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.

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!


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. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (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


  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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