Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Monday, 20 February 2012

Scarfgate, the Scarf of Doom and a knitting revolution.

Bagpuss and his Scarf of Doom

As you are probably already aware, I love making.  I enjoy a whole array of crafts from crochet to art journaling, sewing and knitting.  Most of these, if not all, are self taught from books, the internet and the wonderful world of You Tube.  This is the beauty of craft - you can have a go and teach yourself.  Workshops can be really expensive and, quite often, not in the area you live meaning that attending these have to be chosen very carefully.  Sometimes this means you might not quite get the technique quite the way the book or video intended or you adapt patterns and substitue yarn and materials to suit yourself.  But really, does it matter? 

Apparently so, as I found out last week.  A few weeks ago Deadly Knitshade, guerilla knitter, yarnbomber and all round fabulous creative gal, appeared on BBC News early one Saturday morning to talk about knitting, it's rise in popularity and the relaxing, de-stressing benefits of taking up such a craft.  Sporting a stripey scarf (and Cooey the Pigeon), she sat knitting a stipey scarf, henceforth to be known as the Scarf of Doom, on massive needles in very cool bright colours whilst talking and being filmed and being watched by millions of viewers across the World (no pressure there then).  I have watched the video of this (check it out here) and was pretty impressed - what a great way to promote knitting to a wider audience and show how it is for everyone, not just knitting ninja nannas! 

But all was not well in the knitting world.  Some people did not approve of her appearance and weren't afraid to share their views with the wider World. Imagine my shock when on the Facebook page of a well known local yarn store to me, appeared the video followed by lots of derogatory comments about Deadly Knitshade's tension, technique, choice of yarn, choice of needles, choice of pattern!  Some of these comments where rather nasty and very personal and, as I follow Deadly Knitshade on Twitter, she began to post links to other Facebook pages of well know yarn brands where other people had also posted nasty comments about her appearance and, in some cases, the owners of the pages had added comments to.  Since Scarfgate began, these posts have been removed although I've yet to see them post a public appology on their own page - we still saw it and we haven't forgotten it.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are patterns that I have seen that I don't particularly like or I would never make but, someone designed it and someone somewhere will be making it because they like it.  That doesn't mean I need to publicly comment on it, does it?  But it seems that as this event had taken place on live television, anyone could say what they liked regardless of the feelings of the person that made it.  I wasn't aware that, as crafters, we were being 'watched' and 'judged' by the knitting/crochet/sewing police?! That someone, somewhere was making notes on what I was making, in what yarn and using which techniques - and they better not be as my needles may well be sharper than theres!  (If you haven't already gathered, I am just a teensy bit angry)

Being the tough cookie that she is, Deadly Knitshade has not sat in the corner and wept, she has started a revolution of the knitting kind!  I sent my tweet of support to her when Scarfgate kicked off, as did many of my fellow good natured knitters and crafters.  Last week, she released the free pattern of the Scarf of Doom (as seen on BBC News) so that we could join in the knitting revolution ~ I recommend downloading the pattern from Ravelry here as just reading it is thought provoking and entertaining.  The purpose of knitting the Scarf of Doom is to show your support for Deadly Knitshade and to show that you believe that we, as knitters and crafters, are free to make whatever we want using whatever materials we want and whatever techniques we choose. 

Last night I knitted my very own Scarf of Doom using acrylic yarn from my stash in the brightest colours I could find using 9mm needless.  I ran out of white yarn so I cast off, added some tassles and decided that it would be perfect for Bagpuss (my car cat!)  Bagpuss is overjoyed to receive this beautiful, creative, handmade gift and will be wearing it with pride as he sits on the parcel shelf of my car, showing everyone that we support freedom for knitters and crafters everywhere. 

Bagpuss supporting the knitting revolution

So, what are you waiting for?  Get to Ravelry, get the pattern downloaded and show you support for the freedom of knitters everywhere.  Join the knitting revolution!  Power to the purly people!

You can follow Deadly Knitshade on Facebook, Twitter and through the Stitch London group on Ravelry. 


  1. Oh wow Sarah...I didn't know knitting was soooo controversial!! Love your scarf - as I'm sure Bagpuss does too! Asking my knitty friends if they have been hooked into scarfgate!!
    Keep up your individual style xx
    Ali x

  2. Yes, I left a comment on the Facebook page of said local yarn shop to indicate my dismay at such a mean spirited set of people being allowed to pick on someone else. The thread was removed, and they did apologise on the Whodunnknit fan page, but I really feel they should have apologised on their own page too.

    P.S. I have been writing a blog post about this very subject today - the mind reading does work halfway across the world and not just half way across Wigan, clearly! :o)

  3. Wow, I caught the end of the tv programme but had no idea of the yarnstorm that followed it! Such a shame that some great publicity was met with nasty reactions from a small minority of mean-minded knitters. Makes me sad :(

    Will be adding my support to Deadly Knitshade.
    (especially as my first knit was a Scarf of Doom!)