time will tell if they will be the inclusive alternative to Raverly so many want to see come out of this mess.
Now, this is not the first time people have rushed to create alternatives to Ravelry after a controversy. Last year when Raverly banned MAGA a couple of start ups tried to enter the fray and give a home to Trump supporters who felt called out. Those efforts appear to have crashed and burned, and I won’t give them air here. Let the MAGA-rly sites be forgotten like Red Heart Sashay.
But, something happened today that reminds us that we have to be careful as a new crop of Raverly alternatives enter the field.
What happened on Twitter
On June 28, @ElizabettaCarrarra tweeted.
On August 2 Elisabetta tweeted a roadmap for Beta Testing and a name for her site: Yarn Room.
Based on these two tweets it appears Yarn Room is a legitimate enterprise and well intentioned.
OH NO, OH NO, OH NO. Not the case at all. This morning we all found out that Yarn Room is just another MAGA-rly looking to make a home for people who were kicked out of Raverly in 2019.
A twitter dialogue read in WTF
Twitter: Okay…This is one of those statement that on the surface seems okay. But, flags went up and a couple of people asked Elisabetta how she planned to handle harassment on Yarn Room.
Twitter: Wait, what? Like some patterns are blatantly political. You wouldn’t let patterns with Nazi symbols on them. Like duh.
What? No. IT’S NAZIS!
BANNING NAZIES IS TIMELESS LIKE SHETLAND LACE!
IT’S A FOREVER MOOD!
Yes that did happen…
These screenshots are just a sample of Elisabetta defending why inclusivity requires accepting neo-Nazis onto her platform to sell their wares. Rarely have I seen a start up burn down it’s brand so quickly.
Yes I have to say it explicitly
2020 has taught me many things. One big lesson is never assume that sharing a passion for knitting means we share anything else. And it does not mean I have to make space for you. And unfortunately this means that we all have to be a little skeptical when new projects launch. People don’t always reveal themselves as quickly or blatantly as @ElisabettaCarrarra77. But, people generally do and taking a wait and see attitude is not a bad thing.
So, I’m going to say it clearly, so there’s no doubt: The Indy Fiber List is not the home for bigotry and Nazis. I’m human. I will make mistakes along the way. But, I will do my best to keep my endeavors in line with my values. I will not include designers on The Fiber Indy List who take part in Yarn Room specifically, but any site that makes space for racism, and does it in the name of inclusivity is not a site I want associated with me.
Thank you for listening,
Happy Health and Happy Knitting