Thanks to the small-world of internerd knitters, I just read good news and some bad news from the Octopus and the Rose blog. The bad news is there are still hateful people in this world who abuse others based on sexuality. The good news is there continues to be encouraging and positive responses to such violence. Cheeky name and all, the Pansy Project is one such response.

(image taken from The Pansy Project)

(image from The Pansy Project)



















(the reward for reading to the end of my rant is a free knitting pattern!)

The Pansy Project sprouted in UK, where artist Paul Harfleet began planting pansies at sites of homophobic abuse. These are the roots, buds and blossoms of resistance. 

Whether it’s serious guerilla gardening or casual seed bombing, these gestures help us take ownership of our common spaces. They scream our dissent over society’s inequities. Or perhaps just help to make the grey urban concrete more beautiful, one square foot at a time.

We can either shut up and hope it finishes, or we can speak up and risk the other person getting violent,” writes our new friend over at the Octopus and The Rose. “Either way, we are left with a dynamic of victimhood. The Pansy Project offers a third option. When we respond with beauty, we are choosing to act as opposed to react. … We regain the feeling of ownership (of our lives, our experience, and our memories) that public abuse can rob us of.”

Okay, okay. What’s this got to do with knitting? Well by complete coincidence, there happens to be a free knitting pattern, for you to make your own pansies. I’m thinking a felted version would be especially lovely. An emblem of solidarity.