Communities

Yes, Even You Can Make This Pussy Hat For The March On Washington

by Kate Ryan

January 17, 2017

By now, you’ve probably heard that as many as 200,000 people will join the Women’s March on Washington come January 21 with the goal of defending women’s rights—otherwise known as human rights. To help make the visual statement of thousands of people marching in unison all the more striking, Los Angeles-based creatives Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman teamed up to start the Pussyhat Project, a movement to get a pink “pussy hat” on every marcher’s head. With a sea of pink heading toward the National Mall this Saturday, Suh and Zweiman hope to create a lasting image and provide a way for participants to fortify a sense of solidarity long after the march has ended. Whether you knit a hat for yourself or make one to send to a marcher in D.C., there are a number of ways to get involved with this virtual knitting circle turned political movement.

As the founders and participants can attest, the Pussyhat Project aims to do much more than keep ears warm. At its most basic level, knitters find the process to be uniquely relaxing—even hypnotic. This aspect of the project becomes particularly relevant as the cultural climate wavers between uncertainty and stress. Zweiman wholeheartedly affirms this point, saying,

“It can be an individual respite. Knitting is scientifically shown to be akin to meditation. It is important that when times seem difficult, to take a step back and take care of oneself. This calming respite allows us to gather our thoughts and responses and ground ourselves. It is quiet contemplation.”

Women have traditionally carried the torch of caretaking and attending to the needs of others. Unsurprisingly, patriarchal capitalism systematically devalues this skill (example, women performing hours of unpaid work ), depicting the ability to nurture as “soft” or “weak” because it so rarely results in financial gain. Making hats and making them pink is a way of claiming ownership of these feminine traits and recognizing them as sources of strength and power. The only thing more threatening to an oppressive regime than embracing the activities we enjoy is using those common interests to connect with and empower like-minded others.

Pattern via Pussyhat Project & Celia Spink

But don’t let knitting’s radical possibilities scare you off. Zweiman promises even the most novice knitters can learn to make a pussyhat. “If you are knit-curious, this is a great first project,” she says, primarily because there are no complicated curves or knots to follow. The Pussyhat Project’s website features scores of patterns, and if you’re more of an audio-visual learner, look no further than this YouTube tutorial. Sure, manipulating yarn into a wearable accessory probably sounds like witchcraft for the uninitiated, but—spoiler alert—you cast on an 11-inch-wide base, knit until it’s 17 inches long, fold it in half, and stitch the sides. That’s it. You can simplify this process further, Zweiman explains, by remembering “the chunkier the yarn, the fewer stitches, the faster the process.”

Still, if your brain just exploded at the mention of casting and counting, have no fear. Those who are knitting-challenged (like myself, for instance) have the option of sewing a hat as well. A 15-year-old girl named Celia Spink designed an adorable pattern that even truly talentless drunk people can follow. Check out the video below to learn how to make yourself a hat in the time it takes to ironically watch The Bachelor.   

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Yes, Even You Can Make This Pussy Hat For The March On Washington