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How The Lion Scarf Began

Lions Scarf Beginnings

Lions Scarf Beginnings

Stitch and Bitch London decided to knit a scarf for the chilly Trafalgar Square lions as it appealed to our love of the two things most important to us. One, making fabulous creations with sticks and string, and two, this fantastic whirlwind of a city we live in with its stories and histories wrapped around every inch of it. We wanted to do something bigger than just knitting things for ourselves or people we knew. We wanted to knit and save the world one stitch at a time.

It began with a simple idea to knit something for a London monument just for the fun of it. The plan was to sneak up in the night and stick a cheeky hat or scarf on a London statue of man or beast. Small ideas became bigger ones, until our eyes turned to the Lions in Trafalgar Square. Then the wheels really started turning. What if we could knit a scarf for one of those HUGE beasts? Could it really be done? How much scarf would that take? How could we do it?

Part of the group philosophy is that it is all free and that it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling to help someone for nothing. We began to think that perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to sneak up in the early hours, don our knitted balaclavas and chuck on the scarf. No one wanted to end up knitting in prison! And we wanted to keep that warm fuzzy feeling.

And so the Charity Lion Scarf idea was born. Four of our bravest knitters climbed one lion and measured. We calculated and began to knit. Then the internet got involved and BOOM. The Lion Scarf Cause became as big as the lions…

Why Cancer Research?

Stitch and Bitch chose Cancer Research because so many of our knitters have been affected in some way or another by Cancer.

Stitch and Bitch London is run by two hard-working ladies for absolutely no profit. Laura “Purl Princess” Parkinson and Lauren “Deadly Knitshade” O’Farrell. Lauren and Laura began Stitch and Bitch London while Lauren was being treated for Hodgkin’s Disease (a type of blood Cancer). Lauren knit her way back to health and managed to only miss six meetings in the group’s first year despite three doses of chemo, radiotherapy and a stem-cell transplant. She is now in remission, healthy and extremely happy, and she and the group want to give something back.

As co-leader Laura insists “Knitting cured the cancer.” So if knitting could help cure Lauren then why not everyone else?

So warming up those chilly lions became the goal and raising money for those lion-hearted people who are fighting Cancer and in memory of those who have sadly lost the battle became the cause.

The two ideas became one Giant Scarf for one giant lion. Or so we thought…

Knitting for the Lion-Hearted

The internet got hold of the story and it spread through the knitting grapevine like woolly wildfire. From a small group knitting for a worthy cause it became a worldwide effort.

So now one giant scarf has become all four! After all if we stopped at one or two the other lions would get terribly jealous. And no one wants tourists coming to the Square to be faced with sulking lions!

Knitters from all over the world have begun joining in. Some are knitting for those they know who are fighting Cancer, some are knitting to show they remember and love those they have lost, and some are knitting for the sheer fun of knitting for giant beasts. From New York to New Zealand to New Hampshire the Scarf Parts are flying in! It is an amazing thing to be part of. The knitting planet is pulling out all the stops to raise money for the noble cause. We are so proud to be part of it all.

Some of their stories are here in this blog. We will update it as more and more parts arrive and hopefully this will inspire people to fight, to help, and to make a difference.

We would love to hear your stories too so please email us at with your Lion Scarf tales and pictures. 🙂

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3 Responses to “How The Lion Scarf Began”

  1. Lin said

    I think you are doing a great job – any photos of the progress?

  2. There will be stories and photos up very soon. I am just sooooo busy organising the group and trying to work a day job at the same time.

    I promise to have to all sorted within the next week. 🙂

    Lauren 🙂

  3. Frances said

    Met Lauren busily knitting at the Exhibition in Excel yesterday. Inspired to use up all that wool sitting in a bag and got knitting. Shall send off soon.
    My husband died of cancer of the oesphagus last year and this is one way I can help with research and think of him as I sit clicking away on these dark evenings

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