A book about knitting for protest has been released, and it’s just what 2017 needed
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2017 has been a tumultuous year for all of us. Remember back in 2016, after Trump got elected and Britain voted to leave the EU, when we didn’t think it could get any worse? 2017 has seen more acts of terrorism, Hollywood sexual assault scandals, and Trump’s enthusiasm for exchanging threats with a self-proclaimed ‘nuclear power’. So what better way to stand up against all this political turmoil than knitting? That’s what Geraldine Warner thought, and her new book offers more than 15 crafty projects for you to say a big F-U to 2017. From Pussyhats to anarchist socks, Nasty Woman mittens to tree-hugger scarves, Protest Knits has everything you’ll need to stage a woolly protest. Warner first started knitting at the age of seven. Her last project, ‘Pride and Preju-knits’ gave readers the chance to knit their way through the world of Jane Austen, and was adapted into a 1 minute 46 second animated film. Warner’s Bloomsbury Publishing bio page says her current work is a way to ‘combine her passion for knitted textiles with social commentary and literature’. The book’s publication comes after a long history of knitting in protest. UK knitters Wool Against Weapons famously crafted a seven-mile-long ‘peace scarf’ to rally against the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. In Canada, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle held a protest back at the 2002 G8 summit which made news headlines - their Global Knit-In featured knitters outside various corporate sites. More recently, campaigns like the Pussyhat project have taken off in the media. Set up by California-based women’s rights activists Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, the bright pink bonnets are shaped like cat ears, and aimed to make a ‘unique collective visual statement’ at the 2016 Women’s March. The pink colour also holds a special significance, say Suh and Zweiman, as it is ‘considered a very female colour representing caring, compassion and love - all qualities that have been derided as weak, but are actually strong’. Protest Knits aims to continue the trend set out by knitting activists everywhere. It was published in hardback on October 19th - and really, is there a better way to round the year off?