A couple of days ago, inspired by some other designers on Ravelry, I pledged to donate 50% of my sales to Médecins Sans Frontières to help with their work in Haiti. When I did that I thought that I was donating 50% of my usual income and felt incredibly fortunate to be in a position to be able to do that. What I wasn’t expecting was the response from knitters, which has been frankly overwhelming and humbling. Knitters have been buying up any patterns they like now, instead of waiting until they’re ready to cast on, they’ve been searching the wishlists of their friends and buying patterns as gifts, they’ve been spreading the word, designers whose businesses are much smaller than mine (and who are consequently taking a much greater financial risk) have been pledging donations, and altogether this has turned into a much larger fund-raising campaign than I’d envisioned.
Consequently I feel honoured to be able to increase my original pledge and to be able to make the kind of donation that I would never personally have been able to give. I will now be donating 80% of the sale price of all individual patterns and 50% of the sale price of all books (digital, print and wholesale) ordered through my own site or on Ravelry between the 16th and 31st of January to MSF. In addition, if you purchase one of my Twist Collective patterns please forward proof of purchase to email@example.com and I’ll add 50% of the sale price to my donation total.
It’s difficult to feel anything but small and helpless in response to such disaster as the earthquake in Haiti and the scale of the help that’s needed is truly hard to imagine, but to borrow a metaphor from the Yarn Harlot, just like knitting the small acts build, stitch by stitch into something bigger. And that’s what you have shown me, thank you.
Please, please don’t feel like you should buy patterns you don’t really want or that you weren’t going to buy anyway, but if you aren’t interested in any of mine, consider taking a look at the enormous list of patterns on Ravelrywho’s designers have pledged to donate a percentage of their sales. Ravelry have done such a wonderful job of supporting this, Casey’s even made it easy to browse patterns in the list that you’ve already queued or favourited. I’ve also got a few more fundraising ideas that I’ll let you know about soon and the response of the wider craft community has been staggering, there are too many things going on for me to list, but if you know of something please do add it in the comments.
My thoughts are with the people of Haiti and with the workers on the ground who need as much support as we can give them. Thank you for helping me to help far more than I could have without you – I just donated £3766.60, that’s over $6000. Thank you for making that possible.
Introducing the first in an ongoing series of guest posts. I'm honoured that we're beginning with this vital letter from Emi Ito.
Emi has been outspoken about the cultural appropriation of the kimono in fashion and has helped many makers and designers find a less hurtful approach to naming their patterns and products.