Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledges Riveters Collective gift collar
This year’s final session of the U.S. Supreme Court will hold special significance for members of a local political group who collectively knitted a golden lace collar that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she plans to wear on the bench.
Ginsburg, who’s known for the distinctive neckwear — sometimes called a jabot — that adorns her official robe, wrote the Riveters Collective last week to say that she’ll wear the collar on the last sitting period of the current term.
“The collar will suit my new robe perfectly,” Ginsburg said in the handwritten card that the Riveters’ Eowyn Savela read in a video recently shared across social media. “Huge appreciation for an effort that touched me deeply.”
Savela said she was inspired to make the collar after she watched “RBG,” a 2018 documentary film based on the bestselling book “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
In one scene, Ginsburg shows a closet full of the fancy collars.
“Seeing that some of them were made by regular people kind of turned on my ‘knitting brain,’ “ Savela said in an interview with The Bellingham Herald.
She said she found a “suitably elegant” pattern online and began to work, enlisting the help of other Riveters and even teaching them how to throw a few stitches.
“I thought it would be so much more fun if everybody did it,” Savela said. “We got people to put all their love and care into this collar. She fought for equal rights for everybody. We wanted to give back to this person who we admire so much.”
Savela mailed the collar March 30 with a note describing how more than a dozen women added a stitch or two or even several rows of wool. On Saturday, a note dated April 5 arrived in the mail.
“(Savela) made it happen, and she brought the rest of us along,” said Riveters co-founder Elizabeth Hartsoch.
Riveters Collective started after the November 2016 election to recruit candidates and support campaigns, Hartsoch said. It’s named for the World War II cultural icon Rosie the Riveter and is registered as a political action committee with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
State Rep. Sharon Shewmake, D-Bellingham, a political newcomer who defeated four-term Republican lawmaker Vincent Buys in November 2018, said the Riveters inspired her to run for the state House .
The justice’s reply “was just the best possible outcome,” Hartsoch said.