Dana’s Edit: A New Direction

July 10, 2020

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207 Comments
  • I am eager to hear your voice.

    • Your voice is beautiful, and your passion is appreciated. We are all cognizant of the unrelenting problem of racism in this country’s DNA. However, this is a knitting blog. What if every guest blogger were to start incorporating their personal non-knitting issues into their posts? Will one bemoan women’s rights while turning a heel? Will another address the Israel-Palestine problems while giving advice about casting on? The discussions are valid, but I do not believe they belong in this forum. On the other hand, I am very glad that MDK has changed its name. Words are powerful, and I, too, stayed away from this company for a very long time because of the Mason-Dixon name.

      • Life is political, I have always felt uncomfortable with MDK name, still do.
        Thanks for your wonderful insight.

        • I say, “Follow your truth, and, write on!” I’ll be reading, because it’s important to me to learn and grow every day.

      • I do agree with Nancy. We all have a voice and, thank God, live in a democracy where that voice can be sounded. However, I am deluged from news and other media sources about racism, political and social issues. I do not want to be exposed to this in a knitting forum. I have lived in North America and I know the history, the political upheavals, the challenges of blacks, the poor, the marginalized. I am enlightened enough to know how painful life has been for many people. That is history. Each of us has to make choices in how to live. If this knitting forum becomes another political venue I would not subscribe to it.

        • Ah yes, the words of a truly “enlightened” one… “the challenges of blacks”. SMH.

        • Like many others have pointed out, this website has never been exclusive to knitting topics. Also pointed out by many others, you are free to not read the articles that do not interest you. But to pointedly say that you may have to leave or not subscribe to this website based on a few articles that make you uncomfortable or stressed (as another person has written), seems like you are trying to force this website to only write articles that conform to your needs, your views, and your comfort.

          I find it sad that you and others that feel the same way that you do cannot tolerate a few articles that are written from a place of deep hurt and injustice, articles written with a great deal of vulnerability. The problem is that the “history, the political upheavals, the challenges of blacks, the poor, the marginalized” is not just history. It is unfortunately our current state. I understand wanting a place of escape and not wanting to read or deal with the horrifying realities of our past and or present. But why try to silence someone’s voice by declaring your contemplated departure of this space?

          I love that Dana is choosing to share her voice. I love being given the chance to learn from her when my heart and mind are able to process the things she shares. And also, from an artistic point of view, I like seeing a glimpse into the life of the artist. I hope you will give some thought to these opposing opinions.

    • Isn’t it the blogger’s prerogative to talk about what she wants. It’s sad to me that you cannot be a knitter and both morally and socially evolved. I love Dana’s voice and as a 72 year old white I feel a necessity to listen up. If it’s painful that’s on me.

      • Yes!

      • I agree M. Conehead.

  • Thank you, Dana. On we go, (almost) fearlessly! I will love to hear more about you and your life outside of and around knitting. I need more teachers like you! ❤️

    • I want to hear more, you’re writing is inspiring & so relevant to the changes happening right now. There’s always fear with change but also clarity at the end.

      • Yes!

      • Agreed. Thank you Dana

    • Yes!

  • Thank you, Dana. Ready to listen and learn!

    • Thank you Dana! I look forward to your columns on all topics!

  • I, too, am eager to hear your voice!!

  • The biggest benefit of my fiber life has been meeting new people (IRL and on line) that have expanded my world view. Thank you for having the courage to share your views. I will continue to listen and learn.

  • I have to say that I come to this space for the knitting and the fiber. I feel everyone should use their platform in the way that is best for them, but I’m likely to leave a space that strays too far off topic too often.

    • Ah, but this space has always veered — to sheet pan cooking! To books and podcasts and music unrelated to knitting! To Marie Kondo organizing! To self care and Ann’s husband’s singing!
      Please consider coming for the fiber and staying for the possibility to learn much more. From knitters. Who are (obviously) fabulous.

      • So well put Monica!

      • What Monica said…

        • Ditto for me also. We don’t grow if we don’t consider many possibilities. It may not “suit” you, but others may say,”Gee, I hadn’t thought of that.” Dana is always getting us to be adventuresome in our knitting. Let’s extend that adventuresomeness into all parts of our lives.

      • Well said!!!

      • Agreed, and can’t wait to hear ALL you have to say, Dana!

      • Don’t forget washcloths and mops! Dana, I am hear to listen.

    • I agree knitting is a refuge from the insanity of the world. Can’t we just enjoy knitting?

      • Why can’t we enjoy knitting, AND the real lives and personal stories of the people who knit? That’s long been a tradition on this site and it certainly makes me feel more connected. I can read about knitting anywhere. What I can’t get is honesty about people and what makes them individuals. Especially now, when I feel (and am!) so remote from so many people, I crave that personal connection.

      • It is a privilege to be able to say “can’t we just enjoy knitting”. For Dana, life is so much more than “just knitting”. It’s about having to deal with racism on a daily basis, about having to navigate a world where people don’t see her fully for who she is.
        How can anyone enjoy their knitting, knowing that for Black knitters it’s never just about the knitting?

        • Well,said Karin! I came for the Knitting and enjoy everything I get from this site!: great books to read, podcasts to knit to, movies/series to check outside , music to soothe my soul and points of views different from mine!

        • I too came for the knitting and then was introduced to this wonderful person, named Dana. I love reading her writing and seeing her knitting. In this time of isolation, it is particularly enriching to be given the chance to learn more about our clan of creators and makers. As Margaret stated, “we can read about knitting anywhere” but on this site I love the exposure to the people and what makes the individuals. I am a 72 year old white woman and I do not want to stop learning about and from others until my dying breath. Thank you Dana for sharing yourself with MDK’s readers. Keep up the good work! You are admired and appreciated!

      • The phrase “Stick to your knitting!” [ (of a person or an organization) concentrate on a familiar area of activity rather than diversify; mind one’s own business] was never a positive one. It seems like the time has never been better to NOT stick to knitting.

        I am a non-black POC and an immigrant. While I do not have white privilege I have never had to experience what African-Americans face. George Floyd was murdered in my city. It has been an opportunity for me to reflect, and to try to educate the South Asians around me.

