Why is RiverKnits joining the Tits Out Collective?

My first proper blog post, and it’s about tits! I hope I don’t make a boob of myself…

Approximately 250 indie dyers, designers and makers have joined the Tits Out Collective, and we’re very excited to be a part of it! We’ll be launching our version of yarn colourway If I Want Exposure I’ll Get My Tits Out on July 1st and for every skein sold, we will donate £3 to Women’s Aid. We’ve named ours Gussets & Grease Nipples and I hope you can see how it’s a nod to the original colours done in RiverKnits style. The colours took me quite far out of my comfort zone but I had a lot of fun with it!

 

It’ll be available for pre-order from our online shop, and we’ll take some along to Yarningham too. We’re hoping to get everyone’s yarn to them within a month, but it will depend on numbers of orders. We’ll be sure to keep you updated once you’ve placed your order!

So why are we getting involved? If you haven’t heard of the Tits Out Collective, I recommend you start with Countess Ablaze’s blog post. It’s about a lot of things; working for “exposure”, doing original work (or not), supporting the yarn community, and doing charity right.

Firstly, that innocent sounding word: “exposure”. It makes crafters and freelancers cringe. Being asked to donate your time, expertise, and resources for someone else’s event or product or publication for exposure is problematic. Firstly, at RiverKnits, we’re self employed and profits from the sale of our yarn go towards our salaries. It’s hard enough to correctly value our products and our time without people telling us we should be giving it for free. And that elusive exposure doesn’t always work out does it? No, instead, you get a reputation for accepting less than your worth. We love to do what we can for good causes, we’ve supported Medecins Sans Frontieres for the last two years at Christmas, and will do again. But we wouldn’t be able to if our business was on its knees because we’d traded yarn for exposure! So, we were impressed with Countess’s reaction to the original request, and had a huge amount of respect for the way she handled it and went on to raise £3000 for Women’s Aid.

 

Secondly, copying. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s simply not cool. (I’m not even going to add a disclaimer about how accidents happen. I’ve done my own research and I’m pretty convinced of the truth, and I’m not naming or shaming anyone. Don’t bother asking either, because I won’t tell you!) I found someone copying my colourways in the past, and it was gut wrenching to say the least. I was quite a new dyer, only just starting to build my reputation for the sorts of colours you know me for, and someone started reproducing them, or at least attempting to. I was genuinely scared this person would hurt my business, especially as they were also undercutting me. Over time it worries me much less, but believe me, it is no compliment. So when I saw the Countess’s post, I remembered that gut wrenching feeling and thought about how not only was this someone copying original work, it was riding on the coat-tails of an epic charitable donation from a colourway that is no longer available. Not. Cool.

Lastly, and I think most importantly, is the best side to this: the yarn community. Go read the responses for yourself, it’s positively heartwarming. The number of people getting involved and raising money for their chosen charities is astounding! So many people turning what could have been a negative and nasty episode into a movement for good, to have an even bigger impact than the first If I Want Exposure I’ll Get My Tits Out yarn. Ahh, that’s the kind of bandwagon we like to jump on! I think a lot of people in the crafting community recognise that collaboration is awesome, not something to be feared but embraced. We create even better work when we freely share with each other. All the different versions of the original colourway showcase the dyers’ talents and creativity, and there are some frankly wonderful new designs coming out of this too. I’ve got my eye on a few… Have you?

By | 2018-06-29T20:41:03+00:00 June 29th, 2018|RiverKnits blog|1 Comment

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  1. Milli Abrams 2nd July 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Awesome blog post! And This looks gorgeous! Great name too!

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