So, I've always been obsessed with the Olympics. I'm not normally a super patriotic person, nor really a sports person (unless it's UMaine hockey--GO BLUE!) but the second the Olympics start, there's a constant background chant of "USA! USA! USA!" going in my head at all times as I watch every single random event I can find. I have memories of curling up on the couch as a kid as the snow fell outside the window, watching biathlon, curling, and slalom in Albertville and Lillehammer, yelling "TOMBAAAAAA!" at the screen, cheering Carl Lewis on in the summertime, screaming at the TV as Jason Lezak hit the wall mere milliseconds before the French relay swimmer. Every time the Olympics comes around, it fills me with unbridled joy and delight. But not so much this year.
I don't talk a huge amount about politics in my life as designer and in the knitting world. I have strong views, but they're mine, and I'd rather talk about knitting, or British TV series, or food, or cats than get into it. Knitting is my safe space. But I stand firm and vocal about my support of gay, trans, and human rights causes. And watching and reading all the stories coming out of Russia regarding abuses of these groups, it got me thinking about how I wasn't the only one who deserved a safe space.
At the same time, I got to thinking about my favorite form of rebellion and subversion: kindness. I was raised Quaker, with strong emphases on the concepts of grace, karma, empathy, and individual rights. If someone is unkind, you understand that they are fighting their own battles, so you help where you can, and make sure others aren't getting hurt. Little by little, the strength, empathy, and grace changes what force can't. To quote the Shaker spiritual, "by turning, turning, we come 'round right." It's not an easy path, but it's the right one for me.
So all of these thoughts were roiling together over the last few months, watching events unfold in Russia and with various squabbles regarding gay rights on Ravelry. I want to make right, to do what I can. So I put the call out. And the call was answered.
I'm so pleased to announce that for the duration of the Olympics, I and many other designers will be donating proceeds from our pattern sales to gay, trans, and human rights organizations of our choice. Please join us in supporting these causes over the next few weeks--and long past that, until we come round right.
Here's a list of the participating designers and their promotions--it's still evolving and changing, so keep checking back!
Bristol Ivy -- 75% of all proceeds of Ravelry store during the opening and closing days, and 50% of all proceeds during the remainder of the Olympics, will go to Lambda Legal and Equality Maine
Kate Heppell -- 100% of sales of Jane Socks, Hercule Socks, Fox Isle, Sunny Later, Ollaberry, and Tiny Shoots will go to the Albert Kennedy Trust
Emily Peters --100% of sales of Berkeley, CA shawl and 50% of all other pattern sales will go to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Lee Meredith -- during the first four days, 100% of sales of the Spiraling Stripes hats and Freak Out!, 50% of select rainbow-able patterns, and 35% of sales of Coloring Book will go to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Rena Varsakis -- 25% of all pattern sales throughout the Olympics will go to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Maureen Folds -- 75% of sales during the opening and closing days, and 25% of sales during the remainder of the Olympics will go to Egale
Mary Annarella -- 100% of Lyrical Knits sales on February 7th will go to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Nell Ziroli -- 50% of pattern sales and 100% of sale of Isle of You during the first four days will go to the Atlanta, GA chapter of the Human Rights Campaign
Brenda Castiel -- 80% of sales during the opening and closing days, and 50% of sales during the remainder of the Olympics will go to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Rebecca Zicarelli -- Pillow Scarf and Rainbow Collar are both 25% off with the coupon code "EqualityMaine". 50% of proceeds of these sales after fees will go to Equality Maine
Kate Atherley -- 50% of sales from her Ravelry store will go to Egale
Kim McBrien Evans -- 50% of sales from her Ravelry store will go to Egale
Natalie Servant -- 50% of sales from her Ravelry store will go to Egale
Kylie McDonnell-Wade -- 50% of proceeds from Feb 7-9th, then 25% for the remainder of the Olympics will go to Egale
Annika Barranti -- on opening day, 75% of all sales from her Ravelry store will go to Lambda Legal, and 50% thereafter
Miranda Jollie -- 100% of the sale prices of Talboys Wrap and Montserrat will go to the Albert Kennedy Trust
Vera Sanon -- 25% of all sales on opening and closing days will go to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Katherine Matthews -- 50% of sales from her Ravelry store will go to Egale
Elanor King -- 100% of proceeds from Bow Ties Are Cool and Collared!!! will go to Stonewall UK
Alex Tinsley -- 50% of sales on patterns featuring stranded colorwork on February 7th will go to International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Lynne Sosnowski --50% of all sales from February 6th (the day before the opening ceremonies) to February 24th (the day after) will go to Egale
Patricia Martin -- 50% of all sales of Way Up High will go to the Albert Kennedy Trust
Tanya Thomann -- 50% of all sales will go to Marriage Equality Michigan
Karina Westermann -- offering the pattern My Heart in My Hand for free
Kathleen Sperling -- 100% of all sales from patterns not currently already fundraising will go to Egale
Christina Harris -- 75% of self-published pattern sales will go to Egale
YellowCosmo -- 100% of sales from 2/7-2/9 and 2/23 on Slopestyle and First Snow will go to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Sarah Pope -- 100% of sales of Winter Garden will go to an organization TBD
Kelene Kinnersly -- 50% of sales of Hollyhock Fingerless, Hollyhock Mittens, Hollyhock Junior, the Hollyhock collection, and Sidetracked Cable will go to Egale
Linda Lenkovic -- 50% of all sales from Brioche Hat will go to Stonewall UK
Elizabeth Green Musselman -- 50% of all proceeds from her Dark Matter Knits (self-published) patterns throughout the Olympics will go to the National Center for Transgender Equality
Kate Lonsdale --100% of sales to the Human Rights Campaign in Los Angeles