Fernie Mayor challenging the region’s knitters

The City of Fernie’s mayor is challenging all the other mayors in the region and their communities to get out their knitting needles to help knit the world’s longest scarf.

(Left to right) Mary Weselake

The City of Fernie’s mayor is challenging all the other mayors in the region and their communities to get out their knitting needles to help knit the world’s longest scarf.

“I was approached by Mary Weselake to help with this project to raise money for the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC),” said Mayor Cindy Corrigan.

On Thursday at a “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” held at Heaven Stitch and Design, Mayor Corrigan took out knitting needles and yarn for the first time in nearly 20 years she said.

“I’m always happy to help and organize,” said Mayor Corrigan, “But I was shocked when I found out I’d actually have to knit.”

Weselake began raising money for the CAC in November with another knitting project that she and Naomi Lentz, owner of Heaven Stitch and Design, call Avalanche baskets.

The challenge officially begins February 1, but with the donations rolling in, Mayor Corrigan got a bit of a head start.

Mayor Corrigan has emailed the mayors of Sparwood, Elkford, Golden, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Radium, Rossland, Valemont and Revelstoke, but so far none of them have accepted her challenge.

The goal is that by the end of the month, with the help of the other communities, the knitters will have knitted the longest scarf in the world.

The current record is 33 miles, which Mayor Corrigan says is about the distance from Elko to Sparwood.

“We all live in the mountains and we all live with the threat of avalanches. It’s important for us to support the CAC to get out and teach people about backcountry safety,” she said.

Mayor Corrigan is hoping that other communities will get involved and set up places where people can pick up a pair of needles and add some rows to the scarf.

When the scarf is finished it will be sent to the CAC in Revelstoke, along with money raised.

In 2008, an avalanche buried Mary Weselake’s son Todd on Mt. Proctor. His friends, who had participated in a CAC avalanche skills training course, used the techniques they had learned to find and dig him out.

To contribute to the scarf you can donate money to the Avalanche Knitters, and then knit rows. For one dollar you can add one row, and for $5 you can add six.

If you would like to contribute, but can’t knit, you can still donate money for rows, and Mary will knit the rows for you.

“Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” happens every second Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Heaven Stitch and Design.

Contact Naomi to make a donation, or for more information, at 250-423-6652.

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