I’m marching in the Women’s March in Los Angeles, and offshoot of the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21. We’re marching in protest of Trump and the changes he’s making that are going to destroy the rights of women, people of color and the LGBT community. I never really posted about politics before. This election has changed that. This is not the time to be quiet and let healing begin. This is the time to fight. Personally, I stand to lose my healthcare, and with a major surgery this year, it means that this change to our insurance could kill me. Many of you and those you love are in the same boat. This weekend, I’ll also be wearing a Pussyhat to protest Trump’s clear disregard for the rights of women’s bodies. Krista Suh, the creator of the PussyHat Project sat down with us to let you know about the cause and how to make your own. They’re expecting over a million of them at the marches around the country. I’d also like to report that many knitting and craft stores are running low on pink yarn, so go grab it (ahem) while you can! (Scroll down for a quote from Aurora Pringle who did the amazing poster for the project!
On a personal note, I know how to knit one stitch. I learned on the internet. I made this in a few hours. I went by the dimensions: 11″ x “17 1/4”. You stitch the sides of the rectangle together and the ears appear when you put it on a round head! I’ve never done anything like this before. You can, too!
Legion of Leia: Tell us about how the project got stared and how it came about.
Krista Suh: I was a big Hillary supporter. I’m sitting in my apartment and I have all the swag. I’m LA-based and I went out to Ohio to campaign for her because I wanted to make a bigger impact in a swing state. I came home for election night and I was floored. I didn’t know what to make of it. I remember waking up the next morning…I decided not to freak out. In the morning I was waiting for some hail Mary thing, because surely this couldn’t happen. It was really stunning and there was a real feeling of grief. And when the Women’s March came up, I knew immediately I was going to go…I wanted to do something more, if possible. I wanted to wear something, something visual that could immediately make some sort of change or impact. I couldn’t really figure out what that was, but being an LA girl, I realized I’d be super cold, there (the Washington D.C. March). I had to figure out some practical stuff too. What, I can’t wear a tank top here? [laughs] So I thought maybe I could knit my own hat. It’s a hobby I picked up this summer. I got super-obsessed. I thought, as a beginner I could make this hat. Maybe we could share the pattern. We could all wear them. I knew I was onto something. We got my knitting teacher to make the pattern, since she made them professionally. This was totally up her alley. Aurora Lady did the poster for us. I knew she was completely devastated by the Trump election. I reached out to her and said, “I know you’re grieving, but do you want to make some art?” She was on it immediately. Jayna [Zweiman], my co-founder, is recovering from a concussion and I know this is totally her type of thing. I wasn’t sure if she’d want to do it because she has a concussion. I feel like the project has brought her back to full health! She’s raring to go every day!
“This old lady, my feisty 83 year old mom just knitted six hats in three days. She can’t physically be at the march with us, but when she looks at the crowds on tv she will know she made a difference in her own small way. She lives in a senior community and took to this cause without hesitation, rally her fellow knitters. This woman taught me to always stand up for what I believe in and to never be afraid of fighting back and I am proud to pass that lesson on to my daughters. Thanks Mom-we are marching for you too!” – @krista_tyra1
Legion of Leia: Tell us why you think this helps.
Krista Suh: I think this project is really flashy in a good way. It’s charged, it’s got the flashy name, all that stuff, but it also goes so deep emotionally. People are putting their grief and anger into every stitch. They’re being represented at the March. Someone wrote that a women’s issue she cares about is Planned Parenthood. It saved her life. It’s been an amazing journey and I described this project as a baby that I have. It’s a monster now. I’m so proud of it. No matter how big it gets. I’m not being Asian tiger mom about it. I’m like, whatever you do is going to be great! Just the fact that it’s getting bigger and bigger and maybe we will have a hat on every marcher. Maybe all over the sister marches, too. I’m really excited. We have some stuff up our sleeves for after the march as well. Just like the organizers of the Women’s March, we’re like, this isn’t the end, by the way. This is just the beginning. The same thing with this. We want to keep the community that’s forming going in a passionate way. For all four years of this Presidency. I hope one day a grandmother will give her pussyhat to her granddaughter and say I wore this. I was there on January 21, 2017 and that meaning will carry on.
