Okay, it’s kind of about the hat, but really, it’s about us.

Actual photo of the author with her offspring and some close family friends at the 2017 Cincinnati Women’s March, courtesy of Tracy B.

I’ve spent the past few weeks intensely engaged in discussions of pink pussy hats. Honestly, this is just part of my job; I’m a fiber arts educator and textile evangelist, and my mission in life is to get as many human beings as possible to do yarn-related pursuits. So it’s always part of my job to look at, and think about, and discuss the things people are making with yarn.

There are plenty of thinkpieces making the rounds already about these hats and the Women’s March movement, and…


There are so many of them, and so many reasons — and they mostly don’t mean someone hasn’t experienced sexual harassment, abuse, or assault.

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/group-team-outsider-isolated-2212760/

Since I started writing this series discussing the #MeToo hashtag and the conversations it has launched this week, I’ve heard from lots of people who, for various reasons, are not participating in the whole thing. Some of their reasons are things I would have guessed, but some of them I really didn’t see coming, and they’ve really caused me to see some new perspectives. So let’s talk about few of them. …


This is one of the stickiest questions going around my circles right now. Let’s explore it.

Image: a tunnel of question marks. Source: pixabay.com user geralt

Yesterday, when I posted what would be the first of several things talking about the trending #MeToo hashtag, in which survivors of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or assault stood up to be counted among that difficult number, I already knew I wasn’t about to be sharing any cut-and-paste sentence. Nope, the only way I’d be getting on this bandwagon, as any of my friends or colleagues would have told you, would be using my own words.

So, when I wrote my first little manifesto, I…


I’m asking myself that today. Here’s a roundup of a few discussions that are making me ask that question.

Image: a line of hand-holding rocks. Source: pixabay.com

If you’d asked me 24 hours ago if I thought I’d be writing a piece today about sexual assault, abuse, and harrassment, I’d have said nope.

Partly that’s because the past year or so has been a steady barrage of stories about sexual assault, abuse, and harrassment, and as someone who has experienced plenty of things that fall under that general heading, that barrage has really worn me down. And I know it’s not just me.

But I’m wondering — no…


Or, a few words for National Coming Out Day

So, today is National Coming Out Day. And I’m seeing lots of people coming out as lots of things, and it’s really cool.

But at the same time I feel like… perhaps there’s something here that’s been lost, about the concept, and that is: what are we coming out OF?

On the one hand, the answer seems obvious: the closet. So what’s the closet?

My parents were hippie liberals and whatnot. So, long before I was ever born, they had friends who were all kinds of “socially undesirable” types: people of…


To My Fellow White People On Why We Can’t Be Trusted — And Where To Start Fixing That

Before we proceed, I’d better tell you I’ve changed my friend’s name for this piece, because frankly, she’s already been through enough on this front and it has generally been my experience that talking about this sort of thing online is a little bit risky. So anyway, I’m going to call my friend Angela, even though that’s not her real name.

Angela and I met last winter at a Democratic party organizing meeting in Cincinnati. Slated to be one large meeting for…


Re: Your Volunteer Staffer Who Would Save A Dog Before A Black Person

Dear Chief Bishop:

As a resident of Warren County, I was dismayed yesterday to read several accounts of Franklin volunteer firefighter Tyler Roysdon’s recent statements that he would, in the execution of his duties, save a dog before he would save a black person.

Source: WXIX FOX 19

From the screenshots displayed in these accounts, it is clear that your staffer first stated that if he entered the burning home of a black person, and there were a dog in the home, he would save the dog and then take his…


or, Let Me Sing You A Song You Already Know By Heart

Today is Labor Day in the USA. The US Department of Labor says of today’s history:

So what does “in honor of workers” mean? I thought I’d take a moment to discuss that question in the context of making textiles by hand — the topic I’ve been teaching and writing about for the past decade plus.

Textile work is inextricably linked with labor, because textile production always involves someone doing a whole lot of work. From start to finish, these processes tend to include the following steps:

  1. Producing…

or, Dining Blue In A Red State

Out at the diner for breakfast this morning, there’s a 3-top of older white men across from us. One in a checked shirt talks loudly about how, because he gets a monthly stipend for his car, he’s leasing an $80,000 car, and it’s very nice. His buddies agree it’s nice. I think about how I didn’t see an $80,000 leasable car in the parking lot — not even an $80,000 truck.

I watch a teenage busser clear the long table next to us (I think it’s a 16-top). It had been emptying out…


or, They Say Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice But I Feel Like Once Is Probably Enough

There are times when it seems like the excitement never lets up around here.

Last Wednesday I got home from Fiber Revival 2017, caught a night’s sleep, got up, and started to dig out from under the correspondence backlog that invariably piles up while on the road — it’s never the quick answer items, it’s always the long answers and stuff that takes more time to handle. Having made a strong showing in that department, I took a break when the thunderstorm rolled in.

I took a moment to be grateful I wasn’t driving through that today.

I’ve…

Abby Franquemont

was bred by anthropologists to preserve textile lore and engage in written slapfights. http://patreon.com/abbysyarns http://abbysyarns.com

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