Sunday, January 8, 2017

Political Crochet, Nasty and Nice

Although I am mostly loyal to quilting, I dally with crochet on the side. Especially when convinced that crochet might save the world, which occurs with surprising frequency.

Those of us who are appalled by the grabby President-elect are planning to participate in protest marches on or near inauguration day. Someone came up with the idea of pink, uh, cat hats. (OK, I'll choke out the words: Pussy Hats.) It's called the #Pussyhat Project, and you can learn about it here.

They're extremely easy to make, and therapeutic to boot.

Crocheted, they take me about an hour. Knitted, up to a year.

According to newspaper reports, dozens of yarn shops are teaching how to make them, and hundreds of people across the country are practicing this form of short-term therapy. The project site offers patterns, but I just make them up as I go along. Here's how:

Step 1. Hook a line of chain stitches that go comfortably from the back of one of your ears, around the front, to the back of the other ear. With a J hook, and worsted-weight yarn, this should be in the vicinity of 25- 35 stitches. For a smallish hat, make sure it's at least 10" across, and longer for larger heads.

Step 2. Crochet a second and maybe a third row. Make sure your first three rows still reach from ear to ear or meet your inch goal. (Unravel and start again if you need more or fewer stitches).

Step 3. Crochet til your rectangle is about 16" high,

Step 4.  Fold it in half, so the first and last row meet, and each side is 8" high.  From the wrong side, sew up the sides with a tapestry needle and yarn.

Step 5. Optional: Do a line of stitchery diagonally across the two top corners, to magnify the cat ears effect.
Here are several that I made, most with the rectangle method, but a few crocheted in the round, like this one:

 Side 2:
I'm considering adding a patch of mixed nut fabric, whatcha think?
Here's a rectangular one. There are diagonal lines of stitching along the bottom of each pink triangle, to make the cat ears stand out.
Next, the only one that I've knitted (so far.) Knitting takes me about three times longer than crochet. The words read "Love the Rainbow." 
The next one reads "Argh"
If you spell out the words with single stitches, then wrap each stitch with yarn, they become more legible. Here's the same "argh" with all the stitches wrapped:
The next one expresses a more sophisticated sentiment: 
More thoughts:
And now, The Nasty Series. (Nasty because the President-elect accused his opponent of being a "nasty woman.") Along with the hat at the top of this post, there's Nasty in the round:
Nasty with love and irony:
Same hat on my DD's friend's head. She's not in the slightest bit nasty: 
My DD made me add the word to a blue hat I was making her for everyday wear. Since she goes to school in blasé NYC, I assume no Manhattanites will bat an eyelash at a sweet, petite college freshman wearing a blue cupcake that hurls an insult at the wearer, the viewer, or both.
And of course, there's this one, which sums me up: the day.
The evidence: below, my DD goaded me into writing this:
It says: 
And finally: 

We can only hope  that the next four years aren't one. Find many more pussyats on Instagram at #pussyhatproject. On Pinterest, search "pussyhat project."

And because some of my best friends are Republicans, here are some improvisationally-crocheted elephants. I turned out one on a long cross-country airplane flight, and another while binge-watching old Star Treks.
Start with a small round of four or five stitches at the tip of the trunk, and proceed upwards and outwards. Leave buttonholes for each of the four legs, and grow them separately. The ears are half-rounds, stitched separately, then sewn on. The blanket (left) and scarf (right) are crocheted from variegated yarn. 

The eyes and mouth are embroidery stitched with yarn.

Improvisational crochet is much easier than it looks. My sister-in-law is Swiss-French and learned crochet as a child in school, but forgot how to do it. So when came to visit last week for the holidays, she studied my elephants, asked me for a quick refresher course, and before you know it, she whipped this out:
...with green yarn, wood button eyes, a red-and-yellow hat, a multicolored scarf, and a strange pink nasal halter/leash. It immediately befriended its ancestors, and they all piled on the seat of the exercise bike:
Unfortunately, their legs don't reach the pedals. With its yellow-trimmed hat, I think the green elephant looks a lot like Babar. 
It also posed for a portrait with its fond but surprised new parents: 
The green elephant also has a trés insouciant derriére, which makes it  easier for Presidents and others to grab.
It also likes to float around the room in the life-ring my SIL knitted for him on circular needles.
Are you making inaugural or anti-inaugural art? I'd love to see! A "Nasty Woman" art exhibition kicks off in Queens, NY on January 7 and runs through the 12th; info here.


  1. I loved to read your post - with your so humorous text - the best company for breakfast!

  2. Got a good laugh out of the hat you made for your daughter! And thank you for all the rest of your post...protesting through fiber arts...perfect!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Linda, thanks for the comment!