Musings on a pink hat

I’ll admit, I was conflicted about the pink hat. I don’t like using the word “pussy,” and I didn’t want to trivialize a march that was meant to address serious issues. The Pussyhat Project just didn’t speak to me.

Guess what @doctorphilbernstein is knitting? #knitting #knitstagram

A post shared by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

But a friend in DC wanted a hat, and DH offered to help. A chance to teach DH to knit? OK!

Pussyhat pussycat

The hat was finished, modeled, and sent off to Rita in DC.

Rita

Still, I had no interest in a hat of my own. Until Friday night, when I finally realized the optics of a sea of pink hats. A message of solidarity that didn’t need words. An answer to the red baseball cap, but handmade, and a play on the very words that had offended me.

Brioche in the round

I cast on at midnight, knit for an hour, and wondered if I could finish in the morning. Malabrigo Rasta, in Sabiduria. Recycled twice off the experimental brioche rib cowl I had knit earlier in the week (a single skein Rasta cowl turns out to be too bulky for comfort when that small).

Brioche pussyhat

I finished at a pre-march brunch. Brioche rib is very stretchy, so even at 40 sts it was a little big, but serviceable. (Rita’s hat was 48 sts with a K1P1 rib.)

March on Washington: Portland

I gave another Sabiduria hat to L on the left; it never fit me and the pinkish purple was the right color. And I gave a Sabiduria headband to a neighbor. Color, color, color. A sea of pink/purple.

Women's March

Under umbrellas.

Do I love the hat? Not really, But it served a purpose. Here are a few links that help explain how I feel.

NPR, on the pink hat as a reply to the red hat.

Mason-Dixon Knitting, on knitting being a big part of this story.

And a very informative Buzzfeed post by Abby Franquemont with answers to those who wondered if these hats were made in the USA.

Pussyhat Mosaic

I borrowed this image from Abby’s post; it says that it’s a mosaic made from Ravelry images of the hats. I’m trying to find the source and will give credit when I find it. (Edited to add: the mosaic was made by Casey, Ravelry’s webmaster/programmer extraordinaire. Well done!)

Did you knit a hat? Did you march?

Update: Well, knitters (and crocheters) definitely got noticed. Here’s Time Magazine’s cover:

Time Magazine cover

And The New Yorker magazine for next week.

New Yorker magazine cover

Way to be seen and heard, yarnies!

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31 responses to “Musings on a pink hat

  1. Knit, knit knit. I dropped a stitch.

  2. I don’t like pink either, and I haven’t gotten over it—but I got over pussy pretty quickly. After all, we say “pussyCAT,” so why not “pussyHAT”? Hell yes I marched, in an reddish orange pussyhat.

  3. I’m not a joiner. I don’t like the word pussy in the way it was used by Cheeto Hitler, and it still felt a bit uncomfortable/ugly as used with the hat. As a marketing person I ‘get’ the image. However, I have about a billion other projects, don’t wear pink much and just didn’t want to buy special yarn for something I’ll never wear again. I saw fleece hats that were cute and took 3 seconds to make, but again, spare time, special purchase. Nope.

    I did buy a hat with a Women’s March patch on it from Flipside Hats. It is a cool newsboy style in black fleece that I will wear a lot. Plus the brim kept my glasses from getting wet and it pulled over my ears for warmth.

    Clearly I am too practical. 🙂

    • I definitely got to know brioche in the round with that brim! So it was learning yarn. I knit the cowl with 64 sts, and then tried the hat at 30 (accidentally), 44, and 40 sts. The Rasta is pretty sturdy yarn, all things considered!

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  4. Oh, and a big YES on marching!! The energy was amazing.

  5. I felt the same about the whole hat thing – but the photos were pretty amazing. How much hand craftiness got shown! Couldn’t march because of a work obligation, but definitely doing things to resist.

    • I was pleased by the optics, and by the highlighted craftiness! So it was worth the effort, at least for me.

