New Paltz’s Hooked on Stitches club hopes to bring the college together through the Special Olympics USA Scarf Project.
“The mission of the Special Olympics USA Scarf Project is to foster a sense of unity and community among the athletes, coaches, families, volunteers and supporters of the Special Olympics movement,” said Heather Hill, media contact for the 2011/2012 Special Olympics USA Scarf Project.
According to Hill, it began with an idea to provide a gift for the athletes from 95 different countries coming to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. A call went out for 5,000 scarves, and in the end, the organization received an estimated 60,000 scarves from all 50 states and 12 countries around the world.
“The project continued in 2010 through the Special Olympics Idaho State Winter Games, and in 2011 with Red Heart Yarns on board as a national supporting partner, we launched the Special Olympics USA Scarf Project, inviting all 50 USA programs to participate,” Hill said. “For the 2011 USA Scarf Project, we received an estimated 27,000 scarves across the 35 programs that chose to participate. For 2012, our goal is roughly 47,000 scarves across 40 participating Programs in the USA.”
President and fourth-year public relations major Kaitlyn Day said she feels it is important to use the club’s knitting skills to help others.
“Even if we each only make one scarf, it’s a scarf that will put a smile on someone’s face,” Day said. “It’s also important to focus on one project at a time and I feel that this is perfect for beginners to practice either knitting or crocheting.”
The project asked the club to use the specific colors of Red Heart Super Saver or Soft yarn, incorporating both the red and the blue into the requested sized scarf. The sized scarf is 6 inches wide by 56-60 inches long. This is the first year Hooked on Stitches is participating.
According to Day, it could take a beginner knitter anywhere from two weeks to more than a month to make a scarf, depending on pace and choice of pattern. For someone more experienced more than one scarf can be completed in one week. Each ball of yarn costs $2.99 and the club requested enough funding to make at least 15 scarves, about $100. The club has set a goal of making at least 10 scarves. Between seven and 10 members are expected to participate.