• Erika Stevenson

The NFL and the Rose City Yarn Crawl

Welcome back for post #2. Buckle up, I'm hopeful that we'll all survive the experience.

Why a blog?

Someone asked me this after my blog post last week, and I thought it would make a great place to start this post. One of the most important things I've learned from joining the fiber community is how vital connections are. I have lots to say, but not everyone is my target audience. Although pattern writing affords me the space to say things, that space is limited and most knitters would like me to just shut up and write about the patterns!

Also I suck at social media. Social media marketing and connecting with the audience is for people far less anxious or social awkward than I. I am positively awed by the social media prowess of many people I follow. And it's possible that with practice I'll get better. But social media connections are more easily navigated by a younger demographic - in my opinion.

Blogging gives me the space to say the things I want people to read, in the way I wish to say them. I don't have to limit my characters or use a briefer word, or try to make my abysmal photography speak for itself. I get to just be me.

I also intend to start my blog posts with talking about or informing about some problem or another that's unrelated to knitting. I will try to be brief and largely factual, but these will be my opinions and not every opinion requires supporting documentation.

Social Justice Corner

There are a number of topics that came to mind while trying to decide what to talk about in this post. There are a number of causes I believe in. All deserve attention, but due to some timely new stories the NFL wins my attention tonight.

I'm a big fan of the NFL. I love love love football. I take a lot of pride in my fandom, as well as my understanding of the game and it's brought me a lot of pleasure over the years. The last two years though, have been a trying time for the NFL. And last week, an owner of an NFL team was charged with solicitation of prostitution. Sorry, let me rephrase that, the owner of a 3.8 billion dollar corporation was charged with solicitation of prostitution.

For a long time as an NFL fan, I watched the games on Sundays, but I didn't pay attention to the press the NFL received. I didn't read articles about the players or pay attention to what they did off the field. Then in 2010 the quarterback of an NFL team was sued by a woman claiming that he'd raped her. And later that same year he was accused of rape by another woman. And I started paying attention to football news. I have no way of knowing for sure what happened between that quarterback and his accusers, since the lawsuit was settled, and no charges were ever brought. But regardless, it's widely believed that he did the thing he was accused of. And he continues to make millions of dollars a year and be the public face of corporation he works for.

In 2014, another player was caught on video assaulting his then girlfriend. He was suspended for only two games by the league before the backlash of public outcry prompted his firing by the team he played for.

In 2002, Dr Ben Omalu first encountered proof linking professional football to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurological disorder that manifests symptoms similar to Alzheimer's. When Dr. Omalu shared his research with the NFL he was discredited and denied by the league. It wasn't until 2009 that the NFL ever even grudgingly admitted that there may be a connection between football and CTE. And employees of the league continued to deny links between football and CTE until nearly 2016, when a league employee testified to Congress about the NFL's belief of the link between the sport and CTE.

The vast majority of information here comes from Wikipedia, a simple google search provided the rest. None of this even touches on the league's reaction to the flag media debacle that they perpetrated on Colin Kaepernick and other players. The bottom line becomes that I've continued for far too long to support a multi-billion dollar corporation that has a long history of demonstrating that they view their employees as nothing more than a means to an end and largely - literally - disposable. Their view of women isn't much more flattering; they continue to make huge mistakes in dealing with a culture of devaluing women, sweeping assaults under the carpet when they can, responding in an out-sized and inconsistent way when their culpability is uncovered, and management demonstrating, again literally, that they consider women commodities to be bought and sold.

The truly marvelous thing in this is how badly the NFL keeps getting it wrong, while they're putting so much effort into growing their female fandom. The NFL should worry less about losing viewers and merchandising dollars to fans upset about the flag fiasco and more about losing viewers and merchandising dollars to people who possess a social conscience and understand that at some point the hypocrisy in supporting a business that abuses and exploits their employees while sending a message that women aren't worthy of respect and have no value is not a self-sustaining position.

I'm not certain I'm ready to give up the NFL completely, but I have time to continue to investigate and evaluate, before I commit to making that change permanent. What I have decided is that I won't ever purchase NFL merchandise again, I won't subscribe to NFL Sunday ticket anymore and I likely won't watch games unless the Seahawks are playing. I don't know if the Seahawks team has perpetrated some of these same problems, but I'll do my best to find out.

More about me...

I'm a 45 year old woman. I'm a veteran of the Army. I raised an awesome kid, as a single parent. I'm now mom to Loki, awesome-sauce dog of my heart. He's pictured here in the heart of my home, my craft studio.

If you've seen my pattern pages, you've likely seen pictures of my other kid already, she's on the cover of several of my designs. I love using Jordan as my cover model, because then when I post promotional pictures, I can honestly say that I made all the stuff in the picture. Also, since she's married now and moved away to go to school, I don't see her often anymore and I miss her. So when she models my patterns it means that I'm frequently going to be looking at pictures of her, and it's truly a pleasure.

Preparing for my first Designer event

Last weekend, I spent a lot of time blocking my work. One of the many things I've been working while preparing for my show this upcoming weekend at Blizzard Yarn and Fiber, during the Rose City Yarn Crawl. It's called 'Meet the Designer' and I'll be at Blizzard from 9am to 6pm on Sunday. I'm super nervous. I'm super anxious. And I'm relatively certain that we'll all come through it in one piece.

One of the ways that my nerves are manifesting is to overthink, and over-produce. So last week I had the idea to knit a sample of I Stole a River, with one of the 5 skein mini-sets I bought last year and some scrap yarn I had left over from another project. Did I need another sample of I Stole a River? No. Was knitting that the best use of my time? Absolutely not. However, it did get completed and although it wasn't strictly necessary to do, it was definitely not wasted effort. I think it's gorgeous and I'm really happy with the outcome.

Green Man Collection

The Green Man Collection of Poly Wrap, Bres Beanie, Bres Mitts, Bris Beanie and Bris Mitts were launched last week. Poly Wrap to my delight made it to the top 20 on the Hot Right Now list, and I received some very positive feedback from people who identified themselves as living a non-monogamous lifestyle. I'm humbled by people's words, and grateful that those people were able to reach out and let me know that I'd impacted them. It's truly an honor.

If you're interested in purchasing the Poly Wrap or any of the other patterns in my Green Man Collection, you can do that here. However, I encourage you to buy patterns on Ravelry if you're a member there. They provide an awesome and amazing service and I find it helpful to have all my digital patterns conveniently accessible there.

Next Up...

I have a bunch of stuff left to do for my show on Sunday, but March 10th, I'll be at Blizzard Yarn and Fiber all day.

Then I'm working on new designs. I have a couple of summery lacy scarfs based on Waterfall and Rainforest that should be ready to release soon-ish.

I'm planning a new I Stole a something, I have ideas and I can't wait to design a new center increase stole.

I'm also planning a rectangular-shaped garment that's going to have puzzle in the name somehow. It's going to have crazy construction and I can't wait to share more about it with you guys. But now I've got to go binge some more TV and cuddle some more with Loki.

Have an amazing week, see you after the crawl!



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