We’ve heard of yarn bombing, but there’s another kind of knitted bombing going on and it’s making this winter freeze a little more bearable for people in need. Chase the Chill, a scarf bombing coalition of stitchers and groups, makes scarves and then distributes them in public places, for anyone to take.
First organized in 2010 by author and life-long needlecraft worker extraordinaire Susan Huxley, in Easton, PA, Chase the Chill has grown into an annual event, warming necks and hearts around the globe.
Susan said she was inspired to organize the scarf bombing “happening” after seeing a number of her economically disadvantaged neighbors shivering in the cold for lack of warm clothing for winter. In an interview with Underground Crafter Susan said, “I wanted to do more. Something that allowed people the freedom of personal choice and the dignity that comes from not having to qualify for aid or be exposed to sometimes well-meaning, but smug donators.”
Over the past several years, hundreds if not thousands of scarves have been distributed. Each one includes a hangtag inviting anyone to claim ownership of the scarf: “Take This Scarf… if you’re cold or if you like it.” Regardless of income and without any qualifiers, people can help themselves.
Although most of the groups hosted their events in December, anyone can participate in any part of the process. Susan’s hope is that people will be inspired by this simple act of wooly kindness, and get more involved in their communities.
You can knit or crochet a scarf, donate yarn or start your own local Chase the Chill (check out the comments on the group’s Facebook page for tips on getting started). With the winter freeze settling in, there’s still a great need to spread warmth to those in need.
Celebrating the art and beauty of knitting and crocheting, building community, and sharing with others… sounds like a happening we all should know.