social activism

Welcome Blanket Gathering at TKTLA



Photo from the Welcome Blanket website

Have you heard the news? Pussyhat Project cofounder Jayna Zweiman has launched a new effort: the Welcome Blanket Project.  This new craftivism project takes the length of the proposed 2,000 mile border wall (between the U.S. and Mexico border) and re-conceptualizes it into “welcome” blankets for U.S. refugees.

Instead of wall, a concrete line, to keep people out, what if lines of yarn became 3,500,640 yards of blankets to welcome people in?

A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.”

– from

Like the Pussyhat Project, there are patterns on the website for knitters, crocheters, and even quilters! If you are new to knitting, they have a tutorial with step-by-step instructions (including images) to help you along the way with their Come Together knitting pattern. The Come Together knit blanket calls for bulky superwash wool, and we suggest Cascade 128 Superwash as a great yarn for it!

Each blanket must also be accompanied by a Welcome Note, which includes: your name and city, your family’s immigration story, and words of welcome and advice about living in the U.S.


wb note

Pictured: Welcome Note Template. Photo from Welcome Blanket website. Printable version of template can be found on the website.

These blankets, along with the welcome notes, will be displayed at an inaugural exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, beginning July 18th through December 17th. The blankets will be distributed to refugees and other immigrants through resettlement organizations after the exhibition ends.

The Welcome Blanket Project needs about 3,200 blankets (that are 40″ x 40″ each) to reach 2,000 miles of length. All blankets must be sent to the Smart Museum of Art by September 5th. In order to help them achieve this number, we will be hosting a Welcome Blanket Gathering on Sunday, August 6th at 12pm (during our usual Sunday Brunch!).  We can help you get started on a blanket, or you can sit with us and continue working on one. Feel free to bring a friend, partner, or spouse along – we hope you will join us!

essays, knitting patterns, social activism

Women’s March Brings Knitting to the Front Lines

by Annette Corsino-Blair

Things have been buzzing at the shop for the last month or so.  Building to a crescendo of energy that I have not seen in quite a while.  People who haven’t knit in many years are blowing the dust off of their needles, wanting to take part in The Pussy Hat Project.


It’s a simple thing really:  make a hat with cat ears out of bright pink yarn and give to someone attending the Women’s March in Washington January 21, 2016.  But like any one effort when multiplied, that sea of pink at our nation’s capital and in many other states around the country and world will be a show of strength and solidarity.

It will be a reminder that women are are strong, valuable and relevant. We plan on rising up time and time again to stand up of our rights.

Did you know that women and children knitting socks and stockings helped finance both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars?  The call was put out and women stepped forward with action.  Always the silent heroes, they started The Sanitary Commission which later became The Red Cross.  When situations become challenging, women band together and get s*#% done!


I have to admit that it’s been really fun reteaching these passion filled students.  May they be reminded of the importance of working with their hands in a community.  Knitting (and all of the fiber arts) brings us together as sisters and brothers of a common cord.