Author(s): Geraldine Warner
No Way Crochet is the book for you. From pussy hats to protest scarfs and voodoo dolls to seriously stylish sweaters. Make your point with a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles. From the easy peasy to the more complex, here are more than 15 projects for some crafty therapy. Knitting and handicrafts have a long history in protesting - the pussy hat project has been particularly successful but it joins a long tradition of crafty activism. In Canada, there's the Revolutionary Knitting Circle, which first made headlines for their protest at the 2002 G8 summit. Australia has the Knitting Nannas, who protest about environmental issues by holding "knit-ins". In the UK, activists from Wool Against Weapons knitted a seven-mile-long pink "peace scarf" to protest against the country's Trident nuclear weapon programme. Then, a year later, they repurposed it into thousands of blankets for those in need in warzones and developing nations. And down in Chile, it's the hombres tejedores (knitting men) who break down stereotypes and teach other men to embrace the creative hobby. In cities across the world, "yarn bombing" reclaims urban spaces with a pair of needles, covering everyday items in brightly coloured knits. Like other forms of graffiti, yarn bombing can convey a message of protest - or it can just be street art for the sake of art. Knitting for change is a global activity. So get your needles and hooks out and change the world.
Have you been on a march recently? Or know anyone who has? Are you in despair? Want to work out your issues with some wool? Stay in the loop and protest in style!
Geraldine Warner has been knitting and crocheting since the age of seven. She has worked at the creative end of media and digital marketing industries, but recent years have seen her exploring handknit history. Her current work finds her exploring a way to combine her passion for knitted textiles, social commentary and literature. Bad (although possibly accurate) careers advice at school told her she would never be an illustrator (or an ice-cream lady, her first choice), so she found ways to illustrate stories using a different method: through knitting. Under the pseudonym Trixie von Purl, she has written two knitted character books: Knit Your Own Kama Sutra (2015) and Pride & Preju-Knits (2015), and produced a stop-motion promotional flier to promote the latter. She has written two books under her own name: Knit Back In Time (2013) and Vintage Knit (2014), and her knowledge of 20th century handknitting led to a talk at the London Fashion & Textiles Museum to coincide with the museum's 'Knitwear' exhibition. She has recently been included in Ceci N'est Pas Un Pull (2017), a book collection of fibre artists. Protest Knits is her own small way of making a positive contribution to the current political climate and encouraging others to make themselves heard through knitting, a fantastic grass roots medium. A self-confessed nightbird knitter, during the day she can be found spreading the word about the joys of craftsmanship at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft in East Sussex, UK.