a statement.

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You probably follow me on social media, and have seen me post this statement there. But in the event you don’t, and given the lens of this blog, I figured it made sense to include it here, in full.

Please let me know your thoughts and thank you for continuing in this fruitful dialogue amongst our makers in our making community. It’s good, and important, work. And we all have to do it. Not one; not some; but all.

In recent days, I’ve seen @makingzine’s latest issue, desert no. 7, celebrated again and again through social media. I wanted, too, to celebrate; after all, the desert is a place, in some ways, I call home, and the pattern and design of this magazine I subscribe to has always been anticipated with excitement.

As an indigenous person in the United States with extended family living on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico and a partner who is Navajo, the glaring omission of Natives in the latest issue of the magazine isn’t just about our recent conversations in the fiber community relating to inclusivity and diversity of makers and their makes; it’s about a longstanding belief in this country that Native peoples no longer exist–that we are in the past, that we are long gone. This erasure does deep harm; and in an issue that celebrates the place from which many indigenous people still reside and create some of the most profound fiber art, is deeply harmful. It’s harmful to me, personally, as a fiber enthusiast; and it’s harmful to how their readers see and view the desert.

There are countless examples, even here on social media, of my fellow indigenous fiber artists creating and celebrating their work. There are artists who raise churro, shear, spin, dye, and weave some of the world’s most intricate, and beautiful, rugs. They use every bit of the desert landscape and they share it with a wider audience on this platform we so love and use to engage with other fiber enthusiasts. You chose not to see them, to engage them, or to celebrate them. It’s erasure.

I reached out to Making privately to ask why the glaring omission; I did get a response that indicated some action plan and some details around the issue going to print before the conversations erupted around diversity in our knitting community.

But my question to Making is this: Natives have been on that desert land for centuries. Did you need a conversation through Instagram to realize that? Did you know, when you took those photos of patterns for that issue, that you all were walking on Native land? Or were you seeing that place through a lens to which you’ve been systematically taught: as a new discovery, with you and your experience at the center, negating the existence and connection of the people who are originally tied to the land you visited?

I sat on their response for a week to process my feelings and await their public response. I expected a statement around why they omitted indigenous voices and how they will do better moving forward. An acknowledgement. And it never came. What came is repost after repost from customers celebrating the issue. This felt like a misstep to me greater than the initial omission.

Let’s face it: I’m used to indigenous people being left out. Erased. I’m sick of being used to it.

So now, I tell you: celebrate the artists in this issue. Celebrate the beautiful things that come out of creating. But don’t celebrate this quiet response; this set of excuses. Celebrate any recognition of the gaping hole. And for folks who make mistakes? It’s ok. Lean into those; and don’t seek absolution through prayer hands emojis while asking others who are pointing these issues out to find understanding and patience in your inaction.

reading sketchbook |eleanor.

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I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman about a month and a half back–I actually listened to it and the reader’s voices were incredible. The Scottish brogues really brought this story to life in ways I wouldn’t have experienced if I simply read the book.

I’m featuring this entry in my Reading Sketchbook because, for the first time in a good while, this was a read I just simply didn’t want to end.

What are you reading? What should I put on my To Be Read list?

More from my reading sketchbook here.

make | loom beading.

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I received this amazing beaded loom kit from Purl Soho last week and decided to teach myself a new craft. I’ve done a ton of peyote style beading but never tried weaving beads on a loom.

I’m really pleased with this pattern; once the loom was set up (abysmal process), the beading work is done up really quickly. In a few short hours, I’m about halfway done with this bracelet.

Snaps coming, soon. I can’t decide if I’m going to bead on a loo regularly or not… yet.

summer | read.

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This was me, literally all summer. I avoided a laptop for 8 weeks (minus prepping for one conference presentation) and dove headlong, all day, into books. My best friend and pooch, Jackie B. Lee, joined me in all those stories and relaxation.

As a result, the only knitting projects I got to this summer were three kind of matching, scrappy, striped sweaters for my nephews. I read so many great stories. You can see what I was reading at my reading sketchbook here.

Any recommendations for me to read this fall?

tracking journal | knitting + makes.

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I’ve been tracking the days I make something (a new recipe in the kitchen, a textile art, beaded jewelry) and the days I knit, so I can gain perspective on how much I actually do create in a given year.

