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05 Apr

Wool Against Weapons

Jaine Rose is using her knitting skills to campaign against the global arms trade by making a giant pink scarf - and she needs your help!

Wool Against Weapons is a campaign organised by Jaine Rose as a peaceful protest against the global arms trade, calling on knitters around the world to pick up their needles and contribute to a humungous pink scarf that will be hung on the gates at the Women's Peace Camp in Aldermaston and wind along to Burghfield in Berkshire.

We caught up with her to find out more about this brilliant craftivism project.

How did it all get started?

The Wool Against Weapons campaign was actually thought up around a campfire in a muddy field the day I managed to scale a very large barbed wire fence as part of a direct action protest at Hinckley. A conversation about activism and wool started up as I sat there with my crochet hooks and the rest is history, as they say. That was October 2012, and the campaign was launched six weeks later.

What got you particularly fired up about this cause among all the others?

Firstly, our government is planning to spend an obscenely large amount of our money - in excess of £100 billion - on renewing Trident nuclear weapon in 2016. We have a fantastic opportunity to send a clear message out in to the world saying "nuclear weapons do not make our planet a safer place. We do not want them, nor can we ever use them. Let's redirect our resources into healthcare, education, environment and positive change!"

The other thing that gets me excited is the thought of linking up thousands of knitters, crocheters and crafters in a fun and accessible protest - knitting for peace is hugely inspiring and something we can all be part of.

What's going to happen on August 16th 2014?

We are going to unroll possibly the UK's largest yarnbomb to date - a seven mile-long pink peace scarf between the bomb factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire. The scarf will drape over trees, down roads, over fences, and of course we will need hundreds of crafters to help hold up the thousands of joined up scarf pieces!

Are you just knitting all the time at the moment?

It feels like I'm knitting around the clock! All pink of course, the most wonderful anti-war colour! Even my hair is dyed shocking pink - when people stop me in the street to ask about my crazy hair, I tell them about Wool Against Weapons and ask them if they can knit! I have no idea how many pieces have been knitted to date - it is still in the early stages - but I have a sense that hundreds of people are already joining in across the world. We need 11,000 metre-long pieces of scarf, so it's all hands to the deck!

Anyone can be involved. The pieces need to measure 60cm wide by 100cm long - any yarn, any stitch, any shade of pink, anything goes! More details about the project can be found at woolagainstweapons.co.uk.

Have you been involved in any other craftivism projects?

This is my first craftivism project - and if it doesn't kill me in a sea of pink woolliness, then no doubt it will be the first of many I get involved in! I am very inspired by bringing about awareness and change in such a creative, powerful way.

After the protest has finished, then the seven mile-long scarf will be deconstructed and made into blankets that will be distributed to where they are needed in the world - war zones, refugee camps, hospitals, so nothing is wasted.

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