      I rescheduled a class from Saturday to another day. I knew most of my student demographic would be downtown!

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  6. I was in the same frame of mind as you. Then I saw the response over time and in the last few days prior to the march I made mine. I dyed the yarn myself so it had even more of me in it besides the construction. It’s big enough that I can fasten the points together to make a box top hat. I couldn’t march because I had another commitment, but I was so thrilled and proud of the people who came out to march.

    • Nice to know I had company in my resistance, both ways. And great that you can re-use the hat! I’ll probably take mine apart and re-do it, or do something with the yarn. It’s too big. But DH suggested a hat with one of the corners clipped, to match Biscuit’s feral ear clip. Ha!

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  7. I believe the Ravelry art first appeared in their twitter post: https://twitter.com/ravelry/status/822187203807821824

  8. If you go to the front page of Ravelry today, you will see that Casey made it from the many many images on Rav.

    • Thank you; I see it now on Ravelry. I went looking for it this morning, but failed to refresh my browser, so it wasn’t on the front page for me until I did. It’s a great image.

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  9. I made two hats that went to DC. However, I went to my guild’s annual spinning retreat.

    • I liked how the project gave people a way to be there, even if they couldn’t be there. I was happy to have a hat in DC; I just wasn’t sure I wanted to wear a hat. Turns out I did. Hope your spinning retreat was fun!

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  10. I had no clue this was going on. I heard about the march a couple days ago. I suppose when I don’t watch t.v. and I shut off most of my social media, I miss out on news.

  11. If Hilary Clinton was a Republican, you would be marching against her. Blind, hysterical, stupidity

    • Well, no. For me, it’s not about Democrat vs. Republican. I’m hoping for a kinder, gentler world where all people are respected and treated equally: Women, people of all races and religions, LGBT people. Access to health care is important to me. I know the current system isn’t perfect, but I’d like to see what the replacement options are before repealing what’s there. I’m cautious by nature!

      I’d love for this to be a conversation, rather than shouting past each other or name-calling. A lot of what’s wrong is that our country is so polarized, we don’t listen to each other.

      Side note: Did you know that the word hysteria comes from hystera, the Greek word for womb? Hysteria was originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus.

      Let me know your hopes for our country. I’m listening.

      Peace.

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  12. I initially felt much as you did about the word and its use, but seeing the sea of pink hats won me over as well. We need to make our voices heard and the visual strength of the pink hats is too strong to ignore. I am making pussy hats for many people. I fear we will need them.

  13. Sadly I could not march (I had a work meeting that had been scheduled months and months ago) and I did not have time to knit pussyhats for my friends who DID march (very unhappy about that) but I participated in spirit. And I loaned a pink hat (knit by a friend) I just happened to have (long story) to a co-worker who wanted to wear it all weekend. Brava to everyone around the world who marched!

  14. Leslie A. Gordon

    Love it!!!

  15. Debbie braden

    I marched in Nashville, TN with family. It was a wonderful experience.

  16. Glad to see these!

  17. I was resistant, as well, for all of the reasons you mentioned. In the end, I had to make one and started mine late Friday afternoon, too. I retrieved a skein of pink heavyweight candide leftover from a wool cable sweater my mother knit for me when I was a teenager. It was in her stash after she died last year. There were a lot of emotions tied up in that little pussyhat project! My son’s best friend from childhood proudly wore the hat to the march.

  18. I haven’t read all the comments, so someone may have said this, but there was apparently a Women’s March detractor who asked, “Were all those hats made in the USA?” Apparently, the notion that we made them ourselves never occurred to him. And why would one ask that question when the MAGA hats weren’t made in America? Projection much?

    • Exactly! If you go to the Buzzfeed link in the post, there’s an awesome reply to that question, written by Abby Franquemont. Clearly the questioner isn’t knit (or crochet)-worthy and has never received a handmade gift.

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  19. Wonderful post! I didn’t know about the hats (not on social media), but it was very stirring to see the sea of pink in the marches held all over our nation.