It’s been a little over a week since Baa Baa Brighouse launched its ‘Make Britain Beautiful – Knitting the Nation Together’ campaign in the wake of the referendum result and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
As I explained in my earlier blog post, there was little I could do alone to heal the wounds created by a campaign that sought to divide our society on the basest of levels.
Friends of mine in the knitting community, EU citizens living and working in the United Kingdom and vice versa, have been affected by the decision and are in a state of limbo, not know what the future may hold for them. It may not have been meant personally but to many of them, it was personal.
To read more on that, visit WoollyWormhead’s blog, ‘We Are Allowed to be Angry’. Or take a look at Karie Westermann’s blog, otherwise known as Karie Bookish, a Danish knitwear designer who has been living and working in Scotland and who I’ve met at both Yarndale and Leeds Wool Festival.
The rise in racial hatred on our streets has been a grave cause for concern and since June 23rd, a Polish acquaintance of mine has handed in his notice at work and is planning to return to Poland.
Another friend conducted a survey of work colleagues on the day of the referendum to get an idea of how people were voting, one such colleague handed my friend a ‘ballot’ with a swastika drawn on it. She’s since found herself questioning everyone she meets, wondering if deep down they are just as intolerant.
But I have been overwhelmed by the response of our friends, customers and extended Baa Baa Brighouse family who are also seeking a way forward and finding hope and solidarity in their craft.
For example, Yorkshire knitwear designer, Ann Kingstone, is offering a discount on her pattern, ‘A Great British Knit’ to demonstrate her commitment to a united Europe.
And Baby Long Legs has published a knitted heart pattern on Ravelry as part of #CraftForSolidarity in association with textile artist, Ruth Steiner.
As you know, Baa Baa Brighouse has customers all over the world – take a look at our map to see where we’ve been posting woolly parcels to recently.
So, I’d like to leave you with some words from our German friend, Julia Hansche, who contacted us after our July Newsletter was sent out.
She said: “Dear all,
“Thank you for your newsletter and your special words regarding the referendum. I am living in Germany, but have some friends in the UK and travel there usually at least once a year. So I watched the referendum very closely and was quite shocked about the outcome. I have many concerns not only about how this will change the UK but also the rest of Europe and my personal life.
“As you said we will have to see. But I felt a very strong urge to do something and so I took part in the Yarn Club yesterday, just before your newsletter. I thought what better way is there than to take part in each others lives and be creative together.
“So not only lets make Britain Beautiful but take friendship over borders and boundaries and never stop.
Julia Hansche from Germany.”
Never a truer word was said.