    • Totally agree with Heike. I read this site because of my love of knitting and other non controversial topics. I can go to the daily news for stressful ones. I attended a knitting retreat this week and the consensus from the other knitters was a thumbs down on this type of platform use. In fact, we all felt the use of a knitting platform for the political/social/personal views of the management is not acceptable for your customers. There are other websites for that where you do not mix retail and politics/personal/current controversial views.
      I know there are many who will disagree and you have that right, just as I have mine, but this is not what a Knitting brick/mortar store/website’s platform initial purpose is, I would guess. It is a retail endeavor, first of all and one which must survive that purpose. Customers come to the store and website for their love of knitting, not for the sharing of controversial views of current events or to hear those of the owners.
      It is with much sadness that I cannot continue to see and participate in this direction that is continuing with Mason-Dixon Knitting/Modern Daily Knitting.

      • First off, this is a blog, so it’s weird to expect no one to say anything, second off, uplifting the humanity of underrepresented people shouldn’t be controversial or political. If it is for you, perhaps you should spend some time thinking about why that is.

        • Well said Rachel!

      • Celia, I’ve thought of this site first as conversations between two friends who also love to knit. These are conversations I’ve had with friends and even at my LYS (and with the owner who I call a friend). If this isn’t a good space to discuss, then where? My lived experiences aren’t controversial. Sharing things meant to enlighten isn’t controversial. Hopefully you’ll reconsider and take a chance to see a perspective other than your own.

      • Celia, Thank you for sharing your thoughts so there can be a conversation. I think one of the things that make MDK special is the community they have created. There are many online yarn shops/retail endeavors where one can go if all they want to do is buy yarn. What sets MDK apart is that they have created a space where those of us that love knitting can gather and share other thoughts and learn about other topics; whether that is sheet-pan suppers, tv shows or social concerns. Not every blog post from MDK is my thing…..it’s just not possible to make all of the people happy all of the time…..but the key thing is that the great majority do make me smile, laugh, feel, and think…..and want to knit! When I come across one that isn’t my thing, I just pass on it. I don’t have to read them all. I do appreciate the opportunity to hear different perspectives when I am ready and MDK makes that possible.

        • I second what Amy said: “Celia, thank you for sharing your thoughts” and also “when I come across one that isn’t my thing, I just pass on it.” I can say for sure that if MDK were to endorse white supremacy I’d quit showing up for the knitting content. But this from Dana? Your choice, but I wish you’d just hang out here with the gang when you can and head out quietly when you can’t. Either way, I hope you are finding some way to attend to the critical issues of the day. And that you can see that longstanding racial injustice in this country is one of the big ones.

      • I have found that when I am surrounded with only people who agree with my perspective and political/social/personal views, I do not grow, learn, change, and hopefully, improve as a person. In this day of social isolation, I find myself craving personal connection more and more. Knitting has always been about social interactions, conversations, and the encouragement of one another to be brave and try something new. I don’t believe that listening to each other has to be controversial, but is instead compassionate. hope that you may consider this perspective and stay.

      • You may be right that a knitting website’s *initial* purpose is to sell knitting stuff (though MDK is primarily a blog), but haven’t you ever been to a knitting shop, or been a member of a knitting group, where the purpose was to promote knitting, and then you actually got to know the members, and learn about them, and their lives? I think we are all so much more than just knitting, and I find my life enriched by learning about others’ lives, even if only virtually, through thoughtful conversations like the ones hosted here by Ann and Kay.

        Also, there’s still a *ton* of knitting-only content posted regularly here, so maybe you don’t need to walk away completely?

      • You’ll find Ravelry is growing in the same way MDK has, to encompass the world beyond fiber arts. If you feel uncomfortable while we all try to navigate life, family, and hobby distractions in these perilous times, perhaps you should opt out. Better than acting out, as many have been doing these past few months.

        • Or you can sit with your discomfort and ask it what it has to teach you.

      • Learning about others folks’ shared humanity should not be a “controversial” nor “stressful” subject unless your own comfort is based on othering those who don’t look like you. “I don’t know how to convince you that you should care about other people” is a phrase I keep seeing that’s very much applicable to this comment.

      • I’ve deleted several choice words. I will just say that several years ago my beloved LYS decided not to display a tiny rainbow pride flag sticker in their window. The owner was afraid that her customers wouldn’t tolerate it. This was in Montpelier, VT, which is often called “Montpeculiar”; it’s not a conservative town. I was disappointed in the owner and said so but kept patronizing the store.

        However, when they had to move to a town 20 mins further away, and I discovered another yarn store that was now closer and far more politically progressive, I gradually began to move my allegiance to this store, because it was inclusive of everyone and not afraid to take a stand.

        I admire Ann and Kay for taking a stand and moving forward with their platform that, as others have pointed out, has never been all about the knitting. I think you’ll find that your narrowmindedness will not carry you far in the future being made all around you.

      • Oh, please expand… Why do you believe Dana’s writing would be “stressful” or “controversial”… exactly, ? Be specific, now.

      • You can choose not to read blog articles and still support the MDK endeavor. The two are mutually exclusive. To suggest that anyone would choose to not shop here because of the content a blog shows closed-mindedness. In addition, there are several other articles posted regularly, many of which have nothing to do with knitting, but you are ok with those. So just read those. But truthfully, your comments are very telling about your mindset on the issue.

    • I’m new to MDK and started visiting specifically because I read about the name change. I’m a 71 year old white woman with black family members. I have never experienced even a fraction of what my niece and her sons face every day, but I am a better and more caring person because I’ve been exposed to their experiences. We can definitely share our love of knitting and broaden our outlook at the same time. Looking forward to future columns!

      • Right with you Maralyn in age and newness to MDK. I do enjoy all aspects that pertain to the arts that includes knitting. But also the nonjudgmental platform of being open to change and growth in our craft and in our lives. Keep sharing Dana. For just like your knitting, you do it beautifully.

      • Dana, I am grateful to have begun reading your blog before the present moment. I learned you write with a clear, positive, trustworthy voice. Whether describing the sweater you knit for your doggy, or gently pointing out the limits of a certain yarn, I learned to trust you. I felt I knew you as well as I might know a new classmate, or coworker, or neighbor. And because of that familiarity, your initial post after George Floyd’s death hit me in the gut.

