I acknowledge that this project is neither new or amazing, but you can do AMAZING things with it! I was a little surprised that nobody has put this on Instructables before now, but perhaps that is because it's SO simple. I'm sharing it here in hopes that it inspires some acts of goodwill this holiday season.
I keep a few of these in my car, as I often see homeless people begging for money at L.A. intersections. Yesterday I gave one to a man whose cardboard sign read "Homeless, Hungry, Looking for Work". He said the gift of the scarf was the best thing that happened to him all week and that it made him feel like a person again. Wow. That's what made me decide to post the project here. If everyone who saw this gave out 1 scarf, that'd put a lot of goodness out there.
Step 1: You Will Need...
Polar Fleece yardage --Either new or leftovers from your craft bin. If using leftovers, just make sure you can get a minimum 10 x 45 inch piece out of it.
Rotary Fabric Cutter (optional)
Step 2: Measure
I decided to use up some leftover fleece I had from previous client projects. I was lucky that this piece was perfect for the minimum dimensions.
Minimum Width = 10 inches. Anything between 10 and 15 inches is great. Just don't do less than 10 or you start to lose coverage.
Minimum Length = 45 inches. This will ensure you can at least tie it around and adult head/neck. The longer the better! If you have the yardage, try 50 or 60 inches!
Cut your long rectangle piece using your fabric scissors, or make very quick work of it with a rotary fabric cutter.
Step 3: Check Symmetry
Check to make sure your rectangle is reasonably symmetrical by folding in half. This is especially important if you're using leftovers that you've cut from before.
With scarf still folded in half, trim any excess, using the folded edge as your guide.
Remember to trim away any selvage from the ends, if it is present.
Step 4: Cut Fringe
Now that you have a nice long scarf, we're going to fancy up the edges just a little.
Using fabric scissors, cut in from the end 3-4 inches. If your fleece has a pattern, that can help you keep your cuts relatively the same length. Just eyeball this. It is not critical for them to be exactly the same length.
Fringe pieces work well if they're about 1 inch wide, but there is no need to measure and be perfectly precise here.
Repeat on the other end.
Step 5: Finishing Knots
Tie each piece of fringe fabric in a simple knot. Tug gently to secure.
Use your fingers to slide the knot to the base of the fringe piece, where it meets the greater scarf.
Repeat until all pieces have been knotted on each end.
Step 6: DONE!
Like I said, the scarf itself is nothing too special, but the way you make someone feel with it is the reward. For someone who has very little --living in a shelter or on the streets-- something clean, new, and toasty is a BIG deal! This scarf can help keep someone warm in a variety of ways, and cheerful colors/ patterns are a luxury not many of us think about. Consider making a few to donate to your local homeless shelter, clothing drive, or just keep one in your car in case you happen to see someone who looks like they need it. The possibilities are endless.
If you're not comfortable doing a 1 on 1 gifting, here are donation ideas:
Local Homeless or Youth Shelter
School or Church Clothing Drives
Local Fire Station (most stations do some type of holiday toy or other care drive. They may take scarves, or be able to recommend a better venue)
Hospice/ Eldery Care (a lot of these people are lonely and would appreciate a handmade gift)
If you know of a particular organization that collects things like scarves, please share in the comments! Everyone's local drives will be different, but maybe we can point eachothe in the right direction.