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Inclusivity in our fibre community

Fay Dashper-Hughes

Over the last few days, there has been a real shake up within the fibre community about inclusivity.  One that I am glad to see and fully support. 

 

The Crochet Circle Podcast always has been and always will be about sharing our wonderful fibre related hobbies and talents.  Being perfectly honest, I would have previously said that the podcast was an inclusive place, however, having read so many of the comments from our community, it is clear that I can do more on both a personal level and within the podcast.

 

I am generally a woman of actions rather than words and it has taken me a while to percolate all the threads and comments that I have read around the subject.  I can only apologise if my silence until now on this matter has caused hurt - that was certainly not my intention.  Because I am a woman of action rather than words, I felt that anything I wrote before I had digested the information and worked out the action I could personally take, would be hollow and feel insincere.     

 

Let me also be clear that by inclusivity I am talking about Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ), people with differing abilities, and folk that don’t fit into the marketeers idea of an acceptable body shape. 

 

Below are the things that I feel I can do to increase inclusivity within our crafting community:

 

The Crochet Circle Logo – this may seem like a small and insignificant thing but if the logo doesn’t look and feel inclusive then it is far less likely to appeal to a diverse range of people.

ACTION – Today I have been talking to Claudia (Crochet Luna podcast) and asked whether she would take on a commission to create a logo that will become the core branding for the podcast.  I am chuffed that she said yes, and so together we will create a new logo that very obviously shows that The Crochet Circle Podcast is a welcoming community, open to all crocheters.

 

Recognition of makers/dyers - Within the podcast itself I often talk about designers, indie dyers and makers. 

ACTION - From the February 2019 podcast onwards, if I am showing anything from a designer or indie maker/dyer I will have asked their permission in advance to show a photo of them.  I already give out web addresses and Instagram handles but that doesn’t do enough to show the diversity of the people in our community.

 

Increase diversity in my Instagram feed – by encouraging more diversity in who I follow, I open up my feed to so much more.

ACTION – Follow hashtags that will bring more diversity into my Instagram feed.  In turn, this will show me new makers, dyers, podcasters, designers to engage with, highlight and support through the podcast.

 

Highlight the creative talents of people from under-represented groups (with their permission) – this work is already underway by the fabulous Jeanette Sloan.  Back in October 2018, she started to ask the fibre community to highlight BIPOC designers.  Jeanette then went on to pull the details together in a list format which is on her blog, and I have linked to here

ACTION - I would like to build on this list to also include dyers and makers and to widen it out to LGBTQ and people with disabilities.  I would also like to highlight designers that design crochet for a bigger range of sizes.  The list will probably be in the form of a blog post so that I can adapt it easily and make it readily accessible.  Step one will be to contact Jeanette and the crochet designers already on her list.  This is not going to be a quick turnaround, but something that develops overtime and is constantly added to.

UPDATE: Through the hard work of Claudia (Crochet Luna vlogcast) we have been able to pull together a list of BIPOC crochet designers with clickable links.  It can be found here.

Global Hook Ups – twice a month, I host two virtual crafting sessions.  These are open to anyone with an internet connection and are free of charge.

ACTION – Be better at spreading the word on the Global Hook Ups to encourage more people to join in, especially those that may have had bad experiences of crafting groups in the past, or find the prospect of joining a group too daunting.  With the Global Hook Up, you can keep the video off and keep your microphone on mute.  That way, if you are too nervous to participate, you can still come and be part of a crafting group. 

I will continue to run the Global Hook Ups in two session and at two different times of the day to encourage global participation.

 

I don’t for one second believe that I have exhausted the number of things that I can change to make The Crochet Circle Podcast an even more inclusive place.  I do hope that the actions outlined above show that I have genuinely taken the time out to think about my place in this community and how I can help to increase inclusivity.   

 

If you have anything that you would like to suggest, please let me know via email – fay@knitit-hookit-craftit.com   Please be warned that it can take me a wee while answer emails  - not because I am being ignorant, it’s just my workload as a self-employed creative.    

 

 Fay 



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