Elsewhere

Pattern rename + Elsewhere, yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Before we get to today’s Elsewhere links, below, I want to note that I’ve changed the name of my Wabi Mitts pattern to Mamoru Mitts. Cultural appropriation (vs appreciation) is a subject I’ve paid ever-increasing awareness to since becoming a knitter, and while I think most people agree there’s some grey area, I personally would like to avoid even the grey zones. Especially in this case, since the ancient term wabi-sabi, which has deep and hard-to-convey meaning, is increasingly abused and misused, and I don’t want to contribute to that. Shortly after first deciding to change it, I also ran across this blog post on use of the term, which solidified my decision.

The mitts were originally inspired by Takako Ueki’s beautiful yarn, Habu N-68, which we sell in the kits, and by my admiration for Japanese aesthetics. (The Book of Tea is a perpetual reread for me, if you’d like a recommendation!) In weighing the decision to change the name — and to what — I spoke with Takako about it and she ultimately suggested a perfect alternative: Mamoru, which means to protect. Questioning myself on this led to a treasured conversation with my friend Takako and a name I feel is an even better fit for the pattern, so they are happily henceforth known as Mamoru Mitts.

For more on cultural appropriation, I thought it was really beautifully addressed in PomPom’s interview with Emi Ito, along with the links in the footer of that post.

And with that, Elsewhere—

Major loss for the US yarn industry

Wow, a whole new way to think about finger knitting

— I LOVE the concept for He Sewed She Sewed but not so sure about Bluprint — your thoughts?

— Food for thought: “In many ways, finishing the insides of my makes is similar to taking care of my mind and body. On the outside, I can be as put together as possible, but if I’m frayed, messy and all over the place internally, my appearance is just a facade.” Discuss!

Exceptionally pretty crochet

— If you’ve ever wished for a video of my basting stitch technique: @wildandwoollyshop is here for you

Quilting advice for garment sewers — will this be the thing I need to finally try it?

— “Don’t wait to work on your wardrobe until you are the size you want to be.

— and This. Sweater.

Also, as I hope you know, we donate a percentage of Fringe Supply Co. revenue each quarter in an effort to pay it forward. Our Q2 donation has gone to KIND (Kids in Need of Defense) to help in their effort to provide legal assistance to children detained at the US border. If you’re looking for ways to help these children and the vitally urgent situation right now, in addition to making monetary donations, KIND’s front page lists a variety of steps you can take. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of Fringe, which allows us to contribute to important work in this way.

With that, I’m out. I’ve got a houseful of company coming for an epic event in my husband’s life this weekend, so I’ll see you back here next week!

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PREVIOUSLY: New Field Bag + Elsewhere

23 thoughts on “Elsewhere

  1. I know a few sewing and knitting creatives who have become part of Bluprint (following the demise of Craftsy, which was sold to NBC if I’m not mistaken). I think the new business model is horrible and financially derisive of the new talent (based on what I’ve heard of it) and I understand that NBC has been incredibly unfair to former Craftsy class teachers and denied them their original contract-pay (in the Craftsy original model), in favour of paying peanuts by view. If this is untrue – or if it has been rectified – please let me know. I did quite a bit of reading on the topic a few months ago and this is what I learned. (Which is why I’m kind of surprised that talented peeps in the sewing domain, who weren’t a part of Craftsy, have signed up to promote and work for Bluprint.) Having said this, I was an early adopter of Craftsy and that business model was totally unsustainable – I realized that right from the start. I had many instances (and heard of many others) where comments weren’t addressed in accordance with company policy so I don’t think that was a workable (or fair to subscribers) business either. Sorry for the essay. The point is, I’m very conflicted about Bluprint – esp when I need to log on to re-review one of the many classes I bought from Craftsy. I will not buy anything from Bluprint – and I’ll avoid watching its free content – until I feel comfortable that everyone is being reasonably treated and compensated.

    • I don’t have any insider details but I know there were a variety of complaints around Craftsy and a new crop with Bluprint, so I’m leery of the whole thing. And of course the whole fiasco with Bluprint collecting comments from viewers that the instructors didn’t even know were there. Big mess, badly handled.

  2. Like K-Line I realized Craftsy would not last but have also been disappointed in Bluprint and after a brief trial subscription cancelled and won’t be back. There are multiple reasons including the lack of instructor participation due to poor compensation. Also in the knitting and sewing spaces at Bluprint there has been little new content of interest to me. I don’t believe Bluprint will be around for the long term either and many of us who started with Craftsy wish there were a way to download content for which we have paid.

    • Was the deal with Craftsy that if you bought a class you were supposed to have access to it in perpetuity? (I never signed up so don’t know what the terms were.)

      • Yes – and even more crazily, that you would get teacher feedback in perpetuity. I knew that had to be a lie (because, um, totally unworkable) but I thought that the teachers would answer for the first year or two. That’s not how it happened for me. Also, those classes are SO boring the second (and fifth time around) when you have to listen to the teacher anecdotes (that seem vaguely interesting the first time) again and again and again. Oh, and the video was entirely unreliable (frequently skipped) and the platform was clunky. I really wanted for it to work out, but it was obvious early on that this wasn’t going to be how it went. But I always heard that they treated the talent like rock stars, unlike NBC.