        Because I felt I knew you and trusted your voice, I was open to hearing and seeing your pain, your exhaustion, your frustration. I was open to seeing, maybe for the first time, my white privilege to be free of so many fears you face. I was open to face my past silences in the face of injustice. Your sharing has made a difference in my life, and I hope you will continue.

        I urge knitters like Celia to listen to Dana’s heart. I believe you will hear her speak not in a political voice, but in a personal voice. Allow her personal experiences to add to your knowledge of the world as you would a neighbor’s experiences or those of a fellow knitting group member.

    • But that is what I love about my favorite knitting sites-all the things other knitters are interested in. I think it’s wonderful to have our eyes opened to the world around us. Yes, it’s a knitting blog, but I can always go to a reference book, or Google how to knit a jogless stripe. I think the way knitting intersects with the rest of life is a great starting point. Love seeing where it leads.

    • I so enjoy learning and expanding, exploring with others. Hear! Hear! Thanks for saying it so well.

    • So if the topic is bigger and way more important than knitting, e.g systemic racism you’re out. You probably missed out on a lot with your see no evil stand

    • You’ve got to do you, obviously. I’m looking forward to Dana’s column going forward. Also, you do know that you can scroll right on past content that doesn’t interest you? Also this is not an airport, you don’t need to announce your (threatened) departure.

  • I eagerly look forward to your future columns.

  • I’m in! I miss the diversity I experienced working at a university. My community now is wonderful and supportive, but not diverse. I am eager to hear your voice.

  • Thank you Dana. I’m with you.

  • Yeah! Bring it on!

  • I’m grateful for the direction that this site is taking. I’m also grateful for your part in initiating the change. I am a relative newcomer here, having found MDK during the start of the quarantine as I returned to knitting to help fill my days. Your ideas have always been a favorite topic for me. That includes your ideas about social issues, as well as knitting. I welcome and continue to look forward to your message.

  • Thank you so much for this and all you are sharing in a skillful way that invites openness in us. Your work is powerful and deeply appreciated.

    • Agreed! Dana you are an ESSENTIAL part of MDK for me. Thank you for your willingness to engage with all of us.

  • First, I started making sweaters again last year ( after a series of epic fails) because you kept saying it Is Not Hard. Now, my mom loves her sweater, my daughter loves her sweater, and I’m loving the sweater I’m knitting for myself right now. Second, your writing is fantastic. Your voice is warm, lively and approachable and your insights keen. I’m grateful to Anne and Kay for introducing you to MDK and to you for using this space to teach so much with such grace. I’m looking forward to the next phase. Thank you!

  • Keep it coming! Your column and the others on MDK have delighted me in so many ways.

  • I am looking forward to this shift. The more voices we hear in this conversation, the better we will become. I live just three miles from the spot where George Floyd was killed. There is a monument there not, albiet temporary; and the boarded windows in the area have been painted with murals in his memory and in support of change. We are all learning the importance of symbols now, I am looking forward to hearing you in a new way.
    But please, sweaters too!

  • Go for it!

  • Would love to see what you have done in basic cardigan sweaters. I’m new at this also at the age of 71 and a a little nervous about stitching one.

  • Thank you,Dana. This article is a good indicator of the new path….. one I look forward to walking with you❤️

  • I love everything about this. I relate to the knitting and being afraid to fail, waste money etc. I want to share that my son teaches a course on inequality at Boston College and writes a blog as well.
    https://progressless.org/ He has a passion for educating people about inequality.

    Thank you for your writing.

  • Dana, thank you. Please let your voice sing! I really enjoy your perspective and reading about your experiences. I look forward to much more!

  • I admire you for sharing your truth and experience and look forward to participating in the conversations. I believe it’s never too late to learn whether a new stitch or a different perspective. Thank you.

  • Knitting is what brings us together. But what is knitting without conversation? For me, that is the opportunity and power of MDK! Let’s do it! I look forward to hearing your voice. And others as well….

    • I agree with all of the positive comments above! I always enjoy your posts Dana, here and on IG, written with sensitivity and encouragement, whether about knitting or discrimination against POC that our society continues to perpetuate. I read and learn from your writing regularly. Thank you.

  • Change is good, and we clearly need it. I love your fearlessness. Thank you for all the inspiration, guidance and joy you provide. Whatever direction your changes take, we will follow.

  • I’m a big fan of your writing and this column, Dana – definitely open to change. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Don’t stop teaching us Dana. You are amazing and I want to hear all you have to say. Roar on beautiful lady!

  • Thand you for teaching us, Dana. Please keep doing that – and in a way that YOU want to. We’re here eager to learn.

  • Dana, write about whatever interests you. Your light will always shine through.

    As for fear, knitting is my hobby. If it caused me to be afraid, I would find a different hobby.

  • Absolutely. Bring your whole self and share it with us.

  • I’ve always enjoyed reading your column and hearing about your life. My professional life abruptly changed (I retired earlier than planned) and I miss interaction with other people. I can’t wait to read what you have to say.

  • Dana, thank you for being willing to share your thoughts and your heart. Three cheers for teachers!

  • I’ve been thinking about you, Dana. Change is movement, and without that movement, we are stuck in place. Teach me more.

  • Thank you, Dana! Ready to listen, learn…and short row (?)!!! ❤️

  • So excited to combine my love of knitting with my determination to journey into anti-racism work. I am eager to hear your voice and embrace this change!

  • I appreciate that you are taking the time to challenge all of us. Knitting is never just about knitting — we all have different reasons for taking up knitting, and we all bring our own experiences and perspectives. Thank you for so generously sharing of yourself, in such an honest and open way.

  • I see you Dana. With love and best wishes from the UK

  • I look forward to new directions, and I agree that discussions of what is happening in our world and knitting is not only possible but preferable.

  • As blocking makes our knits bloom, let conversation make our perspectives bloom! Bring it!

  • I’m here for it, 100%. Also, I think you should get a major raise from MDK for all this work you’re doing.

    • Agreed on both counts!!

  • Bring it! As I said to my family, when the marketing professor tells you your brand has an issue, time to sit up and listen. I’m eager to hear more. (and also more Jellybean pics)

  • All I can say is I love this.

  • I’m excited to see where you go with all of this, Dana. Your voice is so clear and important. And yeah, I’m really scared of brioche stitch!

