Date of this Version
Published in Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings 2018
Presented at Vancouver, BC, Canada; September 19 – 23, 2018
This paper aims to investigate how The Yarn Mission uses fiber arts practices to challenge racism and sexism through the lens of a case study. The Yarn Mission is a “pro-Black, pro-rebellion, pro-community” knitting collective that formed in St. Louis, Missouri in response to the tragic death of Mike Brown at the end of 2014. It now has chapters in Minneapolis, MN; Atlanta, GA; New York City; and Wilmington, DE. This research draws on a series of semi-structured interviews (with questions that prompt discussion) with selected founders and current members of The Yarn Mission. I will conduct both phone and email interviews that contain both scripted and non-scripted questions, in order for interviewees to have the option to clarify and expand on certain issues. This qualitative research presents the work of The Yarn Mission through the voices of its participants. The Yarn Mission began as a way for Black women to share space off of the streets and outside of demonstrations. Participating in group meet-ups helps the women to create something new in the midst of political unrest. The organization began to grow organically as founder CheyOnna Sewell and early members taught interested collaborators-others with similar values-how to knit.