Windsor

How to make a pink pussy hat if you don't knit

A group of London, Ont. women are not leting poor knitting skills stand in the way of a "powerful" protest symbol, turning instead to thrift stores where they are turning old shirts and pants into pink pussy hats.

"I hope millions of us will be wearing our pink pussy hats in protest," says Ontario woman making hats

Roberta Cory sports the pink pussy hat she made out of a recycled sweater. (Amanda Margison/ CBC News)

A group of women from London, Ont. with plans to be in Washington D.C. on Saturday won't let poor knitting skills get in the way of what they call an important political statement: the pink pussy hat.

They have spent the past few days scouring thrift stores buying up all of the hot pink sweatshirts, sweaters, pants and anything else with the potential to be transformed into a cat-eared hat. 

"Some women are making them out of yarn but that takes too long for me," Roberta Cory said while showing off dozens of caps spread across her kitchen table. 

"We bought out all the hot pink at two Goodwill stores in London and we're going back for more." 

Women bought-out all of the hot pink clothes from London, Ont thrift stores. (Robert Cory)

With a little cutting and stitching, the women are making what they hope will be a powerful visual representation of female dissent at the Women's March on Washington. 

The protest is planned for the day after Donald Trump's inauguration. Participants want to send the message that women's rights must be respected.

"He actually used the word, grabbing women by the --," Londoner Celeste Lemire explains. "I hope millions of us will be wearing our pink pussy hats in protest."      

Hot pink yarn flying off shelves

The women's march is building up to be a massive demonstration with sold-out chartered buses leaving from various cities across Ontario, including Windsor, London and Toronto.

Other rallies around the world are being organized in conjunction with the Capitol Hill march, with women and men posting on social media that they plan to wear pink pussy hats. 

"Do you know you can't buy pink yarn in many stores in the US right now because they are all sold out," Lemire said while displaying the hat she made by cropping an old shirt sleeve. 

CBC News called several wool shops across the border in Michigan, with one store owner chuckling that the last hot pink yarn ball was sold earlier in the day. 

Employees at several wool stores in Ontario, including those in downtown Toronto, are also seeing an upswing in the number of customers asking to buy the yarn, but so far they have enough in stock. 

No hat? Extras being made 

The London women say they are not going to Capitol Hill empty handed but intend to make as many hats as they can before the overnight bus leaves Ontario Friday. 

They plan to pack the majority but will leave some at home for people to wear at the local rallies. 

"We'll probably end up giving them all away," Cory laughs, saying the group does hope to recoup the expense of numerous trips to the thrift store.

Protest organizers are encouraging people to bring as many hats are possible (Amanda Margison/ CBC News)

Organizers of the grassroots hat movement that sprung up in late November are encouraging people to bring or mail extra hats to the march in order to make as bright a statement as possible. 

On its website, the 'hat tracker' shows donations have already arrived at the D.C donation centre from almost every province in Canada, and as far away as New Zealand and Japan.

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