The Red Scarf Project, a project of the Orphan Foundation of America, or Orphan.org, collects scarves to send in Valentine's Day care packages to college students who have aged out of foster care. These brave young people are going it on their own and trying to improve their lives and the community by attending college. The care packages are welcome tokens of encouragement to young people who otherwise receive little to no mail.
Your scarf should be soft (any material), unisex design, and approximately 60 inches long by 5 to 8 inches wide. Machine washable is a plus, but it is not absolutely necessary.
Mail it to:
Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166
..but not until September 1, 2009-December, 2009.
Please read all the info in this blog. Most of your questions will be answered here.
Also, please check out the Red Scarf Ravelry group.
If you still have questions that remain unanswered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last night, I finished my (blue and black) red scarf. I had
not said really anything to my kids about why I was knitting the scarf, and
they don’t ask a lot of questions (they are 15, 11 and 9, and Mom just
knits, and they don’t want to know about it.) When I was tucking my 9
year old son in bed, he said he felt sorry for foster kids. (Hmm, where did
that come from, I don’t recall telling him WHY I was knitting the scarf?)
I asked him why, and he explained how much they miss out on, and how hard it
must be and lots of other (good) reasons, from the 9 year old perspective. I
asked if he knew why I knit the scarf I had just finished. Puzzled look on his
face, he had not a clue why I had done it. I explained why. In my 9 year olds
opinion, everyone who takes part in this project, are “The bestest Mommy’s.”
I suppose if you are not a Mommy, then “the bestest” part is still
true in his eyes. -- Adrienne
love this project. I've got a sophomore in college and I see how some
of his friends struggle even though they have parents (I can't believe
how little support some of them provide). I try to include them in
care packages, etc. that I do for him. It really makes me feel for the
kids who have no parents to give support at all.
Knitting a Red Scarf was fun. I love your latest post saying that
it's not too late. You're right. In less than one week I knit the
scarf in the attached picture. I'm not a fast knitter, and I wasn't
trying that hard to get it done. Here's how I did it:
Go to the craft store around the corner and buy -
2 balls Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds in Deep Red (3 oz. and 123 yards each ball)
and a pair of size 10 needles.
Find an easy stitch pattern.
I cast on 30 stitches (7 repeats of 4 plus 2) and did this:
*knit 2 st, knit 1 st through back loop, purl 1*
Repeat between * * and end row with knit 2.
All rows are the same.
stitch pattern is from Yarn Harlot's blog a few months ago. Love,
love, love this stitch pattern. It is easy to remember and looks great
on both sides with no rolling.
Knit until the yarn almost ran out. Bind off and weave in the ends securely.
I ran out of yarn the scarf was 6" wide and 52" long. I very gently
blocked it because it was very stretchy. I knew it would get longer.
Now it is 5 1/2" wide and 58" long. It goes nicely around the neck
with plenty left over to tuck in or let flap, and it will probably get
longer with use.
Printed the wrapper and care label from crazycatladymel.
Packed it up, and it's in the mail tomorrow, January 22, 2007.
That was fun.
With fond good wishes for the
next Red Scarf Project,
Nebraska team made a great showing for their Red Scarf Project scarves.
We had a great time doing it.
with the smiling teen is my daughter Grace who is modeling the scarf I
made. I used the wonderful scarf pattern from Chic Knits (http://www.chicknits.com/catalog/newwave.html) Grace's scarf was a rib design of her own and she attached a red hat to it as well!
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive in emails, especially lately:
"I just found out about the project. It's too late for me to knit a scarf this year, but will you be doing it again in 2008?"
Here's my stock multi-part answer:
a) Are you sure it's too late? There is another week and a half. Are you sure you can't make a scarf in a week and a half? Even a bulky one? You can mail them up until the beginning of February. The packing-up sessions are February 5th and 7th. USPS Priority Mail packages arrive from anywhere in the country in a maximum of 3 days. I bet you can do it if you put your mind to it.
and b) I do not know if the project will be repeated in 2008. As far as I am aware, this is the second year for the project. Last year I learned about it with two weeks' notice. I sent three scarves, as did many, many of my blog friends. This year we learned about the project with much advance notice -- last September, as I recall. It seems to have been a resounding success, and if I were a betting woman, I'd bet that it will continue.
I have not received the definitive word from the national coordinator of the program, but as soon as I do, I will announce it in this-here blog. For my part, I intend to continue the blog -- or more appropriately, start a Red Scarf 2008 blog -- if I'm given the word that the project will continue. It has been a ton of fun for me to give a home for the photos of the scarves and a central place for sharing information.
The people involved in the OFA headquarters are a tad bit busy right now, and my guess is they have not been able to think ahead as to next year. They are busy receiving the packages (which will exponentially intensify this week, I am sure), logging in all the pertinent info, packing them up, and getting them ready to mail. Their volunteers go to a lot of effort to make a beautiful presentation. Each scarf is checked to be sure it is in the right size range, to be sure that all ends are woven in, etc., and then it is packed in a decorative Valentine-themed cello bag, to get ready to go in the care package. If a scarf is clearly very feminine or masculine, the volunteers try to sort out those things so hopefully a big hunky male football player doesn't receive a boa scarf, for example. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I wonder if those accidents do happen, what with the ambiguity of kids' names now, but I digress.
In short, I'd say plan on it. Start checking your stash or yarn sales for appropriate yarns. What's the worst that can happen? You can have some ready-made gifts for yourself or someone else, or you could donate the scarves to some other worthy cause. Go ahead, I dare you: Knit red scarves!