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Molly Cleator (R) takes part in the Pussyhat social media campaign to provide pink hats for protesters in the women's march in Washington, D.C., the day after the presidential inauguration, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson(reuters_tickers)
(Editors Note: Attention to language that may be offensive to some readers in paragraph 3)
By Rollo Ross
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The National Mall in Washington could become a sea of bright pink the day after Donald Trump is inaugurated as U.S. president if the vision of a pair of Los Angeles women is realized.
For two months, Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman have called on people around the world to make 1.17 million pink "pussyhats" for those attending the Women's March, a rally on Jan. 21 organized with hopes of bringing attention to civil and human rights issues.
The name of the hats comes partly from President-elect Trump's comments in an infamous 2005 tape that came to light during his campaign in which, discussing women, he said: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
The project is meant to "create a sea of pink hats which is going to be a strong collective visual statement," Zweiman said.
It is also meant to involve "people across the country and the world who want to be a part of the march but can't physically be there and want to support the marchers," she said.
The women have asked volunteers around the world to help sew, crochet or knit pink hats with ears by using simple patterns available on the project's website. They say it is easier than knitting a scarf, the typical starter project for novices.
"It's a rectangle folded in half, stitched up the sides and when you put it on your round head, these ears come out," said Zweiman, surrounded by women stitching away at a knitting store on Friday night.
Marchers can get a hat by contacting a maker through an online distribution system, through social media or at sites in Washington.
"So it's a distribution system that's very grassroots and our aim is to get a hat on every marcher's head who wants one," Zweiman said.
Organizers have said the protest could draw around 200,000 people, but Suh and Zweiman decided to aim for the 1.17 million people that could feasibly fit in the Mall.
For some knitters at Friday's "pussyhat party," it was hard to put the needles down as the deadline nears.
"Doing this is taking my mind off things," said Marina Mont'Ros.
"This will be my 35th hat. Every time I think 'OK, that's enough. I've made enough, I'm going to stop,' I read something in the news and, give me that yarn! I'm making more."
(Writing by Brendan O'Brien and Mary Milliken; Editing by James Dalgleish)