Diane Ivey of Lady Dye Yarns talks to powerful women in the craft-activist world about what it means to be Black, Indigenous, and vocal about the inequalities evident in the very white world of crafting. Ivey talks with three BIPOC activists in the community including CheyOnna Sewell from The Yarn Mission, Candice English from The Farmers Daughter Fibers, and Jessica Manning from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.
CheyOnna started crocheting granny squares from a very young age and studied criminology in college and following the murder of Mike Brown in 2014 she started knitting at street protests and demonstrations. After forming relationships with others through crafting she started The Yarn Mission where her and other knits for Black Liberation, anti-oppression. She tells Ivey that the mission is Pro-Black, Pro-Community, Pro-Rebellion, and being cast as “passive” by other white crafters simply because she knits is dismissive.
She says, “Calling out the whiteness of the knitting community is part of the work that we do.”
CheyOnna also wants to allow for dreaming and creating in Black Liberation, “We don’t need to live in the struggle of things. We can think about what things can be. These dreams of ours.”
She thinks of herself as a maker and wants to empower others with the ability to create and ground themselves through crafting.