“The Chain Gang” – Super Scarf #17

It’s time for another Super Scarf.

Today’s scarf is my tribute to the football Chain Crew, more commonly referred to the Chain Gang.

The members of each chain crew assist the officials of the game by marking the spot where a first down can be achieved, and where the first of any downs began.  Two ‘rod men’ hold their respective poles at either end of a ten-yard chain.  The chain is ten yards long because that is the minimum distance the offensive team must move the football in four downs in order to maintain possession of the ball.  There is also a member of the crew who controls the down indicator box.  The  crew member in charge of the down indicator box moves his pole to the line of scrimmage with the current down number visibleecause the line of scrimmage can fall any where  between the field lines, a clip is attached to the chain to indicate the nearest five yard line.  That helps when the chain crew has to run onto the field for a measurement.  The clip can be place on the proper line and then the chain is stretched to its full length.

The members of the Chain Crew have to pay attention the players on the field.  They are in the line of any play if the action approaches the sidelines.  For outdoor games, the members of the Chain Crew stand in the elements to do their job.  There is an auxiliary crew on the opposite side of the field.  Three poles on that side mark the line of scrimmage, first down, and start of the drive – which means the cumulative play action until one side loses possession of the ball.

While the work of the crews is to assist the officials, their work really makes the game visible for the spectators.

For my Chain Gang Super Scarf, I decided to just knit links, alternating the two approved Super Scarf colors.  I used a K2, P2 ribbing for my links.  It gave the scarf a fun effect.

Here’s what it looks like when the ribbing is more tightly closed:

It doesn’t look like it meets the length requirement of the Super Scarf Project, does it?  I assure you, it does.  The ribbing expands with the weight of the scarf and when stretched out, is plenty long enough!

Rather than a fringe at the end of this scarf, I gathered each end link and attached a tassel.

I made several prototypes for this scarf.  Knitters know that some things don’t just fall off the needles perfectly.  I had a cute little scarf going until I realized that the official patch wouldn’t work anywhere on my first links.  Back to the drawing board.  What you see are links wide enough to accommodate the patch and big enough in diameter to balance the width.

I like it!

The scarf has no seams to connect the links.  I knit the links in the round but before joining the last cast-on stitch to the first, I inserted my circular needle through the previous loop.

After the join, it was knitting as usual.

So, here’s my salute to football Chain Crews everywhere.  Be careful out there! 

I just checked the Super Scarf website this morning and the latest tally of scarves is approaching 2000 collected in Indianapolis.  Yea!!!!  Thanks knitters.

Happy knitting!

Note:  I originally published this post on December 6, 2010.  I thought of this chain design myself.  I’ve been knitting a long time and watching football for a long time, too and had the Chain Crew in mind when I knit this scarf.

However, it is now December 18, 2011, just over a year after my original post, and I spotted a knitting book at a thrift store today.  It’s called Loop-d-loop: More Than 40 Novel Designs for Knitters by Teva Durham.  It was published in May, 2005 by Stewart, Tabori and Chang.  On the book cover are two models wearing scarves made very similar to what I came up with for my Chain Gang Super Scarf.  I even joined my chain links in a similar fashion as is suggested in the book.  I had never seen the book, nor heard of it until today, but I want at least cite it, since it was published well before I posted my design.





  1. 1
    Carol Says:

    VERY cool scarf!

    Will you share some of your quick, creative mind with me? ;-)

  2. 2
    Travis Says:

    That one looks like it must have been tough.

  3. 3

    Carol: Sure, but it won’t help you much unless you are going to knit or get out of doing housework.

  4. 4
    Debra Says:

    That is a very interesting scarf there! There is just something about that color of blue on white–looks so crisp and clean! Beautiful!

RSS Feed for this entry

Please feel free to leave a comment. If you don't want to leave a comment, tell me a (clean) joke. Thanks for visiting!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: