Knitting scarves breaks records and helps charity

Knitting scarves breaks records and helps charity.

Knitting scarves seems to be a favoured knitting project, both to break records and for giving to charity. The longer the better.

The record for single-handedly knitting a scarf, which measured 3,463m (11,363 ft 11 in) when completed, is held by Norwegian, Helge Johansen, according to the Guiness of Records. The project ended in 2006 and took 23 years.

Knitting while running a marathon!

Running a marathon is an amazing physical feat. But running a marathon while knitting a scarf is extraordinary. British knitter, marathon runner, and tireless charity collector, Susie Hewer, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest scarf knitted while running a marathon. She knitted the scarf (1.62m (5ft 2in)) while running the Flora London marathon on April 13 2008.

As she described on her blog, the idea came from her combined love of knitting and running marathons and a desire to raise money for the Alzheimer's Research Trust, as she had watched her dear mother taken away by dementia.

32 000 metres of knitting

The latest issue of Yarn, an Australian knitting magazine, describes the extraordinary knitting project of a community of knitters in Wangaratta, a town in north east Victoria, for the annual Stitched Up Festival. Five years ago they decided to make an attempt to beat the record, for the longest scarf in the then current Guiness Book of Records, by knitting a scarf longer than 32 kilometres.

Debbie Ellis writes in Yarn, that it was a massive knitting project which for some people "literally took over their lives and their homes". But she notes, in the end, even though they did not beat the world record, (established at 53km by the Welsh in 2005), "what was achieved was so much more, bringing together people of all ages, from every corner of Australia and even beyond our shores. Contributing to something bigger than ourselves…"

knitted scarves

Knitting a scarf that ended up being 32 – 33 kilometres long was a wonderful achievement. But more inspiring is that their plan involved giving to charity, by unpicking each of the knitted scarves and re-working them into blankets. Pictured here is a roll of the knitted scarves joined together from the Stitched Up Festival website.

If a small community can inspire this amazing team effort over five years, then it is surely possible for the world's knitters to do the same for the millions of orphans in Africa affected by HIV AIDS.


knitters of the world


These children live in dire poverty. They lack love, shelter, food, education and warmth. Many wonderful charities are working hard to provide the first four. Knitters can provide the last.

Please knit an 8 x 8" (20 x 20cm) square (or more) and send it to Africa to help make blankets for the children. Square Circle ezine will send you stories of the knitters, the children and their blankets.

If you have a plan that involves knitting scarves, perhaps we can persuade you and your community instead to knit acres of blankets for the orphans of Africa. Please let us know by filling in the form below. We would love to inspire the knitters of the world by sharing stories of your knitting projects records and ideas.

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