  • Thank you Dana – great column – I especially like this statement – “I point out the inequality in things that I think are obvious, but I have learned that to many they are not obvious. Not because of any malicious intent, but because inequality has been the normal for so long.” Please point out these inequalities so that I can become more aware and so that I can change and so that I can model a better example for future generations.

    • Hi Kathie, it’s great that you’re willing to learn and we are so lucky that Dana is sharing her time and experience with us. Please make sure that you’re also spending some time finding and absorbing resources for yourself so that the burden of education doesn’t fall entirely on the people who are already under enough pressure from a system that doesn’t work.

  • How do you knit 27 sweaters in one year, teach, eat, sleep, and spend time with your husband and dog. That’s one sweater every two weeks. I’m retired and can’t knit that fast. Your sweaters are wonderful.

    • Behind you all the way! Thank you for your thoughtful letters and inspiring us to be better knitters and people. Your sweaters are beautiful!

  • Thank you. I agree with others. I am a life-long learner through life. I have already learned a lot.

  • Yes, please! Your insights are welcome, important and necessary! <3

  • well written and thoughtful article. Thank you for sharing your story

  • I’m with you. Fearless! Great motto!

  • Yes, please. You’ve taught me so much already and I want to keep learning from you.

  • I love that this platform has increasingly felt more welcoming, modern and educational – I find myself checking every day to see what new conversation is happening, instead of every once in awhile like I did previously. Thank you for all of your work!

  • Dana, I love your column and your beautiful spirit. Still wishing you lived next door. Just thinking how great it would be to be with you in my kitchen.

    • Ditto, ditto, and ditto. Dana, I have been following your blog, columns and wonderful videos for a while now, and just seeing you, your beautiful sweaters, and hearing your calm voice makes me happy. I would love to read about anything you want to talk about, knitting or otherwise.

  • This is exactly what I think a knitting group should be – a love of knitting and new patterns and fibers and textures and new ways to do things, and the meditation as we knit brings us compassion and an understanding that the world needs to change, and that we can’t sit back and just wait for it to happen. And it’s not Dana’s job to teach me but I believe it is my job to hear her voice. Thank you

  • I love reading your posts and hearing what you have to say. I’m so glad you are here. You are also inspiring me to give sweaters another try.

  • Thank you.

  • Looking forward to hearing more from you, don’t be silent.

  • I’ll read whatever you write. Onward, fearless leader!!

  • Thank you so much for doing this, Dana. I know it’s not your job to teach us but you’re doing it anyway. I so appreciate the effort and energy you will use to help us understand. Bless you.

  • Go, Dana!! I love reading about your work, and always think to myself, hey, she’s a larger woman like me–she wears sleeveless and short-sleeved sweaters, how come I don’t? You have affected my style, in a “me” kind of way, and you have affected my mind as well. I want to see and read more of that from you.

    I’m sorry to see there are those few who feel it necessary to leave; I ask them, before they leave, to think about MDK, and what it has meant to the knitting community. It has NEVER been about “just knitting,” whatever that is. It has ALWAYS been about *knitting and everything else*. That’s why we come here. So I will add, go Kay and Ann!! You have been fearless, whether it’s been about renaming the site or talking about racism both in the knitting world and beyond. I adore you both.

    And as for fear, I may be alone. I never feel fear when I start a project. I may be apprehensive about a technique, but never afraid. Go for it, people! It’s just knitting! It is always there for you! String and sticks! Whee!

    • Heh…Lynns, Dana has always impressed me as being “stocky”, not necessarily “larger”, in that she’s mentioned she’s not a very tall woman. I mention that because that’s sort of how I describe myself. Short and stout. ;-D

  • Dana, I’m with you all the way and have been since I first encountered you on Ravelry. Write what you need and want to write, and I’ll read it.

    • Speak your mind, Dana. I’m all in!

  • Hi Dana!!
    More, more, more!!! (Hope you hear music). I appreciate hearing from you and am grateful for your teaching because I am anxious to become a better ally.
    I’ve always loved the MDK site because it is about knitting and so much more. (I wish I knew how to bold and use italics — please see so much more in bold and in italics). I feel a little ahead of my white 60+ yo friends because of the change in the knitting/crafting community last year or the year before. I started following new people back then so I’ve had time to read a few books and become more sensitive but I know it is a life-long journey. And I’m excited about becoming a better human being. Isn’t that why we are all here??

  • Thank you so much for your column here. I love to hear other people’s thoughts and opinions. I am contemplating a big change in my life and part of what is holding me back is fear of the unknown. I really like what you wrote in this column, because it has given me another way of looking at something. I also feel that if someone doesn’t like the fact that MDK is about more than just knitting then maybe it’s time to move on to a different knitting blog. I definitely like to read more than just about knitting. I like to know the person behind the pattern, yarn, new way of doing something, etc. If I didn’t, I would have moved on bye now.

  • Please stay with knitting. We have other places where we can Rea about current event and the removal of history. We should not rewrite history. We can record current event. Knit one Pearl one.

    • I don’t understand this term “removal of history”. We can never remove history. It happened, it is a fact. What we can do is re-examine what those actions in the past mean to us now. I assume you are referring to the removal of confederate statues in public places. Those statues were placed there because at the time those individuals were glorified for their support of slavery and as reminders that whites were in power even if they lost the civil war. We have to ask ourselves, do we still think that someone that wanted above all else to enslave other people should be glorified? Do we think they stood for something good? I would argue that they should not and do not, respectively. Our nation is like a home; one decorates it a certain way for a certain time to reflect individual taste, but that does not mean one should never re-evaluate the décor. What was once appropriate may not be any longer. Change is not the same as re-writing history.

  • “Goodness to Betsy!” as my grandma used to say.
    Or . . goodness to Dana, to MDK, to anyone and everyone in this trying time of stress. I believe all our stresses need time, we need time, the whole world needs time; to study, to understand, to wait, to listen, to be aware . . . . there is too much, really there is too much to talk about and figure out today.
    So why not give ourselves more time?
    Just wondering, and sorta worrying.

    • White people in the USA have had 400 years to figure it out and end oppressive systems. Everyone is tired of “taking more time”.

      • Exaxtly. Change is 400 years overdue.

