#KnitForJacinda (the Anarchist version)

The knitted goods all get donated to worthy causes such as…

Families with premature or unwell babies,
Women escaping from domestic violence,
Refugees starting a new life in New Zealand,
Young parents without support networks,
Families where one parent is terminally ill or struggling with other illness,
Families where the key earner has been made redundant,
Families with multiples (twins or triplets),
Single parents (mums, dads, grandparents and other caregivers) who are struggling,
Mums battling post-natal depression,
Families living in an ongoing cycle of poverty,
and more.


I couldn’t help but wonder what #KnitForJacinda would look like if some Anarchists got out their knitting needles? A google search revealed a surprising number of anarchists who like to knit!

Knitting Circle | Anarchist Mountain Community Society
Anarchist Mountain Community Society

Pixabay Yarn Bomb, Guerrilla Knitting, Tree, Graffiti

The Pink Pussy hats knitted and worn en masse at the various Women’s marches made me wonder about the connection between knitting and activism. It turns out that there is indeed a link. There are actual Anarchist knitters out there.

Knitting at Occupy Wall Street

I just talked with a Brooklyn crafter who was on her way to the Occupy Wall Street protest. “There are knitters and crocheters down there,” she told me. “They’re teaching people. One woman is knitting hats for people for when it gets cold.”

One of the more interesting aspects of the New Domesticity is the way certain old-fashioned domestic skills are being used to make explicit political statements. While not all crafters have any kind of political agenda, of course, there’s a certain subset of the DIY craft movement that considers their work “craftivism” (craft + activism). Craftivism includes a wide range of beliefs and motivations, from environmentalism to feminism (re-valuing traditionally devalued women’s work, as I mentioned before when I wrote about the re-skilling movement) to anti-capitalism.

Knitting has become particularly symbolic of an anti-status quo spirit. The knitting-as-social-protest seems to date back about a decade, though it has definitely become more prominent lately. In 2002, the first Revolutionary Knitting Circle held a “global knit-in” at the G8 Summit in Alberta, Canada, and the group has since spawned others across Canada, the US and Europe.


Since then, there have been all kinds of “anarchist knitting mobs” and such across the country, and ”yarn-bombing” (covering pieces of urban infrastructure like lamp posts or parking meters in knitting) has become a new form of (illegal) street art in the past few years. In December 2010, yarn-bombers famously wrapped the Wall Street bull statue in a pink and black sweater. […]

So why knitting? I don’t really know, but I have some thoughts. […] it has an obvious practical purpose […] It’s portable – you can’t really haul a sewing machine to a protest march. And knitting’s iconic status as the most famous of the “grandmotherly arts” makes it a particularly bold and amusing statement […] women knitting hats during a protest kind of flies in the face of the stereotypical image of the angry, screaming young man.[…]


If we have any Whaleoil Anarchist knitters amongst us we could create a whole new form of protest for conservatives and libertarians. Afterall, why should Lefties have all the fun?

Perhaps some special knits for our not so favourite politicians as Protest “gifts”?

The egg on your face hat: Created by Melbourne-based artist Phil Ferguson.

The Pass the popcorn hat for spectacular political failures: Created by Melbourne-based artist Phil Ferguson.

The you can stuff your Burka and hijab where the sun don’t shine protest nipple warmers: Created by Melbourne-based artist Phil Ferguson.


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