History will hopefully be made in April with the creation of the “Largest Portrait Blanket in the World” depicting the face of the nation’s beloved Nelson Mandela. According to Carolyn Steyn, founder of the 67 Blankets for Madiba initiative, the masterpiece is a tribute to this great leader in his centenary year.
“On 24 April, 67 Blankets will make history at Zonderwater Maximum Centre where we will show the entire world what we are doing, stitch by stitch, to keep the legacy of our late great father of our nation, Tata Madiba, alive. What else can we do to make this the most special year to remember him,? We can go for yet another Guinness World Record of course. We can go for the “Longest Scarf in the World,” Steyn said.
“We thank the Department of Correctional Services for their vision and foresight and for officially partnering with 67 Blankets and allowing inmates all across our country to make blankets for people on the outside whose lives have been affected by crime and poverty.”
Steyn said that for the last three years they have churned out thousands of scarves for the #SSS (Secret Scarves Shhh…) initiative which they do every July during Mandela Month.
“India currently holds the record for the Longest Scarf in the World. Why don’t we in South Africa beat India in this ‘wool cup’? Steyn challenged fellow knitwitts to a competition amongst different regions in South Africa to see who churns out the most scarves.
“We should make our deadline 25 June in order to get all scarves to 67 Blankets headquarters, so that we can begin the task of sewing scarves together and labelling each scarf,” said Steyn.
This Guinness attempt will take place on 29 July where the longest scarf will be displayed at the Mandela Capture Site in Howick. “Once we have achieved our Guinness record and done spectacular aerial photos of this display, we will ask for the scarves to be transported back to the regions so that we can carry out our Secret Scarves Mission on the same day at the same time, all around our beautiful country.”
According to Steyn, every scarf will have a message of love and warmth attached to it, as well as a trademark heart logo and people walking home from school and work will witness pockets of glorious colour and warmth around lamp posts, railings and trees. “And thousands of people who need a little more colour and warmth will be able to just help themselves to our labours of love.”
The measurement for the Longest Scarf currently stands at 14 km and Steyn is encouraging knitwitts to go for 27 km, one kilometre for every year that Madiba spent in prison.
“We need scarves to be crocheted however if you are unable to crochet, we will accept knitted scarves to distribute. But for the purpose of our Guinness World Record, scarves need to be crocheted,” added Steyn.