Knitting’s been in the news a lot since the start of 2017, and I doubt anyone missed the Pussyhat Project, particularly after thousands of women wore knitted, sewn, and crocheted versions of the pussyhat on the day of the Women’s March in Washington, and around the world.
I don’t want this post to become a rant, or derailed by politics, but I would like to make it abundantly clear that I do not support hatred or prejudice of any kind. Suffice to say I think that will be adding my voice- and knitting needles- to more than the pussyhat project this year. But I am digressing somewhat.
On a more general and positive note, crafting can most definitely be a subversive and political act- and an inspiring one at that. It amuses me whenever someone refers to various crafts as “quaint” or “dying arts”, because the knitting community alone is one massive force to be reckoned with, and full of people who are willing to stick their neck out and make a difference. Take, for example, Bristol Ivy. She’s one of my favourite knitwear designers, and she recently released a mitten pattern, the proceeds of which will be donated to a rotating list of charities. When I last checked, she’d raised around $10,000 dollars and counting- and the pattern was only released within this last week. Amazing!
My favourite indie dyer, Old Maiden Aunt, dyes a special yarn and donates money from sales to Stonewall UK. Loop, a shop based in London, donated all of their sales from in store and online to ACLU recently too. There’s a very long list of the thoughtful, kind, and generous things knitters- and other fibre crafters- do, or become involved in. I’d strongly advise listening to recent episodes of the Knit British and Shinybees podcasts for the curious.
As for the pussyhat… there are numerous versions of the pussyhat pattern available online- whatever your craft and skill level are. Now is as good a time as any to learn to knit or crochet, and what better first project?
If anyone is interested and wants the details for mine, well…: I cast on 96 stitches, joined in the round, worked about 3 inches of 2×2 ribbing, before knitting in the round until I had about 5g of yarn left. To finish, I bound off using a 3-needle bind off. In total, I used a skein of Ginger Twist Ginger’s Hand Dyed Humming Aran, however approximately 175m of aran weight yarn would suffice. There are other variations online for different yarn weights too though.