Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Black Women Do Knit; If I Wasn't Depressed I'd Put it in Caps

Wow, I haven't posted in a while and I forgot that I changed my format. I was excited when I saw the orange swirly background. I came because I learned something today. I was fooling around on Ravelry and found Ebony Elite Sistah Friends group - a large group of primarily African-American women knitters. Yes, we do exist! More than 600 members strong, 26 pages of members, overwhelmingly sistahs, pages of tan, brown, beige, light, bright, almost-white, ebony, near-ebony women who know the joy of craft. Hallelujah. Locations include most of the states, many in the UK, a few in the Caribbean, and at least one in Ireland. Black women knit. Amen.
I looked at every photo/icon, feeling irrationally that if a woman was brown and lived in my time and knitted, I must know her. It probably seems crazy, with all the knitters I know and have as close friends, that race is anywhere in this equation. It's just that I was afraid we were not feeling the joy of this fabulous past-time/obsession/preoccupation. I didn't want it to be some elite, separate activity like tennis or golf, with just a trickle of exposure for Black women.

I am doin' more than just talking about knitting. I'm proud of the lace scarves that I've created lately. I promise photos when they finish blocking. I'm also happy with my "little" things: mostly wash cloths and makeup remover squares knit in organic, undyed cotton. They are sweet little luxuries that make me feel pampered while also saving a lot of waste (disposable makeup pads), and I hope others will feel the same. I hated the super-thin synthetic wash cloths they sold for babies when I was a new mom, and I'm going to encourage them as baby gifts, too.

I've struggled with depression this spring. Nothing seems right-the unsettled weather, the absence of my father, the illness that kept my daughter from finishing her semester, the chaos in some of my relationships...I go from painful, stiff mornings when I wonder if I can keep this up to more active afternoons when I am giddily grateful that my meds have glued me together for one more day. I automatically work to boost my mood, but that constant striving takes lots of energy and concentration. I also try to maintain a stable schedule, which means I've got to stop rambling and go to bed. Rest is a good thing.



  1. What a beautiful piece. Yes, there are a lot of beautiful Black women that knit. So nice for you to share your "stitches"

    1. I'm a black, 58 year old school teacher and I love knitting.