DDid you know Michelle Obama started knitting while in confinement and knitted several halter tops for her daughters? Me neither, before Vogue Knit posted the former first lady on the cover of the Winter 2021/2022 issue and shared a short interview with her on her website. But so far no one has seen proof of his new hobby. And when someone asked why, it marked the end of their careers.
On the cover of Vogue Knit, Obama is wearing a black sweater, but it is not a sweater. In her video, she casually chats with 14-year-old Shayna Rose, but she isn’t wearing any of her knitted clothes or showing them here either. There are no pictures of her knitting in the magazine.
So, of course, someone asked where her knitting was. This person was Kristy Glass knitfluencer of Kristy Glass Knits, an American knitter known for her interviews with people in the knitting community.
For that matter, Glass was canceled and virtually disappeared from social media, deleting her YouTube channel and setting her Instagram account to private and deleting her website. Glass asked about his own “stories,” a feature that allows users to post photos and temporary comments, so his original comments are now gone. But the rumor quickly spread that she had overstepped the mark. Interviewing a black woman – although the question wasn’t about skin color – is now a big misstep in the knitting world.
Soon after, Glass offered a creepy apology, as is the custom when these things happen, on his now private Instagram page.
“I want to apologize for the harm I have caused the bipoc community because of the recent questions I have asked about my stories regarding Michelle Obama’s cover on Vogue Knitting Magazine. I bought the magazine because I was delighted that she became a knitter and made the cover. I’ve learned that asking questions eats away at the joyful moment of seeing a woman of color in a knitting magazine. I acted without thinking. I never want to hurt anyone and I am upset that I have used my platform in this way. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and do better. Thank you for contacting me to help me understand why my actions were harmful. I wrote to Vogue to opt out of attending their events. I’m going to take a break from my different platforms to take the time to think about my actions. “
In Critical Race Theory, you’re guilty anyway
The glass was truly part of the waking crowd. The Pratt Institute shared one of her Racism in Knitting video chats, where she talks with several black knitters about their experiences, on her Craftivism page. She has since been deleted, along with all the other videos on her YouTube channel. Ever since “the conversation,” which refers to the culture wars in the knitting community that saw many well-known knitting names canceled in 2019, knitters have gradually returned to their knitting. There may have been a ‘new normal’, with knitwear brands taking into account activists’ demands to increase their representation of minority ethnic models and designers, but a certain balance was struck. Yet Glass’s innocuous comment once again caused old moods to crumble.
Her main accuser is Adella Colvin, owner of the yarn dyeing business LolaBean Yarn Co, which has 44,000 Instagram followers. “This woman is horrible. She couldn’t be more horrible. When I say horrible, I’m nice, ”she said in a video. “When I say something, stories start pouring in from people who have had horrible experiences. And we’re not just talking about black manufacturers. We are talking about black, white, Asian, Spanish, non-binary men, women, (….) people who felt belittled by her or made them feel like they were “the help” when they did. were invited to certain spaces where she was. “
Suddenly she was accused of all kinds of bad behavior, not only of racism for “attacking” Michelle Obama, a black woman, but also for stealing designs and selling used balls of yarn on ebay. “Last year Kristy ripped off my Monarch sweater design for her Rhinebeck sweater,” @madebyhaileybailey wrote on Instagram. “I think my story will help better understand how terrible Kristy Glass Knits is as a human and as a presence in the fiber community. Make no mistake, it was the MOST terrible for the makers of BIPOC in its tokenization and exploitation for its own profit. Glass had several black designers on her show and, in one conversation, referred to one as “my black friend.” Hailey Bailey concedes Glass apologized in a private message and offered to have her on her show.
Who knows who will be the next time knitting activists go after someone they don’t like. Kristy Glass – an exuberant, white Mormon woman (some of her detractors say it too much) – may not have been everyone’s cup of tea. She had expressed support for black and native knitters, bought from the premises of Critical Race Theory, and certainly “elated black voices” (to use the jargon) with her numerous interviews with black guests and other ethnic minorities.
But in Critical Race Theory, you’re guilty anyway. If you don’t include black people, you are racist. And if you do, you symbolize them. It’s no surprise that Glass, one of their own, was devoured, as that is what tends to happen in revolutions.
In these trying times, knitting has grown in popularity as an outlet for creativity and a way to focus on something tangible that is under your own control. But for die-hard knitting activists, knitting is just a way to advance their causes. The expression “back to our knitting” has become a racist whistle for them. Still, there is a lot to be said about knitting for knitting.
“Knit with confidence and hope through any crisis,” wrote Elizabeth Zimmermann, the mother of modern knitting, in Knit without tears. Zimmermann passed away in 1999 and never saw the culture of cancellation unfold. An outspoken and unconventional knitting designer, it would undoubtedly have been canceled a long time ago if it had been here today. But I imagine she would have laughed at it and continued anyway. When will the knitting community decide to do the same?