      • I am white and, at 59, I am exhausted by white people asking for more time. if you are anywhere close to my age, then the Civil Rights movement was our wake-up call. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream, Shirley Chisholm’s Presidential Run, so many marches and riots, those were our wake-up calls. If we were paying attention, George Floyd would be alive because we, the majority, would have listened and applied our learning to our communities. No more snooze alarms left, it’s time to sit up, get up and listen.

  • Yes, fear. Thank you Dana. And anxiety! Ego is so involved in projects that fail. It’s hard, it’s disappointing when a project tanks after investing time and hope, but if we don’t try new challenges, our interest and drive slowly erode.

    And I’m a fan. I continue to admire your philosophy. I want to read everything you write, and I’m interested in all the issues and subjects you have raised. My knitting isn’t separated from my life.

    I love your fresh viewpoint. I love seeing photos of people who are not uniformly young, thin and conventionally pretty. I love reading about your pattern choices and the reasons for them, your yarn substitutions, your colour choices, and I follow Yards of Happiness. (Thrilled to see the five variations of Love Note.)

    I would love you to continue here on MDK in any direction at all.

  • Thank you Dana. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

  • Your words and your knits are both inspirations. I hope you will keep doing both.

  • Thank you Dana. Love and care to you and yours.

  • Thank you, Dana. I am so afraid of saying the wrong thing these days. Your help is most welcome.

  • When you hear people defend those statues, just remember there are no statues of Hitler and his henchmen in Germany. And the soldiers carrying the Confederate flag shot and killed thousands of soldiers carrying the American one.

  • One of my big learnings already (for several years) has been that we white folks shouldn’t expect people of color to do our work for us. But here you are offering the very thing we need: learning about the lived experiences of a knitter of color in a friendly way, on a platform intended for a different use but welcoming of all of our stories. I welcome the opportunity to learn from you. thank you. (and sorry if this is rambling and incoherent; I’m just home from the hospital and pumped up on drugs.)

    • Huzzah!! Absolutely and bless your warm and giving heart!

  • Dana,
    I am curious and excited to see what you share. If it is, sometimes, sharing that shows me things that make me un-proud of America’s history, and my (and all white settlers) part in it, then so be it. I have to see it as a generous gift on your part to add to my education.
    With much support and love for you and your mission.

  • I get most of my TV-viewing news from MSNBC in the afternoon and evening hours, and specific to civil rights and BLM, there are SO many valuable insights from people like Eddie Glaude Jr, Mara Gay, Maya Wiley, etc. For me your take on living in America for a POC is every bit as enlightening as theirs, so…whatever venue you use to talk about that and knitting, I’ll be there.

  • Thank you for the scope and timeliness of your articles. I recently realized with the shrinking world of Covid, I had become fearful of some activities I had previously relished. They would still be safe. Thanks for the kickstart. After 4 decades of just knitting a few scarves I knitted a beautiful sweater this winter, twice. After completing the body I tried it on to find that it fit well, except for tightness across the shoulders. It was a top down knit so I reknit it to fit. I wasn’t at all frustrated, just wiser.
    While knitting with friends our conversations extend far beyond the current knitting problem. I savor my solo knitting time and let my thoughts expand beyond the pattern. Thanks again for helping us broaden our thoughts and perceptions.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with all of us. Teachers know that students all learn in different ways. Sometimes wrapping lessons on life in knitting can make them so clear. I have found so many great teachers are also knitters. Bring it on, Dana. I am open to new perspectives!

  • I’m in. 100%

    • Whoops! Didn’t type all the letters in my name…

  • Yes, let’s be fearless together!

  • Thank you, Dana, for being willing to to talk about issues that are difficult to address. Yes, we could read about non-knitting issues elsewhere, but the most profound revelations in my life have come from my friends. For me, it is much easier to see a different perspective when it is shared by someone I know and like. And though we’ve never met, I think of your column as a letter from a friend. One who lets me see sweater knitting and bright colors and all sorts of new and exciting things through her fearless eyes. So write on! I’m in for whatever you want to write about!

    • Dana, I have always looked forward to your columns and hearing what you have to say, about both knitting and life in these confusing times. I look forward to learning more from you and expanding my horizons. I’m one of those “I can’t knit a sweater” people, and after reading your columns I recently ordered yarn to knit a sweater – because you told me I can do it. Thank you for being you!

    • Like you, Mary, I think of Dana (along with local gals ShelliCan & Danielle) as friends even though they don’t know me from Adam.

      Dana, I have social anxiety so I might not even say hi on a rare outing to our shared LYS if I were to see you, but in my mind, we’d be having a chatty reunion. LOL To you as my friend-in-my-mind, I offer my strength, along side the other fabulous knitters here, for you to lean on in those times this sharing you are offering gets to be too much. And I anticipate deepening my appreciation for all you are as you share your life lessons, wisdom, and humor.

      It’s been a refreshing to read through all the comments, even from those reluctant to follow you & MDK in this expansion, not really a new direction. Because as the reluctant ones are honest in their feelings, the responses are respectful. As your analogy used sweater knitting, some are ready to plunge ahead with growth and will welcome & encourage others to join in, saying, “we’ll be here when you’re ready but we’re not delaying.”

  • Wonderful. Thank you for sharing of yourself.

  • Dana, PLEASE share. I love hearing your voice and I want to hear more. I feel like you are my knitting friend and you should share with your knitting friends whatever you are comfortable sharing. Thank you for including me.

  • I’m here to listen and learn–about many things beside knitting. Thank you Dana!

  • I love the way you put this, thank you. And thank you for all that you share (especially when it includes your dog, in any way, shape or form!).

  • I shall be waiting to learn from you about knitting, doggie sweaters, and a fearless life. I look forward to this new direction for all of us willing to tag along. I’m in. Thank you! Carry on!!

  • I continue to be a fan in every way of this blog both for the knitting know how which I am so appreciative of, but especially for the other unrelated and always interesting topics. I am so impressed with how thoughtful and well written the blog posts are and also the supportive and positive comments (mostly), especially today on this topic. It gives me hope that we can discuss this without rancor, defensiveness, or divisiveness. I want to continue to learn more and know more. No offense to any knitting men, but women are the ones who change societies even if it takes years so keep discussing!

  • I love this new direction into a (hopefully) better future. Thank you for your voice and view point which is expanding mine.

  • Go for it!

