We’re all in stitches for CHAS

Rebekah Keveaney, who's helping to knit a seven-mile scarf
Rebekah Keveaney, who's helping to knit a seven-mile scarf

North east Fife and Kinross-shire are alive with the sound of clicking needles as an ambitious project to create a seven mile scarf gathers steam.

Since the charity challenge was launched last month, almost 100 scarves have already been made by knitters ranging in age from just 10 to 87.

And that means just another 7411 or so to go until the giant garment reaches its target!

The aim is for the scarf to stretch all the way from Gateside to Rachel House, the children’s hospice in Kinross.

The project was the brainchild of retired teacher Sandra Farrer, of Gateside, who was inspired by a group from Wales who made it into the Guinness Book of Records with a scarf measuring an incredible 33 miles, raising thousands for their own local children’s hospice.

Since the Fife Herald featured the story on January 31, Sandra’s idea has caught the imagination of knitters, crocheters and sewing enthusiasts from all over Fife and beyond.

They’re busy making scarves measuring 1.5 metres long, which will eventually all be sewn together.

Sandra aims to hold a 24-hour ‘stitchathon’ in October when all the contributions will be joined to create the seven-mile scarf; then they’ll be separated again and the individual scarves sold off to raise funds for CHAS.

The more elaborate and creative pieces will be auctioned at a charity dinner.

“Given that we only started last month the project has got off to an amazing start,” said Sandra.

“We are thrilled to have been contacted by many clubs and groups who are willing to knit for us, including a group of knitters from Brisbane in Australia.

“Our youngest knitter so far is 10 and our oldest is 87 - unless anyone can beat that!”

Sandra has gained considerable attention since our article appeared and is soon to feature in a national women’s magazine.

She’s also had a letter of support from north east Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell, himself a Gateside resident, and has been invited along to schools and community groups with her wool and needles to promote the appeal.

Many villagers in Gateside can be seen busy knitting while their children are having swimming lessons, and even the local postie has volunteered to help.

A number of businesses inFife and Kinross-shire have offered their premises as storage space, and there are various places where scarves can be handed in.

They include the YMCA in Cupar; Rascals’ Nursery in Kelty; Tikasam Crafts in Burntisland; Sainsbury’s Kinross; Tesco in Edinburgh Road, Perth and the Royal Bank of Scotland in Cupar, as well as any CHAS shop or office.

Scarves can be any width, but they must be no less than 1.5 metres in length.

Rachel House is one of two children’s hospices run by CHAS, the other being Robin House in Balloch. CHAS is the only provider of hospice services in Scotland for children and young people who have life-shortening conditions for which there is no known cure and relies entirely on charitable donations to meet its £25,000 daily running costs.

For more information on the Scarf Challenge, visit www.chas.org.uk or the GatesideFife Facebook page.