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Poulsbo's longest scarf comes out for official measuring

Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse owner Marianna Mears gets in a few stitches on a scarf project in her coffeeshop. - Jennifer Morris/Staff Photo
Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse owner Marianna Mears gets in a few stitches on a scarf project in her coffeeshop.
— image credit: Jennifer Morris/Staff Photo

POULSBO — A massive scarf with the capacity to warm dozens will be rolled down Front Street this weekend for an official measuring.

The scarf, a six-year project at the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, will be measured this Sunday, Oct. 17, during the coffeeshop's annual pumpkin carving contest, which begins at 1 p.m.

The scarf was last measured in 2007 at roughly the length of a football field. It reached from Poulsbohemian, on the northern end of the Front Street corridor, just past Verksted Gallery.

"I'm hoping we get to the Marine Science Center" at the southern end of Front Street, said Marianna Mears, Poulsbohemian owner.

People from all over the world have stitched rows into the scarf, as have local customers and Poulsbohemian employees who work diligently from both ends. A 10-person Thursday evening knitting group spends three hours a week adding to the scarf, which has been featured on television and in Vogue Knitting International. At one point, Mears said, it was a tourist draw.

Mears estimates at least 300 people, maybe as many as 500, have contributed to the project, many of them beginning knitters.

The size of the scarf hides flaws easily, she said.

"I think people have been more prone to loosen up and learn on it," said Mears.

The yarn for the scarf — counted in skeins by the hundreds — has been donated to the Poulsbohemian. At one point Mears had such a surplus she couldn't store it all, and donated a portion.

The scarf is a mishmash of colors and textures, some of it made with remnants of used skeins, a look Mears appreciates.

"It's just that unexpected beauty from something being unplanned," she said.

It sits in a large, dense ball in her coffeeshop, but when it's unfurled those who've helped to create it can search for their stitches.

Mears originally intended to best the record for the world's longest scarf, but since starting her project that record has been extended more than once, and was last recorded at about 34 miles. The project has now come into its own, she said, so that it doesn't need a competition to keep it going. Mears hopes work on it will continue for years to come.

"It's something kind of hopeful," she said. "It's the never-ending scarf."

Bring your own pumpkin and carving tools for the carving party. The event is free and runs until 5 p.m. For more information call (360) 779-9199.

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