Monday, August 18, 2008

crazy ambition

I had a crazy idea last week. Watching the Olympics got me thinking about world records and I've always thought I'd like to try and make a Guinness World Record. I can't run, row or swim to make the kind of records being set now in Beijing. But there has to be something I can do.

I browsed around on GWR site and decided I would not beat the largest stamp mosaic (50.8 m²) or the 9.6 m tall sandcastle. I don't think I'll have the longest appendix removed - 26 cm or pull 187 tonnes of aircraft.

Then I got it - I can knit. I can knit the world's longest scarf.

GWR doesn't have this record on their site (I guess they want me to buy the book) but the internet tells me the world's longest scarf is 33.74 miles!! Um, maybe I need to rethink my project. But wait - this scarf, made as a benefit for Feed the Children, was stitched together from the knitting of over 2000 knitters. There has to be a different standard for a scarf knit by one person.

I can't be sure since I have not got official word on the record to beat - but one site had the world's longest scarf by one person, continuously knit at slightly over 1 kilometre - which is still crazy long, but doesn't seem impossible.

I began the process of applying to break a world record. First I had to register on the site, stating what record I would like to break. A few days later they sent me a detailed agreement and a claim number. I have to sign this agreement and fax it back to them. Within a couple of months I should hear back with details regarding the current record and what kind of evidence I will need to produce to claim to have beaten this.

I am a bit worried by all the talk of witnesses that is in the agreement. World records have to be witnessed by people with 'standing' in the community - such as police officers, judges, mayors or town councillors. But the man who may have the current world record took more than 4 years to do knit his scarf. I think it would be hard to find a justice of the peace to sit and watch me knit for 4 years.

I'm hoping they will accept some other proof that I was the one who knit this (pictures as I go?) - and that witnesses will only need to be brought in for the final measurement.

Even though I haven't got the official go-ahead from GWR, I cast on last Monday. This morning I measured my progress so far and have roughly 2.5 metres. If I was to simply meet his record, going at this pace it will take me about 400 weeks! If I want to significantly beat it (which of course I do) it will likely take a lot longer. I'm well off his pace (I'm looking at more than 7 years at this rate) - so I'm going to need to pick it up a bit. Good thing the Olympics are on - I knit faster when I'm watching a race. (The Amazing Race is a great show to knit to - I'm super speedy).

Once I have official confirmation, and I've knitted about to 500 metres, I will contact a local charity - the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund - and let them know that I will be doing this to raise money for them. I'm hoping I'll get some donated yarn and maybe even sponsorship as I go - and then after it is measured and witnessed, I will break it up into regular length scarves to sell as a fundraiser.

V keeps telling me I have no idea how long 1000 metres is. He may be right. I may be crazy. But as Confucius would say, "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

1 comment:

  1. Let's see. The scarf is currently 110 inches long, and weighs about 340g. So 330 in (about 10m) would be about 1kg. i.e. 100kg per km.

    I think you will need a wheelbarrow.