BY HAND

Knit for Special Olympians

Posted May 23, 2011, at 1:59 p.m.

In January of this year, knitters and crocheters throughout Maine went above and beyond the call of Special Olympics Maine to create in a matter of a few weeks more than 1,000 scarves for athletes who took part in the Maine winter games in January. Well, guess what? There’s another chance to wrap Special Olympics winter games athletes in handmade scarves, and the time to get started is now. This year, Special Olympics Maine needs 800 scarves for its January 2012 winter games. That gives knitters and crocheters the rest of the year to produce them.

The idea for the 2012 Scarf Project is to have Special Olympics athletes throughout the United States wear scarves in the same colors. The national games will be held in Boise, Idaho, and some Maine athletes will attend. Last year, nationally, the Scarf Project received 26,000 scarves, which gives an indication of the desire of the knitting and crocheting community across the country to support the project. And as many of you will remember, the idea for the Special Olympics Scarf project originated with Laura Cushing of Hermon when she was living and working in Boise, Idaho.

The colors chosen for the scarves for 2012 are Soft Navy 387 and Cherry Red 319 in Red Heart Super Saver yarn, or Navy 4604 and Really Red 9925 in Red Heart Soft yarn. Knitters and crocheters can choose to work with either the Super Saver or Soft yarns, or a combination of both, but both the blue and the red must be used in the scarf you make. Make one scarf or make many. Get a group together and make a stack. Check local yarn stores and yarn departments to purchase the yarn or buy it online at http://www.redheart.com.

Each scarf should measure 54 to 60 inches long, including fringe, and approximately 6 inches wide. You may use any knit or crochet pattern you choose, or create a pattern of your own. Free patterns and guidelines are available at http://scarvesforspecialolympics.org. Also posted at the website are photos of Special Olympics athletes wearing the Delft blue and turquoise scarves knitters and crocheters created for the 2011 games. It’s delightful to see the athletes, their coaches and other volunteers wearing the scarves and knowing that one of the scarves is the one you created to contribute to the cause.

Completed scarves should be folded and put into a closeable plastic bag. Mail the scarves to Special Olympics Maine, 125 John Roberts Road, #19, South Portland 04106. Email Lisa Bird at lisab@somaine.org for more information.

Snippets

Island Quilters will hold its 16th annual Quilt Show 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at the Somesville Fire Station, Route 198. Admission is $3 and includes a free pot holder while supplies last. Quilts, wall hangings and other items will be available for purchase. A quilt raffle will be conducted to benefit the Mount Desert Island Lioness Club.

The Spin a Yarn shop in Brewer is planning its first service project. Fiber friends, knitters and crocheters are invited to drop off or send stray skeins and extra balls of yarn to the shop at 39 North Main St. in Brewer. As the collection grows, community knitting for a cause can begin. Some suggested beneficiaries include Project Linus, the Curran Homestead, Eastern Maine Medical Center pediatric unit and nursing homes. More suggestions are welcome. Make a cuddly difference in the lives of others from our hands and our hearts. For information, call the shop at 989-5002 or email mmaccrae@spinayarn.biz.

The North Searsport United Methodist Church invites the community to join them 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 28,  Memorial Day weekend, in a mission project to benefit soldiers going overseas. Small pillows will be made for military personnel traveling overseas through Bangor International Airport. The project is in response to recent articles about soldiers having to pay for pillows on their flights.

Bring your sewing machine and dark-colored fabric to make the 11-inch by 14-inch pillows or help with the assembly. Coffee and muffins will be provided.

Those who prefer to make the pillows at home or to donate dark material or stuffing for the project should call Barbara Cataldo at 548-6538.

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