Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Question From Reader: How Long is Long Enough?

Sheila asks: [what are the] approximate lengths and widths for the scarves? A child's will be shorter and narrower than an adult's. Since I don't have children, it's hard for me to measure. Not to mention, kids grow so a scarf for a 5 year old will be smaller than one for a 10 year old.

When Sheila asked this question the other day in light of the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge, I knew many others would be wondering the same thing -- so great question Sheila!!  I think there are two lengths of scarves -- one being the "in" length being promoted by the Fashion Institutions/Designers and the other being the "need of necessity."

In the Fashion world, just look at any magazine and you'll see scarves that are curly, scarves that are lacy, and scarves that drop down to the feet and possibly include pockets at the end.  All of these scarves are great, but in the world of necessity, practicality -- and safety! -- rules.

First, I know that not all people are the same height.  A 60" scarf does not look the same on a person standing 5 feet tall vs. one standing 6 feet tall.  So, IF I AM MAKING THE SCARF TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL GIFT then when I'm finished crocheting the scarf it will be tailored to the height for that individual.  The width will depend upon the climate they live in, and if it will be worn as an accessory, or as a garment either in or outside of their winter coat.

BUT when I'm crocheting for charity, I change the individual rule to one more fitting for "the masses."  For adults I stick to the 60" length and go with a 6" or 7" width.  This allows for a bit more length to allow it to be not just wrapped around the neck, but perhaps over the head once and then around the neck -- in the event the person who has it doesn't have a much-needed hat during the frigid winters we have here in Connecticut.

For children, when I'm in doubt, I'll use the growth charts that doctors use ... taking the average "height" for a given age and going with that for length.  I also try to avoid fringe on the scarves if possible -- as the fringe can also easily get caught in doors of school/city buses causing loss in life.  So for safety reasons, I follow the rule that scarves and drawstrings should not hang lower than 3" from their waist.  This is why going with the average height of a child in a given age bracket works really well!  For the width, I'll go with 4" to 5."

"School bus handrails have had the same basic design for more than 30 years. However, with the current change in fashion toward oversized and baggy clothing, handrail designs have contributed to tragic and avoidable injuries and deaths. Other articles of such as scarves, long straps on backpacks, or dangling key chains can also be snagged on the handrail." School Bus Handrail Handbook

One more thing about the charity scarves I donate ... I use acrylic yarn blends.  I do so because there are people allergic to natural fibers (cotton, wool, and so on), and these same people receiving the scarves most likely do not have the funds to splurge on dry cleaning. 

I hope this helps Sheila! :)


wipforever said...

Ahhhh, my dear, Dee!  It helps tremendously!  Especially the part about the fringe on children's scarves.  I wouldn't have known any better if you didn't mention that!

A million and one thank you's, great Guru!

Love and hugs

crochetr said...

Fantastic, I really never thought about making scarves for little people:) Now Im well informed! Thanks Dee and Sheila for asking and answering this question. Now Im off to buy some yarn to make scarves. Yipee! Sherri