We did it!
Not just Team MadWool, but every Craftivist in the world! The sea of Pink Hats made a visual impact that is powerful and long lasting. Be proud!!
A few weeks ago, after casually being involved in making hats for the Women's March on Washington, I officially signed up the shop on the project page- www.pussyhatproject.com as a shop for supplies/knit nights/drop off and pick up. A day later, our lives were turned upside down. In a good way.
About two weeks ago, the Pussyhat Project received lots of press, and everyone knew they had better have a pink hat if they were going to a March! (Read this article to give you an idea of the power and intent of these hats: http://news.nationalpost.com/life/style/the-important-questions-can-soft-and-fuzzy-domestic-crafts-make-a-hard-statement)
As the only shop in CT registered on the site to get hats, the phone started ringing off the hook, and the emails started pouring in. Marchers were calling from CT, RI, and New York in search of "those pink hats". I took names and phone numbers and started knitting.
As the calls kept coming in, I reached out to my local group of knitters and friends for help in the project, and on our Facebook page. They stepped up in a big way, and surpassed my wildest dreams!
At first, we tried to fill everyone’s requests. “I need 6!” “Three please!” We were able to fill orders like this for the first week. As our hands got tired, we limited that to 2. Then one. Pink yarn was being ordered twice weekly to keep up.
We were touched by the people coming in from far away to pick up their hats and tell us their stories. Brooklyn and the Bronx, NY. South Africa by way of Essex, CT. All corners of Connecticut. Women so overcome with emotion that they hugged us and cried. Men too wanted hats, and were so very grateful to us. This project changed our lives, gave us hope and purpose. The power of handmade was evident.
As of last Thursday, I counted how many were picked up- we knit and distributed 150 hats! Most of these were headed to Washington, others to New York or Boston Women’s Marches. Some stayed close to home, in Hartford or Stamford, where our group was invited by the organizers to have a table representing The Pussyhat Project and to make and sell hats at the March. We had a few left over to bring, plus a few new ones, and we were sold out right away. By the end of the day, we had given away 200 hats. A huge milestone for a fairly small core group! Our intent was to give them away, but people really wanted to donate. We set a price at $5.00 per hat. People were so generous, we are making a donation this week to the ACLU in the amount of $500.00! We will continue to donate to other charities as we make hats (more coming after 2/1…our hands need a break!). Please call or email to get on the list for your ‘Pink Hat’.
Below is a picture of our group right before the crowd starting coming in, before we tried to ‘knit to order’ using the Addi Express knitting machine! Thanks to Vicki R., we were able to ‘crank out’ about 6 hats for Marchers, plus finish a few handknit ones! The weather was incredible, and the March had about 5,000 attendees!
I cannot express the love and gratitude I have for the group of knitters who made this happen. I am sorry if I forgot anyone- many hats were dropped off with no names to thank! A big shout out to those that purchased yarn and made them themselves. Know that you made a difference.
Team MadWool Pussyhat Project Hall of Fame
Mr. MadWool, Stephen Ditter- you kept the house in order, fed and watered me, and let me carry on with this project. You also drove the bus to Stamford and were our official ‘bodyguard’. You are the best!
Candace Guerette- made about 30 hats by hand, and fast!
Vicki Rapanault- used her Addi Express machine to crank about 30 or more hats!
Moliie Keller- also a knitting warrior who helped by knitting, coordinating, and hanging at the shop helping with food and phones (and friendship)
Irene Williams-also a star knitter who hung out at the shop, helped with phones, food, and laughs
Jackie Gargano-many handspun hats!
Chris Rinder-handspun hats! Knitting to order at March!
Doreen Breen-knitter, Western CT organizer, fierce activist
Mary Ellen Ruggiero
Keep on making a difference,
Dayna and Team MadWool