Sunday, September 07, 2014
Early Yarn Along: Free Chart and a Way to Help Christians and Other Minorities in the Middle East
This is a very little bit I can do to help our brethren in the Middle East. I am offering my own interpretation of this symbol as a chart for free, with a bonus reward.
This is how I listed it on Ravelry this morning before church:
The letter “nun” (pronounced noon) in Arabic is the first letter in the word for Nazarene, which is an epithet used against Christians. It is a letter used to mark homes and businesses targeted for death and destruction. It is an extermination notice.
I have created this graph for people to knit or crochet onto patches or sweaters or any other item they wish to make to stand in solidarity with our persecuted brethren in the Middle East.
If you provide proof of a donation of some sort to a group or agency providing relief to Christians or Christians and other minorities in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, the Sudan, or Nigeria, I will offer a one time coupon for a free pattern from my Ravelry store. (More details and suggested agencies in the pdf)
I tried to offer it on Ravelry, and posted it there this morning. In less than two and a half hours, the Ravelry administrators had removed it, stating that:
One.. ONLY charts from one’s OWN original artwork are allowed now and
Two… The pattern database is not the place for promoting “causes”
However, it seems like Ravelry's bias against certain religious and/or political points of view is also at work here. I replied that this a letter that I graphed myself, adding an artistic element to it and wasn't sure how that was different than any other alphabet or letter chart, which I’ve downloaded and used from Ravelry before.
As for causes, I’ve seen numerous patterns offered for a fee that would be passed on to other causes, and with pleas for donations to one cause or another. P/HOP comes immediately to mind, as well as various cancer associations and so on. It is where I got the idea in the first place.
She immediately replied that "they make it in from time to time."
I replied with this:
The only reason I had the idea to do this was because of the prior example and experience I had with similar things on Ravelry.
In fact, here is a search on alphabet charts that I just did:
Here are some of Yin and Yang symbols, some embellished, but many simply the original symbol which was certainly not originated with the designer.
I know I have seen other motifs and symbols which came from books, cultures, movies, religions, television shows, and languages, in which the artistic work was the determining how to translate to knitting/crocheting and charting the symbol or motif.
Here is a specific pattern offered with a donation to the heart and stroke association:
Here is one with donations to the Japanese Red Cross:
Here is one with a contest offered for donating the finished product:
Here is a pattern offered with a plea to donate to the alzheimer’s association:
And then there are all of Frankie Brown’s patterns which I have thoroughly enjoyed which make a plea to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. Also all of P/HOP patterns which are offered via donation to a charity, Medecins sans Frontiers.
And here are searches with both donate and donation in them:
If this is a policy of Ravelry, it has obviously not been made clear enough.
These others have been on with well known and much more popular designers than I, for years. So, rather than confront their own inconsistencies and biases, or admit that they do not apply this "rule" to most people/patterns (if, in fact there is one), they are willing to remove/wreck other people's work (or at least give the impression of it - I doubt they will do this to religious or political views they affirm). Instead of reinstating mine, she said she'd investigate the others, implying that they might remove other people's work as well. Ravelry is theirs, I do not dispute their right to make rules as they see fit. It is the fact that this is so obviously not applied when they approve of the cause/symbol/faith/political view. Ravelry is a private organization and I fully support their right to discriminate in any way they like. I am frustrated by the lack of consistency and the apparent hypocrisy, but I do not think they should be forced to change. I do not endorse any boycotts or angry letters. I simply wish they were more honest and up front about their biases.
On the plus side, it gives me a greater incentive to figure out how to get my pattern store set up on Nimblestix, which I do try to promote to others. I do still want to be on Ravelry, as it is so large and well known, and there are so many people on it, but I prefer to promote and work with Nimblestix and hope for them to have such great success as to equal or eclipse Ravelry. So, here is my plug for Nimblestix! Go register and join, and help build up a fiber community which will not have such policies and pressure on those who do not share their views. Again, please do not send any outraged notes to Ravelry. It is a private entity and free to discriminate as they wish. Edited to add: Sadly, Nimblestix is going out of business. I hope that many other alternative needlework sites will rise up in its place.
In the meantime, I have finished reading Yarn Over Murder (Knitting Mystery), with about the level of disappointment I expected. I am nearly finished with and still loving Christ in His Saints. My next book is still to be determined.
I will be working on only Jerome's birthday present, my friend's long distance hug, and Equinox, until they are finished. (I'll try to post some updated photos in the next day or so - watch this space)
My husband and I pray for these poor persecuted Christians daily and I remained quite concerned for them.
Lord have mercy on all of us.