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WalkAway from Ravelry: Intolerant knitting site Ravelry losing members

Written By | Jul 5, 2019
WalkAway from Ravelry

Knitting Grandma. Image via Pixabay.com is in the public domain, CC 0.0 license.

WASHINGTON. More Ravelry members are voicing their objections to Ravelry banning President Trump supporters by posting videos on YouTube. Well-spoken, moderate, and reasonable, these women provide some unexpected points of view concerning their reasons for departing. That said, it seems that a significant number of Ravelry members have launched an ad hoc WalkAway movement. But this time, it’s WalkAway from Ravelry.

Some of these knitters are mothers of six and seven children who are starting or running small businesses. Others established designers issued calls for their groups to disband. They are conducting orderly shutdowns of their Ravelry accounts, which includes removing shops, patterns, social media references, and videos, as well as tweets, Facebook entries, and website references. Their choice to WalkAway from Ravelry involves a significant amount of work, moving in some cases a lifetime of patterns and videos to other sites and / or creating their own. It’s not a trivial matter.


Read the first article in this series: Ravelry: Woke, ‘tolerant’ knitting site bans open Trump supporters


The WalkAway from Ravelry movement was spawned by the site’s recent, ill-considered choice to make this, the biggest and most influential online knitting resource into yet another tired, reactionary, far-left ally of America’s radical left. In time, this will prove to have been a very bad business decision.




Meanwhile, a significant and growing number of knitters are now abandoning the site. And they’re not all Trump supporters, either. Here are some examples.

WalkAway from Ravelry: Scriptastic Yarns

The Scraptastic Yarns Podcast objects to the ban-Trump policy because of its origin. While she doesn’t doxx anyone, she names the sites from which one of the rpg.net moderators who formulated the original ban-Trump policy was banned as a troll.

A U.S. Air Force vet

Anne Witkowski, an Air Force veteran, states upfront that she doesn’t want to “act in haste, regret at leisure” but that the Ravelry problem wouldn’t let her concentrate on her puff stitches. “I do not support calling my fellow Americans white supremacists simply because their support the President of the United States. That’s it.”

The link to this YouTube video is no longer functional.

M.A.A. Homestead

M.A.A. Homestead is a site created by a mother of six who is just beginning an online business as a needlework designer. According to the supporting text of her YouTube video and the video itself, she has deleted her account, her fledgling shop, and her contributions to Ravelry because “…FREEDOM and I am not what they assumed.”

Numerous comments follow after the video, many of them from veteran Ravelry users who have also decided to bale on the site. Comments thus far are polite but firm. And many of them emphasize their support for free speech without getting into the politics. Which is the way America used to be.

Crochet O’Clock WalksAway from Ravelry.

For Crochet O’Clock, the Ravelry ban was the tipping point that finally helped out Ravelry’s longtime neglect and abuse of their members. The site’s host stated that design piracy  is rampant and unchecked at Ravelry and has been going on for years. This despite the fact that she has reported theft of her own and others’ patterns “hundreds” of times. That, and not politics per se, is the primary reason she’s chosen to WalkAway from Ravelry.

In an unusual but interesting line of reasoning, her dissatisfaction with Ravelry’s anti-Trump policy is practical, not political. What she resents is that the site is now spending time and money on policing their new ban. Yet at the same time, they’re not making funds available to deal with the serious issue of pattern piracy on the site.



In other words, Ravelry’s suppression of Trump supporters clearly takes greater precedence over doing something about the piracy of its own members’ patterns and projects. Squelching free speech is now far more important than protecting the patterns of Ravelry members from blatant piracty.

So now Crochet O’clock is done. She’s gradually removing all her content and taking it elsewhere. She explains why right here.

Hate is perfectly OK if you’re an SJW

A final irony: As of today, F**k Trump knitting patterns are still available to Ravelry’s logged-in members. Here’s a snapshot of a few of them.

WalkAway from Ravelry

A selection of Ravelry F*** Trump projects still available for members of the site. Fair and balanced policies for knitters.

The link to these patterns is here. Or at least it was the last time I looked. But they are available only to logged-in members. Looks like work by SJW supremacists is A-OK with Ravelry.

But it’s not OK for quite a few Ravelry members who are sick and tired of fake news and hyper-partisan politics.

On Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, comments clearly indicate that a goodly number of Ravelry members are leaving the site and taking their patterns with them as a result of the site’s new, virtue-signaling policy.

Any sensible site catering to knitting hobbyists and professionals would have been better off by gently discouraging all blatantly political commentary. And perhaps even highly politicized knitting patterns as well. Yet Ravelry has chosen sides, caving to the PC Police and the assorted SJWs dedicated to insulting and alienating roughly half of all American citizens. But as other virtue-signaling corporations are discovering, there’s a price to pay for driving away roughly fifty percent of your real and potential customers.

ESPN and Ravelry: Two peas in a failed business pod

Ask ESPN what all that sports network’s race-baiting over the past few years did to their viewership numbers. Right. This nonsense put them in a subscriber-losing tailspin from which the once premier sports network has yet to recover. Why? Because sports fans who ponied up the ever-increasing price of an ESPN subscription package were paying to see sports, not another clone of CNN’s stable of fake news clowns.

Ravelry may be about to discover the same business truth. Avid, longtime members of this site want to knit and promote their latest patterns. They’re into knitting, not political hate. In other words, they’re generally not on Ravelry to climb on their political soapboxes. Hence, the spontaneous WalkAway from Ravelry movement is now in process.

So how is a policy that defames and drives away so many of your current and potential customers good for any business? Inquiring minds would like to know.

—Headline image: Knitting Grandma. Image via Pixabay.com is in the public domain, CC 0.0 license.

 

Frances Ponick

Fran Ponick is a speaker, author, commentator, teacher, and coach. She has decades of experience in technical, business, marketing, and proposal writing and editing, and has won awards in journalism, formal poetry, and acting. She has also served as a consultant to DoD. Her book, Only Angels Can Wing It: How to Prepare a Eulogy Quickly and Present It Compassionately, is available from Amazon.com.