The Pussyhat Project
The Pussyhat Project has generated a lot of requests for pink yarn this past month. A few customers have wandered over to the pink yarn and checked out quietly; a few have broached the subject with some trepidation, a little reluctant to say the word; and a few have out-and-out announced that they’re participating in the Pussyhat Project.
I’m intrigued by the way the word has spread, much like the Messy Bun Hat pattern, through social media outlets into every corner of the internet. It would seem the Pussyhat pattern has dropped out of the Top 20 Patterns on Ravelry at this moment, but it remained there for weeks on end! Many knitters and non-knitters alike told me about it independently.
The Pussyhat Project has been planned in connection with the Women’s March on Washington scheduled to take place on January 21st, the day after the presidential inauguration. The mission of the march is the defense of human rights, the declaration that women’s right are human rights, and by extension: the rights of all marginalized people are human rights. I recommend clicking the link above and reading their mission statement.
Their extremely ambitious goal is to place a hand-knit pink cat-eared hat on the head of every person who participates in the march – making a collective visual statement and making the hat a symbol of women’s rights. They suggest several ways that knitters and non-knitters can join the movement (below). Knit a hat, wear a hat at the event, wear a hat elsewhere, mail a hat, or distribute hats.
In my own humble opinion, I’m impressed by the efforts women are making by planning the Women’s March in the first place, but I’m also seriously proud of my fellow knitters for raising the profile of knitting. My life may revolve around knitting, but I know that us knitters are a minority. Usually we don’t announce ourselves as knitters in public among non-knitters. We just quietly enjoy our favorite hobby, either alone or in small knitting circles. We passionately value our craft and pour our hearts into it, but I hear knitters bemoan the lack of appreciation for knitting on a regular basis.
I’m also impressed by the sheer fittingness of it. The fact is: knitting is typically thought of as a “woman’s craft” with sort of fuddy-duddy implications. It’s associated with grannies whiling away their days making stuffy old sweaters that no one wants to wear or impractical lace tablecloths. So, not only is the Pussyhat Project reclaiming the word “pussy” from its derogatory meaning, it’s reclaiming the craft of knitting from its outdated associations. Knitters today aren’t what people think. We’re proud and creative and immersed in the technology, trends and politics of today.
If you want to learn more about Krista Suh, the Los Angeles woman + knitter who came up with the Pussyhat Project idea, there’s an interview here on hellogiggles.com. She talks about the feedback she’s gotten and how the project has grown in such a short time.
On Instagram, #pussyhatproject has already garnered 2,020 posts.
On Facebook, the Pussyhat Project page currently has 4463 followers. Updates related to the Project, the Women’s March, interviews, photographs and knitting news are posted regularly.
On Ravelry, the Pussyhat Project group has 1352 members and 1618+ people have created project pages to share photos of their pussyhats. Numerous people have invented variations on the pattern to add some fancy details or accommodate different yarn weights. Crocheters on Ravelry have come up with their own versions of the pattern. It’s an incredibly beginner-friendly pattern, too! The gist of it? Knit a rectangle, fold it in half and sew up the sides. When placed on a head, the corners naturally form a cat ear shape!
In short: should you choose to knit a Pussyhat, you’re joining a movement that stands for women’s rights, you’re raising the profile of knitters and crocheters, and you’re becoming a part of a lively social media community.
Learn more: https://www.pussyhatproject.com/
Get the pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pussyhat-project