  • Dana, you are a shining star. Thank you for your knitting, but also your perspective on more important things. I’m in my late 50s and have felt confused in recent decades: why did I think of the Civil War as being “about” slavery when apparently it was “about” state’s rights? It somehow didn’t occur to me that textbooks would hide and even rewrite the “facts”. Keep your input coming, both inside and beyond the world of knitting.

  • I’m not surprised to see “can’t we just get back to knitting” comments here.

    To each of you, thank you for dismissing Dana’s column, her life as a Black woman, her life as a Black woman who knits, her life as a Black creative. Thank you for putting your need to absent yourselves from the realities of the lives of Black and brown men and women first and above our own needs. I appreciate being reminded that, no matter where I go, whether in search of information, solidarity, peace, or inspiration, I am guaranteed that someone will roll their eyes, sigh in resignation, and politely ask that I not bring my whole self into the room. Please, you say, just bring that with which we are most comfortable; shrink yourself to fit into the mold we prefer. We know you have experienced horrible things, but if you could just not say anything about it here…or here…or there…or anywhere we happen to be, we’d appreciate it.

    I, too, would like to “just get back to knitting.” What does that feel like, I wonder, to be able to turn away from necessary conversations that could/should produce necessary solutions, to be able to pick and choose which parts of other human beings we choose to see as equal or good enough, while ignoring all the rest?

    Thank you, Dana, for your whole self.

    • Liz, Thank you for finding the words for what is in my heart.
      Dana, I’m ready and listening.

  • Thank you, Dana. I appreciate that you are sharing more of yourself and your life experience with the MDK community. Knitting is about fiber, creativity, relaxation, meditation, warmth, whimsy, beauty, fear, sorrow, celebration, comfort, the joy of making, and oh, so much more. But knitting, and all the fiber arts, arise out of communities located in a particular place and time, each of which contributes their own particularities of expression to the wider world. The sharing of those stories is part of what makes the fiber arts so enticing. So yes, I want to see and hear and learn about the lives, the joys, the sorrows, the suffering that are reflected in people’s life stories. I am grateful that so many knitters are opening their minds, hearts, and souls to voices that have long been silenced or erased by the dominant culture. I want to see what you make and hear the life experiences behind the making. For me, it make the world of knitting more meaningful and relevant than ever before. Thank you, Dana, and thank you, MDK Knitting, for your commitment, in yarn and in story, to making this world a more beautiful place for all.

  • Knitters learn from each other by sharing their experience. It’s what we do. I look to others for help in navigating through something that I know nothing about.

  • I’m fairly new, so this is my hello. Dana, I love your work and everything I have read so far and am looking forward to hearing your perspective and learning how I can be a better ally as well as a better knitter.

    Funny (maybe not..) story..I used to work in a LYS where the owner was older and very set in her ways and opinions. She used to say that men were better knitters because they weren’t afraid to try new things. One of the main reasons I left that job was I got tired of knitters who were afraid. Afraid to make a mistake, afraid to try something new, afraid to problem solve, afraid to make a decision about a pattern or yarn or color of yarn. It burned me out. It made me so sad to see so many (mostly) women so paralyzed with anxiety about something that is supposed to be joyful and creative.

  • Keep opening my eyes, Dana, because I love it! Do it any way you desire. By the way, there is a street named Jim Crow Rd. just south of us. It was named for the gentleman who owned the property where the road is now located. His middle name was James, and he was called Jim by most folks. Many people in the area are petitioning to have the name changed. I, for one, could never have lived on a street by that name, but that is just me. Of course the name should be changed. How could anyone be opposed to that? But, this is Georgia, so you know how that goes.

  • Thank you Dana! My aunt was the knitter In my family and I was so sad when she passed away. I took up knitting two years ago because it had been something I have always wanted to do. I have learned that everything takes practice.

    If we don’t confront those issues like race and language like Mason Dixon line we lose the opportunity to understand each other. I am happy to knit and listen

  • Look forward to hearing everything you have to say – you were always an inspiration to me but now I am even more awestruck. Thank you for sharing.

  • I will always show up happily and gratefully for anything you have to say, Dana. One of my favorite places on the internet is wherever you are, and I can’t imagine anything better than you doing you, and that means all of you. It’s really quite a gift you are offering. Thank you for your willingness to engage with all of us out here in internet land in this way.

  • I’m open to change and I’d like to be fearless with you! Thanks for all you do.

  • Omgoodness! I didn’t know it, but I have wanted to know and follow someone like Dana all of my knitting life!!!!!!!!!! (past 15 years) I am thrilled–thrilled–to find out about her and MDK. I LOVE knitting. I am not afraid to try anything. Like Dana, I want to learn it all. I LOVE her sweaters!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy and excited.

    I never follow people. I’m not into social media, but I will be following you.

    I started a knitting group at my job. Since the pandemic we’ve been knitting remotely. Honestly, very few people show up, but I do just about every week. There was a lot more enthusiasm when we were on-site.

    I am knitting a crib-size blanket for a friend’s adopted little boy. Next will be a scarf for my sister.

    I am so pleased to find out about Dana!!!! Thank you!

    Btw, it’s almost impossible to find stock photos of brown hands knitting. The only one I was able to find is from the UK brand Wool and the Gang. I’d love to see photos of hands of different colors knitting or doing other fiber crafts.

    Thrilled. Thank you.

  • Ready to be fearless. Thank you for your courage and grace.

  • Thank you for this post Dana. It’s always great to read your news here and on your blog. Thank you for your generosity in wanting to share. I hear you when you say it can be exhausting and I will try and honour that. I will listen, learn, try to do better and take that into my sphere of influence, whether it be friends, family, work etc. And to those who want this space to be just about knitting, as others have already pointed out, it’s never been *just* that. Those other topics, though, – what to have for dinner, self-care, what to watch on a lazy Sunday – aren’t as challenging, and are unlikely to have evoked the degree of discomfort that some readers maybe experiencing at the moment. For me, that discomfort is far outweighed by the prospect of this and other spaces and places being more inclusive and welcoming. Furthermore, moving through that discomfort has led to some of the richest, most rewarding and joyous conversations and relationships I’ve been blessed to experience. I’m certain that It will be the same here.

