Handmade Activism

Knitting and the Art of Advocacy.

img_5351The art of knitting and the art of advocacy are not so different.

I recently finished a custom order – two Grab Back Hats aka Pussy Hats for a young woman named Jia. She and her Granny will rock these warm, cozy hats at this month’s Women’s March in Lansing, Michigan. And as I knit, I think of the women who will wear them – praying for them to stay warm, empowered and vigilant. I am inspired and energized every time I knit, but today I am honored and thankful for women like Jia and her Granny, who will stand together in the cold, in the wind, in the snow to advocate for equality for all women. For me.

Advocates like Jia and Granny share a common thread with knitters (and other makers). It’s this DIY spirit that fuels us and moves us through challenges, successes, through life.

I see these commonalities everyday as I am both a knitter and an advocate. When I knit, I have a plan, I have the tools to see that plan through and I have friends to knit with or call when I get stuck. I watch my project come together stitch by stitch, bit by bit. At my day job, I advocate for policy change that leads to safer, walkable communities. I have a plan, I have tools to see the plan through and I have friends and colleagues to collaborate with or call when things get tough.


Like advocates, knitters are patient, creative, flexible (knitting everywhere from coffee shops to bus stops), passionate and determined (we will restart a project about a million times….). We build networks. We lean on one another for support. We share ideas. We live and breath the DIY spirit – often in a quiet introvert style, but we live it nonetheless.

So to Jia and Granny, I wish you all the patience and perseverance in the world.

Grab Back, ladies. Persist.

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