The Pussyhat Project
On the 21st of March, the day after the inauguration, The Women’s March on Washington is happening! The march isn’t just about women, but about all the voices who were demonised and shunned during the toxic American election. For me, protesting isn’t whining, it’s about speaking up as a group so that a message is heard, plus when the message is clear, real change can happen.
I can’t make it to the march, but a yarn store I’ve been visiting, Knitty City, brought The Pussyhat Project to my attention. The Pussyhat Project aims to provide a pink “pussyhat” for those attending the march, all 1.17million anticipated attendees! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate this way initially, because sometimes I feel that efforts like this can be tokenistic. Then I approached it from a marketing perspective, the sight of a million pink hats would be very impressive and, more importantly, memorable. The Pussyhat Project website does a fantastic job too of talking about the power of knitting circles and the handmade in feminism, which is what ultimately tipped me over into making some hats.
My first hat I didn’t photograph, but I did go to the knitting meetup at Knitty City to make it. I spoke to some women who had been to Washington to march before, including some women who had protested the Vietnam War. It was great to speak to these women about their experience in activism. I feel that there is a perception of activists as hyper-partisan, perhaps even crazy, but that has rarely been my experience. These women marched because it was the right thing to do, and these days, they march for their kids and their future. There was a sense of, “gosh, do we still have to do this?” but they’re doing it because their kids deserve it. It was enlightening to hear.
The hat itself is easy to make. The instructions have you knit it flat then seam the edges, but I knitted both of mine in the round, then kitchener stitched the top shut. My first hat was made out of Lamb’s Pride Worsted, and then my second hat, the one I’ve photographed, was made from the remenants of the Lamb’s Pride. I added in some cream and pink stripes using some leftover Cascade 220.
I hope someone at the march receives my hats and knows that they have an ally in New York, hearing what they have to say. Things are scary right now, no doubt, but I feel that in these uncertain times there are voices getting lost and that they need to be heard — and acted upon.