  • I love everything you said. I’m ready to step beyond all of the fear in my life. I want to be a better knitter and a better human.

    Thanks for assisting me with both!

  • I am ready to listen and learn! Thank you, Dana.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful words! I look forward to whatever you want to share with us. Please bring it all on! I love the Painting Bricks pattern and your sweater. All of the Stephen West Painting Bricks patterns give me fond memories me of the Ball Band dishcloth that I learned about in Ann and Kay’s book. It was the first mosaic pattern that I attempted, and though I was a beginner, it turned out well and gave me the courage to try other new-to-me knitting techniques.

  • Looking forward to your future articles, Dana! Thank you for your work!

  • Dana, I think your column can be whatever you want it to be. I’ll keep reading. For the folks who want the MDK site to only focus on knitting, ask yourself if your local live knitting/fiber group ONLY talks about knitting when it meets. I have found some of my best friends at a knitting group and knitting was probably a minor part of our conversation. We veered anywhere and everywhere…food, politics, school, kids, work, home repairs, lawn mowing, psychotherapy (we had a couple of licensed professional counselors in our group). And most of the time our conversations were just this side of too off color for public consumption. And for all that I adored my knitting/fiber group. So if any of the columns here or any other the contributors veer off topic into things other than knitting that are interesting, mind expanding and community building, I’m game.

  • I too use knitting as a reprieve from the outside world. To escape the stresses of everything going on in my life and this world. But I do that in solitude on my couch. When I open up social media that’s inviting the world in, with all the glorious colors, creative expressions and the chance to learn something new and exciting. I welcome the chance to gain a new perspective and to have the opportunity to learn and grow. I love Dana’s writing because she speaks from the heart (and I’m envious of all the beautiful sweaters she makes!). She makes you feel like a friend having a chat. (Well, we did meet once in an elevator at the Webs retreat). Can’t wait for your next post.

  • Thank you, Dana, and thank you, Ann and Kay, for helping create a knitting community that is open to conversation about all sorts of things, some sad and serious, some creative, some practical, some fun. Knitting by itself is interesting, but the thing that links our hearts is all the rest of the conversations that get started on MDK.

  • “Change isn’t something to fear” = yes, yes, and yes. We have many legitimate things to fear in the world right now, and change absolutely is not one of those things. We must open our hearts and minds to change, even if it’s going to be hard – especially if it’s going to hard. Think of the rewards to come if we commit to navigating the things that are hard. Dana, I’ve enjoyed and learned from your writing, your fabulous fiber style, your fabulous glasses, and always love to see your dog! Thank you for sharing your voice and your talents – I look forward to hearing all you have to say.

  • Dana, I so deeply appreciate your willingness to share your wit, your wisdom, and your broken heart with us. I treasure what you have to say. And while I certainly would defend Dana’s-and those who agree with her-right to believe as they do, it is not a view I share. To make something out of nothing but sticks and string that needs to please no one but the maker is the ultimate subversive act. Crafters’ circles have always served that purpose. May MDK and Dana’s column continue in that proud tradition.

  • I am just throwing this out there because I have a wicked sense of righteous anger. It also would be a wonderful kick off for a short horror story. Inside every confederate statue is a part of the soul of the deceased person. Everyday people walk by the statue. One day it is an AA boy running and laughing with his parents, the next day it is an Asian couple with their kids, the next day a white family with there kids. Saturday is a kids free for all, Kids everywhere, running playing singing, laughing, you know all the stuff kids do, There is the statue looking at all these people that don’t look like him, sound like him, talk, or mix with him. He is always outside looking in at successful people who in no way resemble him because they are free and they are running around having fun. A world that he can not have envisioned, participate in or have a say in. It is only when he recognizes his fallibly as a human being that he could perhaps save himself.

    I use to work in publishing and had to review every.piece.of.art. That went into our books. (I can’t tell you how many salamanders I have seen in my lifetime.) and one of the first concerns I had was that I wanted to have the best art and a concern about censorship, and how to show people in the best way possible not matter the gender or race.What I was told was “we are talking about the past and how things were then. This book is to show the errors of logic, that certain ideas occurred in different parts of the world at the same time with no contact with others in the same field, and how media has shaped our world.” We are showing the past in a framework of the leaps and bounds that science and individuals have brought to the world. We wanted to remember specific points in time because they changed lives (1968 riots in Baltimore). the hardest books I reviewed were the lynching (not many thank god) and the torture books. There are lots personal, ethical, editorial concerns when talking about these title. Should they be published, what good can come of this, and why is it important to publish this title. (A story that no one knows) It is hard to discuss topics, sex, race, and religion to name just a few.

    Lots of people are trying to have a conversation with their counterparts of color. We don’t know how to start, how to begin without inflicting more harm. I have been the generous recieptant of many words of wisdom, knowledge, and support from women of color. I also saw when they were passover by some managers and other managers provided them jobs that got them into another level of the banking business. We all want to have our voices hear, want to hear other voices, acknowledged and have a seat at the table. We have all worked for and are entitled at a place at the table.

    Every day we walk by monuments built by men for other men. for a long time they PTB have not only told the story, but the narrative.There are lots of voices and matters that call for our attention. Let’s hear the women’s voices as well.

  • Thank you for everything. Your love of knitting. Your photos of your smile. Your dogs, oh and your ( lucky you)loving husband.
    And for the new insight for people like me who only watch life. Thank you.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to knitting, listening, talking and learning with you.

  • I am grateful for your willingness to add to our understanding, so that our sisterhood, in knitting and in life-skills, may grow.

  • Dana, I’m ready.

    • Add one more voice to the “I’m ready + anxiously looking forward to your sharing your full voice with us on this richly textured site which does not narrow our view of the world but rather nourishes + expands it.”

  • Yes! Dana, I have always enjoyed your column and now I look forward to hearing from your whole self. Fearlessness is a great theme — in knitting and in life. Looking forward to it!

  • Knitting and life are interwoven.

  • I love your voice and I think you should discuss whatever you want in this space. Of course I want to see your knits and pattern recommendations, because they are awesome and introduce me to new designers and yarns I don’t think I would have found or wanted to try on my own. But your writing is why I keep coming back, and whenever you have shared “non-knitting” thoughts in the past, guess what? I spend my knitting meditating on them. Thank you for sharing your perspective, knowledge, and kindness.

