Knitting as Protest

Frustrated with the delays in her daily train commute, Claudia Weber, an office clerk at a travel agency, returned home each evening and knit. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/world/europe/germany-train-delay-scarf.html

And knit and knit and knit, each row representing the time lost on her way to work during what should be a 40-minute commute from Moosburg, Germany to Munich. Sometimes she arrived two hours late, having to transfer to a bus thanks to track repairs.

Her four-foot scarf dubbed “Bahn-Verspatungsschal”- train delay scarf, went viral on social media and then raised 7,550 euros ($8,650) for a German charity that provides free assistance to people at train stations.

As a knitter, I admire how she employed her passion to mitigate her annoyance. I wonder why she waited until she got home. I’d carry a small project with me, just in case the train stopped mid-ride. Knitting for me is the perfect anecdote to boredom, when reading takes too much concentration. I knit in doctors’ offices and hospital waiting rooms, in the car, and while watching television.

Yet perhaps Weber is a modern-day French revolutionary Madame Defarge, chronicling history in yarn. Charles Dickens’ character in A Tale of Two Cities encrypted the names of those awaiting execution into hand knit garments.

Imagine if us knitters (crocheters, too) knit every time the “infant in chief “ lied or every time someone incurs injustice? We’d have piles of scarves to give to the homeless. Or we could yarn bomb as expressions of protests.

Grab the needles!

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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5 Responses to Knitting as Protest

  1. Nancy Polster says:

    I am just like you and having knitting with me wherever I go. It helps pass the time when you’re just sitting somewhere. I feel I am being productive. HAPPY KNITTING!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Drjcwash says:

    You are making me want to learn to knit. If I knitted away my frustration I think I could make a similar scarf

    Like

  3. Madame Defarge, eh? Every time she dropped a stitch, another head rolled…at least that’s how I visualized her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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