Hoosier women stepping up to knit Super Bowl scarves
Mary Milz/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - When Indianapolis hosts the 2012 Super Bowl, the roughly 8,000 volunteers will be given handmade scarves to wear and keep them warm. So far, crafters from across the country have made 1,000 of them with the effort drawing a broad range of interest.
While some volunteers are making scarves on their own, others have started knitting circles.
One group of women meets monthly at the Skyline Club atop the One America Building.
Businesswoman Yvonne Shaheen and attorney Brenda Horn organized the group in March.
"I love to knit and it's a good excuse to get together, have a glass of wine with friends and enjoy ourselves," said Horn.
"We have different people come each month and we (knit or crochet) for about two hours," said Shaheen.
Asked how many scarves the group hoped to make, Horn responded, "One hundred," as audible gasps erupted. "Some are looking surprised," she laughed.
So far, they've made about 30 scarves. The group includes beginners and pros, like Susan Brennan, who owns the Mass Avenue Knit Shop in Fountain Square.
Brennan incorporated a football design into one of her scarves. When she guessed it took "four to five nights to do," there were groans and laughter from others in the group, with Brennan quickly explaining, "I'm a little obsessive, a little obsessive."
The rules are simple. Scarves must be blue and white - a special blue and white yarn with no team logos. They also need to be seven feet long and seven inches wide.
Horn held up a completed scarf noting it was a little off. "I made a couple like this. They're not exactly regulation because it's chunky yarn but we'll turn them in anyway because we think they're cute."
The women, several of them Colts fans, say they're excited about Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl and excited to see their handiwork.
Shaheen said she'll be on the lookout for the scarves she's made, joking "I'll say, 'That's mine,' and 'that's mine! I gave that to you. I did that for you.' It's a labor of love."
Several offenders at the Indiana women's prison are also involved in the Super Scarves effort. They're not only making scarves but sewing Super Bowl patches on each one.
For Jessica Utter, serving time for drug offenses, it's a job. She makes $1.60 a day to make scarves, but she said it's obviously not about the money.
"Definitely no! It's not the money, but it is one of the highest paid jobs here, so that's sort of a perk," Utter said. "It makes me feel good to give back because I spent so much time taking. I just enjoy it. I enjoy doing things for people."
Sheila Haecker, sentenced for robbery, said she's learned to knit, crochet and sew through the program. She's also learned about herself.
"I was raised in a broken home so I know there's other life out there versus what I grew up in. There are actually people who love you and care about you," said Haecker.
Most scarves will come in a bag with a note from the person who made the scarf.
Haecker said she usually includes a Bible verse while Utter said, "I just say something encouraging, like maybe 'have fun' or 'stay warm.'"
Dianna Boyce with the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee said the scarves "are coming in from across the country."
She said they've received scarves from crafters in 14 states. In fact, this week they received their 1,000 scarf.
"The response to the Super Scarves effort has just been incredible," she said.
Asked about the Super Scarves, Colts owner Jim Irsay said, "I love the effort...I think it's one of the many things we have that allows you to be part of the Super Bowl experience."
Checking out one of the scarves, Irsay said, "I'm not a knitter but it looks tremendous...I think they've done a great job and they're the right colors for sure."