100 mothers and children to stitch 5,000 knitted squares into 150-ft banner For Mother's Day event in DC's Lafayette ParkMay 7th, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 7, 2009 CONTACT
100 mothers and children to stitch 5,000 knitted squares
WHAT: 100+ women and children to create 150' long knitted banner for Mother's Day, with squares knitted in 11 countries
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9
WHERE: Lafayette Park
WASHINGTON -- This Saturday, across the street from the White House, more than 100 women and their children will sew together an incredible 150-foot banner out of 5,000 pink and green knitted squares in a ground-breaking "radical act of knitting," part of CODEPINK's 24-hour Mother's Day vigil to honor women worldwide living under occupation. (View preview photos here).
Women from Taiwan to South Africa, Los Angeles to Portland, ME, knitted the squares and shipped them to CODEPINK's DC headquarters at 5th St. NE, keeping the doorbell ringing with deliveries and cramming the basement. Many women have emailed and posted online photos of themselves knitting and nearly two dozen prominent blogs have discussed why readers should knit and send squares for CODEPINK this week, including ZippiKnits and Ravelry.
"There are postal bins spilling over with packages from all over the world, big boxes and small envelopes and everything in between," said Rae Abileah, CODEPINK national organizer. "Hot pink squares and green shaggy squares and rose squares and little notes and lovely packages everywhere. It's nothing short of amazing."
The event is just one piece of the dynamic vigil, from 1 p.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday. Other events include creative workshops, face-painting and entertainment by the famous clown Patch Adams, live music, an interfaith service and speeches by Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi women. All is inspired by the original call behind Mother's Day created by abolitionist Julia War Howe in 1870 in her Mother's Day Proclamation, for women to work together to end war and create peace.
The event organizers were inspired by the "knittivism," or "craftivism," movement, or the use of crafts to inspire social change, foster community and self-reflection, reject consumerism and embrace originality. Knitting has boomed in popularity among young women in recent years within a growing, urban DIY-crafts movement -- encapsulated by journalist Debbie Stoller's "Stitch N' Bitch" book series -- with knitting clubs, magazine, blogs, and yarn shops appearing in cities nationwide. The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote recently that yarn sales and knitting groups have increased since the economy plummeted late last year, as more people prefer to stay home to work on personal projects. Craft Yarn Council of America's (CYCA) 2005 Consumer Tracking Study show that knitting and crochet project numbers were up 13 percent than in 2004, and the biggest increases in activity were in the under-35, 55 to 64 and 65 and older age groups.
"Such a terrific idea!" writes one visitor to the Bioneers Community knitting blog. "I'll get out my green yarn this weekend. thanks for letting us know about this way to celebrate being a mother." Writes another blogger on Zippiknits.blogspot.com, "I'm not particularly happy about President Obama's timetables in reining in the dogs of war or tipping the war machine on it's side, so I'll contribute in this way."
For more information, please contact Jean Stevens, CODEPINK media coordinator, at 508-769-2138.