Dubai: The knitting community of UAE is all set to establish a Guinness Book of World Record for creating the world’s largest blanket with the largest number of heart icons.
Over 3,200 blankets measuring a minimum of 1-metre by 1-metre, knitted by 500 women belonging to 27 nationalities, will be tacked together at an event this weekend to create a 3,150 square metre blanket with 5,279 hearts.
The giant blanket will be displayed at a special event in Dubai Sports City on September 13. It will be later dismantled and sent to orphanages around the world.
The woman who started it all is Kanika Kapur, a former chief operating officer with an international bank. She gave up her job to devote time to humanitarian causes. Speaking to Gulf News, Kapur said: “I was inspired by the Nelson Mandela Blanket initiative where 67 blankets were hand-knit to create the largest portrait blanket and world record in 2017. We decided to do the same thing in April last year and my South African friend Pam Marsh, a former resident of Dubai, helped me. Soon it snowballed into a mammoth initiative as more women got associated with it.”
Within a year, friends, relatives, kids and other women from across the UK, Canada, Phillipines, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and other countries took up the knitting challenge.
“We have had a 80-year old man who learnt knitting and completed a blanket from Pune, India. Ten year-old Arjun Dhanda, a young school student learnt knitting and completed two blanket,” said Kapur, who has singlehandedly knitted 101 blankets.
The sentiment behind the knitathon is noteworthy. As Kapur explained, “I think all of us do our bit donating for charity. But this project is different because knitting in itself is a unique way for women to de-stress and bond together. We knit not just blankets, but love and empathy for children so they can feel both the warmth of the wool and the tremendous goodwill and empathy that people have woven into the strands. We wanted them to know that somebody out there genuinely cares for them. Hand-knitted blankets last for generations and are far more sustainable.”
The knitting committee — Jyothi Kapoor, Dr Nishi Singh, Anuradha Ananth, Mamta Saxena, Manju Ansari, Dipika Kalra and Avani Shah — all of whom spent hours creating blankets said in a statement: “The Knitathon was started as project to keep children warm worldwide and attempt two Guinness records. It has since evolved into a journey of creativity, empowerment and the knitting together of people not only of different nationalities but of different genders and age groups.”