Knitvism – Part II

It would seem my post about Knitvism did not provide enough information. Reading it over, I admit I just skimmed over the subject. I may have been overwhelmed with all the information I read and in which direction to take to write my blog.

I wanted to bring awareness that knitting isn’t just an old person’s past-time. Knitting is for everyone, young and old. It brings joy, satisfaction, soothes the soul, and it brings people together.

And what happens when knitters get together? Of course we knit, but we also talk about projects we’re working on, the wool, the patterns…and what is going in the world. It can quickly become a time of very interesting discussions.

In my last post, I mentioned I came from a union family, and that eventually, I worked for the largest labour organization in Canada. It never crossed my mind that some of you may not know what I meant by a “union family.” 

A union is a labour organization that stands for workers’ rights such as fair wages and workplace safety. My father, a miner in Northern Ontario, belonged to the Steelworkers and my mother, who worked for the provincial government, belonged to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. There are many unions in Canada and all over the world.

My parents believed in what a labour union stood for and instilled that belief in me and my sister. They would participate at different rallies held by their union to show solidarity with other workers. And so, this is what I meant when I said I came from a “union family.”

Labour unions not only stand for workers’ rights, but also for human rights, the environment, gender equality, the ending of discrimination, and social justice.

So while I have been immersed in labour organizations, not once have I heard about Knitvism. I think it is unfortunate and it may very well be because not everyone would think of knitting and social justice in one sentence. Why would they? Knitting, to this day, is still viewed as a little old lady’s past-time. I hate that.

If you read my blog on Knitvism, you will have read about the Tricoteuses. In short, during the French Revolution, they were the market women who knit while watching the executions of the aristocrats. The market women were the ones who marched in the street demanding bread to feed their hungry families. And while they were banned from sitting in the gallery of the National Convention, they continued to believe in their social justice by knitting liberty caps. Some historians believe they sold their finished objects and that income helped their families through the hard times.

I find it funny, but so sad, that in 2017 people, once again, were knitting hats as a way to protest and to fight for social justice and to end discrimination against women.

The Women’s March in Washington held on January 21, 2017 was a rally to take back our power and dignity as women that the then newly inaugurated President Trump had been recorded as saying “…Grab’ em by the pussy.”  It was also a rally to advocate for other human rights, such as disability rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.

Pussy hats were knit in pink by many makers for themselves and others. I myself, knit two hats for a colleague who participated in the March. It was a massive, peaceful march to end discrimination and demand social justice. It was a sea of pink knit hats coming together for one cause.

And so, knitters do gather to knit together…but some of us will also rally together for one cause through our knitting.

Who says knitting is only for the stereotypical little old ladies in rocking chairs?

Sylvie

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