It’s been a fruitful process because when I’m feeling like I haven’t been creative, I can go back to this book and see that I’ve been more creative than I realized. Maybe some day, I’ll be able to categorize what I make on those days, too.

I love how much impact this has–I can see I was making more than knitting in May, and that in June, I’ve picked up my needles again.

Do you track your makes?

make | peyote stitch earrings.

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I’ve been obsessively making these 3D peyote stitch triangle earrings for a few weeks now. I’m in love with the statement they make and the endless color combinations.

I also tried my hand at turning one into a large pendant that can fit through a chain around your neck and gifted it to my mum for Mother’s Day. I think she liked it and it’s end result makes me want to try my hand at another one.

Should I list some of these in my shop? Would you buy a pair?

sketchbook | reading journal.

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Here’s another entry in my Reading Sketchbook. I love that I’ve kept up with this little project of tracking my reads. Here’s what I record:

Page length, completion date, how long to complete, whether it is an owned book, a library book, a kindle book, an audio book, or something completed in the serial reader app, whether I loved it or hated it (often “liked”), whether it fulfills a reading challenge selection, was it a recommendation, and my thoughts/musings on the experience and story.

It has kept my reading grounded and moving forward. I love to look back and reads and recall certain details about the book and to remember when I finished it and how long it took.

Here’s, also, a peak inside my books completed shelf in my tracking journal. I’ve kind of become obsessed with tracking what I make, when I knit, when I read, how long I read for, and what books I’ve finished. I’m hoping, when I feel like I’m not finding creative space or down time, I can look back on this and realize when and where I was able to fit it in.

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What should I add to my to be read list?

See more of my tracking journal here. And my reading journal here. Oh, and of course, there’s a knitting journal, too.

make | batik take two.

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A few years back, I somehow managed to teach a batik class to a bunch of reluctant middle school students even though I had no idea how to batik. And while I figured it out–and quickly–let the record show that just because you love making doesn’t mean you can just, poof!, make something in the ways its intended.

I recently had the opportunity to become a “student” of a batik. I thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit this craft not as teacher who had no idea what she was doing, but as passenger seat learner. Instead of using hot wax, we used glue. I thought it wouldn’t work; I couldn’t get fine detail–something I had trouble with using wax and paint brushes.

Stay tuned for finished results.

read | challenge 2017.

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In 2017, I agreed to take on a Reading Challenge. I don’t normally participate in those kinds of things because I like to read what I want, when I want, but this one seemed interesting and reasonable and maybe a challenge is good for me.

The 2017 challenge prompted a read every two weeks or 24 books on the year in various categories, including a book translated from another language, one from childhood, one from school days, something more than 500 pages, a book that takes place somewhere you traveled that year…and on.

I started off slow–my first read was Tolstoy’s classic War and Peace, a 1300 page sweeping epic that actually took me well over 2 weeks to complete. And so, I got behind. I picked up steam in the summer, reading well more than a book every two weeks. But, still, it wasn’t enough to make up with starting a new job and picking a number of 500+ page novels.

I came really close. I missed completing the challenge by 5 books. And it prompted me to start a reading journal, in which I keep track of everything I read, when I read it, how long it took me, whether it was a library book, a kindle book, or a book I own, and some general musings on what I liked or didn’t like about it. I’m pleased it pushed me to really start keeping track of my reads in a unique way, and I’ll carry on.

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How do you keep track of the books you read? Do you at all? I never used to. And so, in this space, I’m going to also keep track of that process, too. Because this blog, while I hope I have a reader or two, has been a great long term companion to me, my makes, my likes, my pursuits.

See more (a sample) from my reading journal here. 

 

f.o. | mrs. kim cross stitch

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For those of you that know me personally, I’m a Gilmore Girls fan. Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, the show’s creators, are my heroes. The pop culture references, book references, quick wit, and well -timed and brilliantly curated music selections were, and are, near and dear to me.

And so, when the opportunity to make a Gilmore Girls inspired cross stitch that didn’t feel silly popped up, I jumped. One of the show’s characters, Mrs. Kim, is anti all music that isn’t religious. And so, it was fitting to make a sign that declared she disapproved of my music collection, and hang it above a selection of our vinyl in the living room.

This pattern took one afternoon to complete–my favorite quick project with rich rewards. It fits in nicely with the rest of my art in the living room and I like that it can be kind of a cryptic message– so fun.