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!