New Pattern: Felis Hattus

I’m always happy to mix business with pleasure when it comes to knitting. While this is my business, it’s also pleasurable. Mixing business with politics is another issue altogether, and comes with more baggage. While I don’t want to unpack it here, I’ll let you peek inside. Social activism isn’t pleasurable for me. I don’t enjoy it. I am inclined to avoid conflict whenever possible, and activism is all about conflict. However, I was raised to be compassionate and to embrace the diversity of humankind that makes America (and the world) such an interesting place to live in. I was raised to love nature and to care for our planet. I was raised to love learning and science and the search for truth. These things are all pleasurable to me, and when the regime in power stands against all of these things, I feel I have little choice but to stand against that regime.

At the same time, my strengths are not best used on the front lines. In my short stint as an activist working with the Maine Independent Media Center during the G.W. Bush presidency, I was essentially a reporter, working to give voice to those whose voices were not being heard. I made no claim of neutrality; we covered things from a decidedly left-wing/radical perspective. I have not been doing this kind of activism for some time, and I am out of practice and out of touch with the resources I once had. But I’d like to make a difference in some small way, because one has to (re)start somewhere.

Will this become a politics blog? No, but I’m also not going to keep my politics entirely separate from my knitting. Yes, there will be new patterns that are just patterns, and my books will remain the bastions of technique knowledge they always have been, but there may also be the occasional pattern that comes with a message. This is the first of those.

Felis Hattus, as you can probably tell, is my answer to the “Pussy Hat” embraced by the women’s movement in 2016-17 leading up to the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. I struggled to decide whether I wanted to make it available for free, or to charge for it and use the proceeds to make donations to worthy causes myself. In the end, I decided it would make more sense to just keep it free and have the charitable donations be on an honor system. If you download this pattern and enjoy it, I’d love it if you’d make a donation to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the SPLC, or your favorite charity supporting the rights of women, immigrants, LGBT+ people, or other disadvantaged groups specifically targeted by the policies of the current administration.

On the other hand, if this doesn’t float your boat, it’s just a hat with cat ears on it, and it’s a free pattern. Make it in whatever colors you like and have fun with it!

4 thoughts on New Pattern: Felis Hattus

  1. Love the hat and your political commentary, Alasdair. Amy Herzog and Clara Parkes are courageous with their political tweets as well. I’m reading and enjoying them all.

  2. I respect that you have opinions but you need to know that people that are on the other side aren’t “targeting” people. We differ on our views and could certainly have stated that when President Obama was in office our side was being “targeted”. Saying things like this just makes the divide deeper and deeper. Lets talk to each other and try to understand what each side is trying to accomplish instead of listening to political commentary that may or may not be true. I have been BASHED for my political views but not one person has ever asked what I believe in or why I believe it. I do not HATE the other “side” but rather seek areas that we can agree on. I spend countless hours volunteering. I work with to advocate for children that have been taken into foster care or the care of the state. I give money to help others in need. Don’t just automatically place me in a hate box. It leads to hurt, anger and DIVIDES. Thank you.

  3. I read and re-read Alistair’s introduction to the “Felis Hattus” and couldn’t find any mention of haters or of someone “targeting” other people. I did find one reference to the regime in power (those presently governing) but still no reference at all to those who voted for it or supported it. Do you think Ettena could have read someone else’s blog & then carried over her feelings to this blog?

  4. I read and re-read Alistair’s introduction to the “Felis Hattus” and couldn’t find any mention of haters or of someone “targeting” other people. I did find one reference to the regime in power (those presently governing) but still no reference at all to those who voted for it or supported it. Do you think Ettena could have read someone else’s blog & then carried over her feelings to this blog?

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