Knitting can be a political act.

For a group of local women knitting pink hats with cat ears, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

They’re putting their needles together to make cute pink hats to distribute to women heading to the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.

The hats are part of a nationwide movement called the Pussyhat Project.

Patricia Selinger, 59, is a retired preservation librarian who meets with her knitting group at a local Starbucks every Tuesday. They’ve been knitting pink hats with little cat ears for the past few weeks.

She is headed to the Women’s March next week and will be bringing her pink hats with her, one to wear and others to distribute to anyone who needs one.

“The hat is a symbol of solidarity. And it’s also to keep warm,” Selinger said. “We’re going to express our displeasure of Donald Trump; his attitudes and his policies toward women.”

The hat project is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based friends Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman. In the aftermath of the election, they created a website, posted a DIY pattern for the hat and the project took off on social media.

The project has been covered by national publications such as the New York Times and Slate, while celebrities like comedian Amy Schumer and actress Krysten Ritter have shared pictures of themselves wearing the cat-eared hat on social media.

The term for the hat is a play on words, according to D.C. organizer Stefanie Kamerman.

Organizers hope to create enough hats for the 1.2 million women expected to participate in the march on Washington. They’re hoping to see a “sea of pink” at the Washington march.

Linda Martin, 62, from Richmond, has made five hats already and shipped them off in December. She hopes to make a few more before the project’s deadline of Jan. 14.

“I’m always looking for causes where I can put my knitting to good use,” Martin said.

She won’t be able to make the march in Washington herself but spent six to eight hours on each hat because “It makes me feel like I’ve made a contribution to the cause.”

Normally, Martin knits scarves, shawls and sweaters. She’s a mainframe systems engineer for Wells Fargo who works from home, but she knits often, like when she’s on conference calls.

“It helps me stay focused on the meeting,” Martin said. She’s also a member of several knitting groups and organizes a few knitting retreats during the year.

“Knitting is a very social activity and it’s a great stress reliever too,” according to Martin.

“This is the first time I’ve ever used knitting for political reasons,” she added. “But I’m glad to be involved in some way.”

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Twitter: @collcurran

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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