Legion of Leia: So tell us how it all works!
Krista Suh: Sure! There are knitters and marchers that are our constituents, so to speak. You can knit, crochet or sew a hat. When we put out the knit pattern, it was so funny, the crocheters were like, do you have a crochet pattern? What about us! We were like, please! We need a million hats! We need you! Sewers were the same. They were like, we can have a stitch and bitch! We can do so many in a night. You can make a hat. If you don’t know how to knit, you can learn how to knit from friends, from YouTube, from a local yarn store. We have a list of locations on our website who are Pussyhat friendly. We call them our ally stores.
Legion of Leia: So I have a bunch of girlfriends who are going to Los Angeles March with me. So how does this work? Are there stores everywhere who make these?
P O S T U P! 💖 There are so many wonderful people who are #teampussyhat and made hats for people who are marching, even though they aren’t able to march! YOU mean so much to us and YOUR PUSSYHAT will represent you. 💖 We made this graphic just for you, with love. Tag the person who made your hat, if you are marching. And feel free to repost, if you made a hat, but will be at the march in spirit! 😻
Krista Suh: Every store is a little bit different. Some are only giving hats to marchers who are heading to D.C. based on their supply, and others are giving the hats out to local marches. Just call your local store in advance. You can give it a shot and make it yourself. It’s pretty easy for beginners, especially if you have some help through a teacher. You can make one in a couple hours. I love how you said you knit like a monkey with the little emojis! But really, if you knit at all, it’s just a scarf, basically. You fold it in half and sew up the sides with yarn. It’s just a rectangle. And actually, the ears come out when you put the hat on your head. The round shape of your head fills the hat and the ears come out as a triangle. It’s a super-genius design hack!
[Author’s note: I have very few knitting skills, but here is what worked for me. I learned to cast on (for the first row), knit a few rows (27 stitches in each row worked for me) and cast off. You need 11″ x 17.25″. I didn’t follow a pattern. I just measured. I left the tail super long on each end to stitch up the sides.]
Legion of Leia: You have a lot of celebrities who’ve joined the movement. Tell us a few of them.
Krista Suh: Patty Smith was one of the first. Everyone was like, Patti Smith, this is like…people cried when she did that. There was a crazy reaction to that. Rosanne Cash, who is a singer and songwriter, daughter of Johnny Cash. Amy Schumer was our next big woah person. I love reading the comments on her Instagram, too. Krysten Ritter who is Jessica Jones on Netflix. She’s actually been a big supporter of the project from early on, but she finally posted a pic of a hat with her in it recently. It’s beautiful. She’s kind of a fun example because she made her own hat, and now she’s making two to send to D.C. So someone out there is going to be wearing a Krysten Ritter hat in D.C.!
I also spoke to Aurora Pringle who did the poster, who told us, “The power in this project, and what initially drew me into it, was the fact that there was a point of entry for every skill set and ability. Sure, you can knit, sew, or crochet a hat. But if you can’t, there are other ways to be involved. We have people collecting hats, spreading the word, donating yarn and needles, showing others how to make hats…the list goes on and on. Yeah, we’re all contributing toward the vision of a sea of pussyhats, but more than that, we are identifying our community. We are forging new alliances. And in this way, we will be heard at the march and in the coming months and years. The hats are only the beginning.” You can follow her on Instagram and check out her website www.auroralady.com!
Here is all the info for you! Suh has a lot of plans for after this March is over as well, so stay tuned! Please let us know if you make a hat and tweet us @LegionofLeia with a pic! I’ll be at the March in Los Angeles, so if you see me, say hi and show me your hat or sign!
Please visit our website at www.pussyhatproject.com
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