Ernesto "Che" Guevara: I bet he knew how to knit

When I cast on a scarf in eye-gouging neon yarn at 6.10 on live BBC Breakfast TV I had absolutely no idea that those few garish stitches would be the start of a knitters’ revolution. The scarf, cast on and knit hurriedly and without much thought, has over the last week become a symbol for freedom of knitting.

If you missed the story of the BBC Scarfgate Scarf of Doom you can get up to speed here.

I couldn’t be more amazed if a yarn monster appeared from my stash and eaten one of my cats. And I couldn’t be more pleased that people have taken my pattern and its message, that all knitters should be free to knit whatever they want without judgement, to heart.

The day that I published the pattern for the Scarf of Doom on Ravelry:

  • 86 people downloaded it
  • 42 people favourited it
  • 9 people Ravelers logged in to comment on it
  • 64 people tweeted it on Twitter
  • 14 people commented on my blog post

And one amusing tweeter tweeted “By Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ghost, I’ve never seen a pattern more amazing in my life.”

Best of all, while I was taking a break by spending the day drawing pirates with my marvellous studio mate Ms Sarah McIntyre, the lovely Liwella started this thread on Ravelry:

The free knitters' revolution begins with just one thread

The free knitters' revolution begins with just one thread

BBC Scarfgate Scarf of Doom KAL anyone?

And here’s a little of what she said:

Now that deadlyknitshade has written up the pattern – which, may I say, is possibly the awesomest and funniest knitting pattern I’ve ever read – does anyone fancy a KAL to make our very own BBC Scarfgate Scarf Of Doom scarves?


I feel we should be knitting and wearing them in solidarity for poor deadlyknitshade, standing up for our rights to use our knitting skills to make absolutely bonkers clown barf coloured things on oversized needles. Because we can, and because whatever the begrudgers say, it makes the world brighter and more awesome. 3 hours of our knitting lives is a small price to pay to demonstrate our right to make whatever we want, with whatever yarn we want.

The Free Knitters Revolution has begun!

To say a HUGE thank you to every knitter who spends 3 hours creating their very own Scarf of Doom I want to give something back. So I have designed a Free Knitters Scarf of Doom badge (pictured right), which I will handmake and send to every single knitter who does these three things:

Once you’ve done these things send me a DM on Ravelry with your address and the badge is yours! You can’t buy them or beg for them or steal them. This is the only way to get this coveted shiny badge. It’s a thank you and a way of showing your support for the revolution.

If you’re not a member of Ravelry you can join here and find the thread for the Scarf of Doom Knit Along here. It’s really worth joining as it’s an amazing craft community, and is the place to find most of the world’s knitting patterns too.

You can also find me on there and friend me as Deadly Knitshade (I’d be happy to friend you back) and have a nose at all my Whodunnknit patterns too.

The pattern download count now stands at 152 and rising. I’ve had tweets of promised knits from as far afield as Germany, Austria and New Zealand too.

It’s amazing to see such an uplifting and fun movement in the world of knitting. My faith in knitters in general and their willingness to laugh and support each other, which never flagged even when the insults were flying, is totally justified. You folks are amazing.

The point of all this, of course, isn’t just about being free to knit whatever you want without judgement. It’s about being free to be whoever you want to be without judgement and without being made to feel ashamed of it.

So join me, and many other proud free knitters, in stitching a Scarf of Doom to show your solidarity for knitting freedom and all freedom.

Or don’t. After all, you’re free to do whatever you want.




  1. Lisa Pidgeon
    February 19, 2012

    Good work deadly – mission accomplished.
    Next mission – get more men knitting…in public!
    I would be happy to help you get this mission off the ground.

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 19, 2012

      Hee hee. I know a ton of lovely male knitters who’d be happy to help you. πŸ™‚

  2. Lisa Pidgeon
    February 19, 2012

    Really – any of them live in Leicester – how can I appeal to get men knitting and crocheting?

  3. Sarah Jones
    February 20, 2012

    Fabulous! What a great way to remind people that we are free to make what we like, using what we like! Well done!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 20, 2012

      Thanks. So pleased with how many people are standing together against the nastiness.

      Fabulous blog post of yours too! πŸ™‚

  4. /valerie Bridgeman
    February 20, 2012

    Grear Stuff! Hope to meet up with you at the Ventnor ,Isle of wight ‘yarnstorming’ event in April.
    Come for tea – I make lovely scones!!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 21, 2012

      Thank you! Fingers crossed I’ll have time to fit in some scones. πŸ™‚

  5. Sara Jones
    July 6, 2012

    Hi just a quick check that you haven’t sent the scarf of doom badges out yet cos I know you’ve been really busy otherwise mines got lost in the post (fingers crossed and everything else for the not had a chance to send them yet)

    • Deadly Knitshade
      July 7, 2012

      Hi Sara. Sorry! Not done it yet. Been so busy and not had time. Will do it soon. Promise! xx

  6. Sara Jones
    July 10, 2012

    So glad that’s the reason and not the black hole that seems to have developed in our local sorting office as well as the one in the postmans bag.:-)