    • Katy speaks my mind. I hope you will talk about whatever moves you, Dana. I’m grateful!

  • Thank you, Dana. I welcome your perspective and your wisdom with open ears, mind and heart. I appreciate you taking the time to share with us. With love and respect

  • Thank you, Dana. I welcome your wisdom and perspective, as well as your delightful knitting inspiration, with open ears, mind and heart. You are a wonderful woman and I appreciate you making the time and effort to share yourself with us. With much respect and love

  • Dana, about a year ago heard you speak at a knitting retreat in New England. I enjoyed your thoughts , wit, and insight. Have followed you ever since and appreciate now, more than ever, hearing your voice about things in your knitting world, but especially about those real life (outside of knitting) world. Please keep doing what you do. We are all so enriched by your writing and thoughts.

  • I have followed you on Instagram and your columns for about a year and enjoy your knitting adventures, but I almost enjoy your sense of humor more. I don’t know what it’s like to put myself out in the public space, but I find I follow, read and listen to those who I get a sense of personally and like. Of course I couldn’t see your full self and that is a lesson to me about the limitations of social media. I am now trying to listen and learn in a more deliberate way so I can participate in change… and still enjoy the the fun of a dog on Instagram. I think I can learn a lot from you. Thank you for making this effort for all of us. Amy Bell

  • Agree with all who are saying use your full voice. MDK was never really limited to knitting, so why start now?

    Please don’t take offense from this: I didn’t read this column often. I’m not a pets and knitting knitter, so dog pictures didn’t make it a must-see. I’m not afraid of sweaters but with limited time, I don’t crank them out. Well, we all have the same time, so I am obviously choosing something else!

    I am looking forward to the shift in content, whatever you choose, Dana. Thank you for being willing to put yourself out here!

  • I’m all for change and I want to hear the voice of others, it’s how I learn best. I was a teenager in the seventies and I thought our generation was going to make great change in our world, you know peace and love! But, I’m ashamed that we didn’t succeed and sorry that I didn’t work harder toward that end. I haven’t given up, I’m ready to listen and be a part of the conversation and hopefully the solution.

  • Lovely. I can’t wait to learn more from you. Share your beautiful voice!✨

  • Three more cheers from me, and thank you. I hear you and can only imagine how exhausting this work can be, but keep the faith – it is worth it, you are worth it. I hope you can always hear the benefit and support outweighing the negativity, and remember to keep the self-care in balance – you do what you can do and let it be enough. ♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️

  • It makes me sad that even one person could say they would actually unsubscribe to MDK out of fear of learning something that might burst their White Privilege bubble of oblivion. Dana, you are brilliant, and I greatly appreciate your willingness to speak openly with us. Thank you so much.

  • I’m ready to listen, Dana. Go for it.

  • Yes! Yes! Yes! A thousand times YES! Your life experiences, like Dana mentions about fear, shape her/our knitting. I can’t wait to learn more from DANA about HER life, experiences, perspectives, and knitting. To those who just want articles about knitting, there are plenty of other places to find that. Dana is shifting to a new “ideal audience.” Not everyone will fit in that, and that is OK. Change is hard for everyone and it must happen. Kudos Dana!

  • Because of your last post that eventually went viral, I finally looked at MASON-DIXON. Not only had Ann and Kay changed the name but included items dealing with Black Fiber Artists. I’ll give some thought to your request on subjects to discuss for bit. Right now, I just NEEDED to let you know that I appreciate you.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot about this and the comments from folks below. I had a dear friend who got lung cancer and wanted to talk about death and dying. So she gathered those in her community that were open to the conversation. We met monthly for about two years before Marcia died. A lot of what we talked about was that so many people weren’t comfortable and wouldn’t let her talk about this thing that was now on the horizon. She had a lot of thoughts and questions. I feel privileged to have been there. Later when my uncle died, I was there and everyone acted as if he was just sick when it was more than evident he was dying. As a result on Christmas Day the family continued on with their plans and didn’t come over to see him. I was sick in spirit and in my body. The incongruity, the unacknowledged reality prevented last words of love to be offered as he traveled on. We live in a culture that avoids discomfort, but I find more comfort in the truth, in facing what we’re all a part of. It lets me be me. Perhaps there will be discomfort, but if we don’t allow the expression of all of our feeling, we don’t truly know joy. Thank you for knitting more into the conversation.

  • keep going, Dana. You are awesome and instructive in all you do!

  • Grateful that you bring your whole self to this blog and give readers the opportunity to learn. Please continue!

  • I look forward to all of your columns, Dana.

  • “Let’s be fearless together”
    Dana, this is wonderful. Thank you for putting so much of yourself into your writing and pushing all of us to look deeper and stretch farther!

  • Thank you, Dana. With my eyes, I see you. And with my ears, I’ll listen.

  • If you want to say it, I want to hear it. Sure, I love the knitting stuff but I am just as interested in you and your life. I want to hear how you are being affected by the world today – I need to hear it. I was profoundly moved by your “See Me” post and it made me think. Please give us more.

  • I am supportive of each of us being comfortable bringing our whole selves to the table! That said, it’s perfectly ok to skip something you’re not interested in hearing about- choice is a wonderful thing.

  • Thank you for bring up the elephant in the closet. It brought about change which is what knitting is all about. Your spirit and words are beautiful. We are all graced by your presence.

  • In high school, I fell in love with a boy who was very “into” eastern philosophy. He left me with a quote, “change is the only constant thing.” I may have to put that in ink somewhere. I look forward to embracing change with all of you. and knitting more new things.
    As for statues, I feel like they are one of those pervasive silently present things in systemic racism that I for one never was conscious of and yet it was literally staring me in the face. And, even though I wasn’t conscious of them, these images do of course imprint on our individual and collective unconscious. All of this to say, I think the replacement of these images is one small but invigorating change. I look forward to seeing new images that are representative of all of us.

  • Dana, it is a privilege to get to hear your voice here at Modern Daily Knitting. Your influence in the name change has made a lasting mark on the place; your powerfully vulnerable words are doing the same, in every essay you share here. I so appreciate you bringing your whole self to the site; I also appreciate Ann and Kay creating a space where we can all participate as whole people, instead of being forced to just “stick to our knitting” and keep quiet about everything else.