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Scarves For Special Olympics

Updated on February 20, 2012

Started by Special Olympics Idaho in 2009, Scarves for Special Olympics gave 2,100 handmade scarves to athletes, coaches, families, volunteers and supporters to wear during the games as a sign of unity and support. Each year the program has grown and extended to more states. In 2011, 35 states across the US participated and proudly sported over 26,000 scarves lovingly knitted and crocheted by family, friends and total strangers who wanted to show their love and support. For the 2012 Special Olympics season, this number has jumped to 40 programs and thousands more scarves are needed.

Who can help? School knitting and crocheting groups, knitting guilds, individuals, church groups, scout troops... anyone. Free patterns are available for everyone from the most novice of knitters and crocheters to those who have been knitting and crocheting for years.

Have you ever done charity knitting or crocheting?

See results

Scarves for Special Olympics has already announced the yarn colors for 2012 so you can start knitting and crocheting early! Many people had a hard time locating the specific colors in 2011, but that will not be a problem for 2012 as crafters will have the option of two shades of red and two shades of blue. However guidelines do state both red and blue must be used within the scarf.

Red Heart Super Saver 387 Soft Navy

Red Heart Super Saver 319 Cherry Red

Red Heart Soft 4604 Navy

Red Heart Soft 9925 Really Red

Scarf Project for 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Game

Free Knit and Crochet Patterns

Each of these patterns were designed for the Special Olympics Scarf Project. Each year the official colors change, but the basic dimensions (approximately 6" wide and 54-60" long) stay the same so patterns can be used year to year.

Knifty Knitters

Not a knitter or crocheter, but you still want to help? Or do you have a child who loves to craft but doesn't have the fine motor skills needed to use knitting needles or crochet hooks? Knifty Knitters are easy to use and make beautiful scarves. I have personally taught children as young as 5 years to use the round Knifty Knitters in less than 30 minutes. Not only will children enjoy learning a new craft, but they will feel special about helping out other children with their fun projects.

Provo Craft Knifty Knitter 16" Long Loom w/Hook & Pick Tool: Purple
Provo Craft Knifty Knitter 16" Long Loom w/Hook & Pick Tool: Purple

Rectangular Knifty Knitter looms can also be used to make an easy scarf in only a few hours, however they do require slightly more coordination and patience than the round looms. Free Knifty Knitter Pattern: Make a Knifty Knitter Scarf - Figure 8 Wrap


Have you ever volunteered for Special Olympics? Made scarves for the Scarf Project? Had a family member who's participated?

Please share you special stories and memories.

Please Share Your Memories from Special Olympics

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    • JohnMichael2 profile image


      6 years ago

      nice work

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I've put the Olympics thingie on my facebook.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Never heard of it before reading your lens, but then I'm not from the USA. Great idea.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Thanks for sharing this info and getting the word out on Scarves for Special Olympics.

    • LisaDH profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great idea!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Very nice idea for making your stitches count.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      6 years ago from So Cal

      I will share this with my knitting group. We are always looking for projects. Thanks

    • Hedremp profile image

      Sandra Wilson 

      6 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      What a wonderful charity! I will pass on to the knitters and crocheters in my family (which sadly does not include myself). Thanks for sharing such a wonderful cause.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't knit or Crochet, but I do love this idea :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      what a wonderful idea

    • ChrissLJ profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @Susan300: Each state has different deadlines to receive the scarves. Illinois required theirs by Dec. 16th this year, but Louisiana and Alaska have deadlines of the beginning of March. You can find each state's deadlines at Also if states receive more than they need, they pass them to other states that haven't received their quota yet.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Scarves For Special Olympics is such a wonderful thing. I worked with Special Olympics in the 1970's and it sure has come a long way.

    • Susan300 profile image


      6 years ago

      When do they need them by, and where should they be mailed? This sounds like a project I would enjoy. :)


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