    • I totally agree that Bluprint is only here for a short time. And I also wish that I could download my Craftsy content and just be done with the whole platform. It’s too bad that things have gone this way.

  3. I cancelled my Bluprint subscription after concerns about teacher compensation and lack of interaction with students (which was not the fault of teachers), how terribly they handled that whole mess, and the shift from some good-quality supplies to lesser-quality in-house brands. But the subscription model for unlimited classes and affordable, shippable materials is important for those in underserved communities and for others with limited access to resources. Many LYS’s, youth organizations, schools, differently-abled, and crafters in rural areas rely on the accessibility of Bluprint. Craftsy wasn’t a perfect model, but it was certainly a better structure than Bluprint has been. I’m hoping that someone can come up with a subscription model that benefits both customers and teachers, because it does fill a need for marginalized parts of the crafting world.

    • That’s a good point about the need for such a service. While I haven’t used it much, I’m a subscriber to CreativeBug and love being able to call up the couple of classes I refer to over and over. (I always think I’ll someday have time to watch more!) I know they’ve changed hands several times as well, but everyone I know who’s taught for them has good things to say about it.

    • I agree; it wasn’t perfect but I live in the Middle East and Craftsy was all about accessibility for me.

  4. I cancelled my Bluprint subscription this week. I did a trial subscription in order to access the old Craftsy classes (many of which were excellent!) but the new content has been pretty underwhelming for me. The website is also horribly frustrating to use. Between that and what I’ve heard about how they treat teachers, it’s not an appealing platform for me.

    • You can totally access your Craftsy classes without signing up to Bluprint. I’ve done it. There’s a button you click (can’t remember the details) that takes you to your pre-purchased classes.

      • Yes, it’s on the home page. If you scroll down, it reads: Looking for Craftsy? Or you can just click on your library and you’ll get your forever classes.

  5. Love the curvy women link – thank you! always enjoy the elsewhere section of the blog, I learn so much!

    Never did Craftsy, never did Bluprint, except the free weekends, which I did enjoy, but not enough to pay the fees.

  6. Our library recently added CreativeBug (from JoAnn Fabrics) to our online resources. It’s available for free to library patrons and many of the classes include PDF patterns for free. There are classes available for a multitude of crafts – sewing, knitting, crochet, drawing, painting, paper crafts, etc. It’s new to us as library patrons, and I don’t know about instructor compensation or how comments are handled, so those will definitely be things for me to look into. I believe there is a subscription for individuals as well, if it’s not available through your local library. Never having looked into Craftsy or Bluprint, I don’t know how it compares, but it may be worth looking into at the library!

    • Emily: through what library are you accessing Creativebug? I’d love to have it through one of my local libraries!

      • Hi Kelli – I’m in a rural part of Missouri, Pulaski County Library District (full disclosure, I’m a librarian there). If it’s made its way here, I’d assume it’s already available in larger libraries.

  7. I love the quote about finishing, even though sometimes I let stuff hang out. If I’m making a gift, I always do the absolute best job I can. When it’s for me, I mind less. Also, have an inch of tail inside your sweater after weaving in ends can save it from popping out on the right side and being hard to fix. I think proper seaming is essential for a garment that hangs right. Thanks for bringing it up.

  8. The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) currently has an exhibit called Hearts of Our People, an extensively researched and curated exhibit of the work of over 100 Native American Women artists from many different tribes across North America. Much, but not all, of what is on display is fiber art and it is a breathtaking and intensely thought provoking experience. Although it is getting a lot of attention in the art world from across the country as well as internationally, I have seen little about it in the forums where the discussions about culture and fiber have been taking place (But then, I am not an Instagram kind of person) so I thought I would throw this out here. The exhibit,which originated here, will leave in mid August and will be traveling, spending next summer at the Smithsonian.

  9. I’m kind of surprised to see that you linked Amazon as the source from which to buy the Book of Tea. I absolutely agree that it’s a book worth reading, but I would have thought that someone who cares so much about the ills of the fast fashion/sweatshop industry would be a little more attuned to the worker exploitation that Amazon perpetuates. Just because their workers live in America rather than Bangladesh doesn’t mean that they aren’t vulnerable to being exploited and made to work long hours for a non-living wage.

    • I’ve been trying to form a habit of linking to the publisher’s site, rather than to any specific retailer. I wasn’t sure who has it in print right now and went to Amazon to find out — and ironically, didn’t find the only edition I really approve of, so to speak. (People have a tendency to publish fancified editions that demonstrate they didn’t read the book.) Turns out the Dover paperback is still in print, and I’ve updated the link. Thank you.

  10. I loved the essay on finishing. I don’t sew but the discerning judges at the Minnesota State Fair made me realize the importance of finishing my knits. I don’t subscribe to the idea that if someone on a galloping horse can’t see it, don’t worry about it. I can see it, that’s all that matters.

    I take pride that you can’t see the join in my cast on row or any of my woven in ends. My stranded colorwork can all be worn inside out. I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment above!

    I have been so fatigued by the appropriation of Indian culture and ideas, I hardly know where to begin. I am fine with those who approach an ancient culture with respect and admiration but mostly what I see are fads and the naked desire to cash in. I’m glad you found a great new name for your mitts…I have the kit!

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