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pussyhat

In early December, we reported on The Pussyhat Project, and the project has been going increasingly viral ever since. In case you’ve somehow missed hearing about it, the project was launched by a coalition of LA-based knitters with the goal of making over 1 million bright pink, cat-eared pussy hats to wear to the Women’s March On Washington and its sister marches worldwide; they've made a pattern available for free online so as many people as possible can participate.

Well, the pussy hats have now gotten so popular that various shops around the country are running out of pink yarn.

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The Detroit Free Press reports that in Michigan, stores including Woven Art in East Lansing, Spun in Ann Arbor, Ewe-nique Knits in Royal Oak, and Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan are all seeing shortages in pink yarn.

"We don’t usually sell a whole lot of that, and then all of a sudden, everybody wanted hot pink," Debbie McDermott, whose Shepherd's Wool Yarn is sold in 300 stores nationally, told the Detroit Free Press. "There has been more demand. When yarn shops call and they need it right now, and you haven’t sold that much of a color for the nine years you've been making it, no, you can't meet demand.”

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In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Twin Cities yarn shops are seeing a huge demand for yarns in shades “from bright fuchsia to a delicate petal.”

"We've had lots of pink yarn going out and pink hats coming in," said Shelly Sheehan, co-owner of the Yarnery on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, told the Star Tribune. "The knitters are making the hats fast and furiously. Some are making them for themselves and friends. Others are making them to donate."

The Seattle Times writes that local stores including the Weaving Works, Serial Knitters and even Jo-Ann Fabric are also seeing shortages.

“We have sold more pink yarn than Seattle buys in four years,” said Jennifer Miller, a “yarn wrangler” at Weaving Works, told the Seattle Times.

We can’t wait to see hundreds of thousands of women in pink pussy hats march against Trump. And while some people object to the word “pussy,” Pussyhat Project cofounder Jayna Zweiman sees it as reclamation. She told the Detroit Free Press:

"The original hat has these adorable cat ears, so 'pussyhat' also is a play on 'pussy cat.' ... The word 'pussy' is often used in a derogative way. It's almost impossible to ignore the Access Hollywood video with Donald Trump saying, 'Grab them by the pussy.' ... 'Pussy' is a very charged word; I'm now very used to saying it, but it's interesting to hear people talk about the word, and how they feel about the word. These are conversations we all need to have. The discussions are around what is this word, what does it mean? A lot of it is constructive dialogue.

"In this era of really divisive politics and the news cycle is so pessimistic and gut-wrenching, people are rallying around being politically active and standing up for themselves. ... This gives an opportunity for people to support the marchers and physically represent themselves at the march, and it's giving them warmth and support."

Top photo: Colette Raptosh via Instagram/Pussyhat Project; poster by Aurora Lady via pussyhatproject.com

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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