Raverly: Yes, I’m talking about it again.

I do not want to discuss Ravelry and NuRav.  Not really.  I mean nothing has changed since my videos on it, and likely nothing is going to change. Ravelry continues to be ableist while claiming they are inclusive.  But, their latest blog post has triggered such a hard eye roll it’s distracting me from my sprained ankle.  

Yes, I sprained my ankle.  It was quite a weekend. You can hear all about it Knit Tea Live! Replay. 

Let’s Catch Up on Ravelry

Since Jess’s letter when Ravelry threw Cassidy under the bus and sort of apologized, Raverly has proceeded to do nothing substantial to address the situation.

A group of designers sent a letter asking for Ravelry to hire a consultant and assure the fiberverse they are working to fix their problems.  There were four asks:

  • Hire an outside consultant to advise on fixing accessibility issues
  • Make Classic Rav default until seizure risks were resolved
  • Make accessibility changes default rather than force users to toggle features on or off
  • Offer a heartfelt apology 

Below is the Instagram post sharing Ravelry’s response to the letter.  I would summarize Ravelry’s response as: “think we covered it with Jess’s later that was non-committal about a consultant. But, thanks a bunches. byeee” â€‹

View this post on Instagram

Wednesday update for the Designers’ Open Letter on Ravelry Accessibility. Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Let’s do the good news: we got a response from Mary Heather late yesterday afternoon (sorry, too wiped out to update last night!) □ So the bad news: (quoting response in full because it pertains to everyone who participated) “Thank you for writing with your concerns and care. I shared your letter with Jessica and we discussed it this morning. We hope that Jessicas letter last week addressed these concerns and helped share our thoughts behind our decisions and our next steps. We will be following up with continued updates on our blog and look forward to continuing this work. Best regards, Mary Heather (and Jessica). “ □ I know so many of you poured your hearts into this and I don’t want to tell you how to feel about it. I thought I’d check in here with everyone before deciding if a follow-up would be at all productive? Tell me what you think? Also, tell THEM what you think ( email: contact-us@ravelry.com ) □ Personally, I find that laughably dismissive & willfully obtuse. For one thing, it’s still unclear whether they believe the people who have had neurological symptoms (migraines, seizures, etc) due to the website (or if they are tilting towards super problematic claims of mass hysteria). They’ve apologized for causing “anxiety” and “issues”, but are committed to keeping a website which has triggered seizures for multiple users as the default. That’s… not really something you can successfully put a positive spin on. □ [image caption: a closeup of knit diagonal eyelet mesh in variegated wool yarn in shades of bright blue, turquoise, purple & magenta. End] #ravelryaccessibility #ravelryinaccessibility #dobetterravelry

A post shared by Sarah M Goodwin (@sarahmgoodwindesigns) on

Raverly released a new Beta function on Raverly called Swatches. It’s only accessible through NuRav, so people who can’t use Ravelry can’t be part of Beta Testing. When announcing Swatches on twitter, Ravelry utilized twitter’s new safety features to turn off comments. And on Facebook, they deleted comments from people discussing disabilities. Yes, they able-washed their announcements.
A person on Twitter reports they saw a comment on a Ravelry forum regarding an interaction with Raverly TPTB.  Basically, the person used Swatches and sent feedback that brought up issues for people experiencing migraines due to NuRav. 

So, yea, that letter from Jess that threw Cassidy under the bus and gave some people a glimmer of hope that Raverly was going to make a meaningful pivot? 🤷🏻‍♀️. 

My interpretation is that Jessica’s letter was for show, and the team’s intention is  to forge ahead believing that people experiencing migraines, vertigo, eye strain, and seizures, are not real? Making it up? Insignificant? And that leads us up to today.​

A New Knot in the Yarn

​Today, the first of September Raverly has a new announcement. 

Ravelry is so proud of this step.  They are so excited to talk to Ravelers about emPower People that they have again shut off comments on Twitter. I mean, of course, it makes sense that Ravelry is sharing emPower People and craftivism. They are, after all, the inclusive space for yarnies to get together. Well, inclusive for everyone except people who inconveniently experience migraine, vertigo, and eyestrain when using NuRav.   

I believe Raverly would promote emPower even if NuRav had never happened. But, the fact is, NuRav did happen. It’s still happening. For Raverly to wrap themselves in the cloak of craftivism while they silence and erase disabled crafters is tone deaf and hypocritical. â€‹

What to do: Support emPower and Craftivism, Be a Craftivist

I want to take a moment to plug the emPower People project. It is a craftivism project “aimed at uniting crafters across all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement, and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights.” â€‹
I have nothing but positive things to say about emPower People and joining in with craftivism to effect positive change. The fact is, we are living in a perilous time. So many marginalized people in the fiberverse are being actively harmed by racism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, ableism, and prejudice of all kinds. (FYI: If you are a White Trump supporter, you’re not marginalized. I’m not talking to you. Buh bye.) 

​I really encourage you to check out the emPower People website, raid your stash for purple yarn to make your own emPower People Purple Bandana. Or if you don’t have purple yarn, buy some.

emPower People is a group of BIPC indepenent dyers. If you can afford to purchase yarn from them please do so.   On their page is a list of indepedent dyers.  

Personally, I’ve had some purple yarn in my stash waiting for its moment. I believe its time has come!

NOTE: I have updated this blog and removed some affiliate links.  It was thoughtless of me to include them in the first place, and I centered myself when I should have been amplifying the message and cause behind emPower People. I am truly sorry. 
But, don’t just knit or crochet a purple bandana.   Make a plan to vote.  Your vote matters.  Don’t miss out.

As for Ravelry: Be a Craftivist

Again I sincerely encourage you to check out emPower People and take part in the Purple Bandana Project. Also, consider how Ravelry fits into your craft life and craftivism. If you are not prepared to leave Ravelry all together, please consider not buying patterns through Raverly. If there is a pattern on Ravelry you want to buy:

  • Check to see if the designer offers the pattern on Etsy, Lovecrafts, Payhip, or their own website. For a list of designers who sell their work on Ravelry alternatives, visit The Fiber Indy List.
  • If the pattern is only available for purchase on Ravelry contact the designer and kindly ask if you can pay them through Paypal or another method. Let them know you support accessibility for all knitters and crocheters. 
  • If the designer will not accommodate you, choose another pattern. Support designers who support accessibility and inclusivity.

Not spending your money on Ravelry lets TPTB know that ableism is not profitable. 

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