Lo­cal group knits pink hats for women’s march on D.C.

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - METRO - BY COLLEEN CUR­RAN ccur­ran@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6151 Twit­ter: @coll­cur­ran

Knit­ting can be a po­lit­i­cal act.

For a group of lo­cal women knit­ting pink hats with cat ears, that’s ex­actly what they’re do­ing.

They’re putting their nee­dles to­gether to make cute pink hats to dis­trib­ute to women head­ing to the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton on Jan. 21.

The hats are part of a na­tion­wide move­ment called the Pussyhat Project.

Pa­tri­cia Selinger, 59, is a re­tired preser­va­tion li­brar­ian who meets with her knit­ting group at a lo­cal Star­bucks ev­ery Tues­day. They’ve been knit­ting pink hats with lit­tle cat ears for the past few weeks.

She is headed to the Women’s March next week and will be bring­ing her pink hats with her, one to wear and oth­ers to dis­trib­ute to any­one who needs one.

“The hat is a sym­bol of sol­i­dar­ity. And it’s also to keep warm,” Selinger said. “We’re go­ing to ex­press our dis­plea­sure of Don­ald Trump; his at­ti­tudes and his poli­cies to­ward women.”

The hat project is the brain­child of Los An­ge­les­based friends Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman. In the af­ter­math of the elec­tion, they cre­ated a web­site, posted a DIY pat­tern for the hat and the project took off on so­cial me­dia.

The project has been cov­ered by na­tional publi­ca­tions such as the New York Times and Slate, while celebri­ties like co­me­dian Amy Schumer and ac­tress Krys­ten Rit­ter have shared pic­tures of them­selves wear­ing the cat-eared hat on so­cial me­dia.

The term for the hat is a play on words, ac­cord­ing to D.C. or­ga­nizer Ste­fanie Kamer­man.

Or­ga­niz­ers hope to cre­ate enough hats for the 1.2 mil­lion women ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate in the march on Wash­ing­ton. They’re hop­ing to see a “sea of pink” at the Wash­ing­ton march.

Linda Martin, 62, from Richmond, has made five hats al­ready and shipped them off in De­cem­ber. She hopes to make a few more be­fore the project’s dead­line of Jan. 14.

“I’m al­ways look­ing for causes where I can put my knit­ting to good use,” Martin said.

She won’t be able to make the march in Wash­ing­ton her­self but spent six to eight hours on each hat be­cause “It makes me feel like I’ve made a con­tri­bu­tion to the cause.”

Nor­mally, Martin knits scarves, shawls and sweaters. She’s a main­frame sys­tems en­gi­neer for Wells Fargo who works from home, but she knits of­ten, like when she’s on con­fer­ence calls.

“It helps me stay fo­cused on the meet­ing,” Martin said. She’s also a mem­ber of sev­eral knit­ting groups and or­ga­nizes a few knit­ting re­treats dur­ing the year.

“Knit­ting is a very so­cial ac­tiv­ity and it’s a great stress re­liever too,” ac­cord­ing to Martin.

“This is the first time I’ve ever used knit­ting for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons,” she added. “But I’m glad to be in­volved in some way.”

ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

Jean McCauley (from left), Pa­tri­cia Selinger and Phae­dra Knoeller-Jer­meay knit hats as part of a na­tional project for the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton the day af­ter In­au­gu­ra­tion Day.

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