If you see a lot of bright-pink, knitted caps with little ears poking up from either side this weekend, it’s not just the birth of a fashion trend. It’s the telltale sign of a social movement.
Across North America people have been knitting-and-purling up Pussyhats for the thousands set to gather in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21 to march in support of human rights — and Kelowna is no different.
Melissa Brown’s family owns The Art of Yarn on Pandosy Street and they’ve had a run on their pink wool.
“Everyone has been talking about the pussyhats,” she said. “There are a ton of ladies knitting them and sending them to people in Washington.”
It turns out that the yarn-shop is actually a hub of activism.
Chris Campbell teaches knitting at the shop and she was in the middle of making a pussyhat Tuesday afternoon. She intends to make a few more before the Kelowna rally on Saturday so her family can be appropriately attired for the event and she’s not alone.
“There was a lady walking through the store and she’s already knit seven and she and her friend bought yarn for three more,” said Campbell.
“They are flying to Washington Wednesday to take part in the rally. It will cost a lot of money, but she said it will be worth it.”
Campbell isn’t just happy to see people knitting, she’s happy to see them take part in the political process.
“We take so much of social democracy for granted,” she said.
“We need to safeguard democracy in our social institutions. We get too complacent and that doesn’t work.”
Whether the pussyhat movement will turn that complacency around remains to be seen, but for some it’s definitely a bright point in a period of darkness.
The hats are the creation of Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman — friends who wanted a way for women to announce their opposition to Donald Trump’s election.
“Today we want to write a bit about what ‘Spreading the Word’ can look like because all of us, whether we are knitters/crocheters/sewers, marchers, both or neither, can contribute immensely to making this happen,” organizers wrote on their Pussyhat Project blog.
“Anytime you think, ‘The organizers of the Pussyhat Project should really….’ you are probably right!”
The response has been tremendous and thousands of women have shared photos of their own pussyhats across social media using the hashtag #pussyhatproject.
To learn more go to https://www.pussyhatproject.com