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Knitting for May Day and the Occupy Movement

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On May 1, 1886, 120,000 workers began a strike in support of an eight-hour workday. Over 300,000 laborers across the country walked off their jobs. In commemoration May 1, known as May Day, is now the International Worker’s Day.

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The Occupy movement protests economic inequalities. The slogan for the Occupy movement has become “we are the 99 percent.” The slogan is referring to the belief that wealth is concentrated in 1 percent of the population, leaving 99 percent struggling with the effects of the worsening economy. This year (2012) the Occupy Movement has chosen May Day to organize a call for a general strike by the 99%.

People will be banding together in Boston at noon at City Hall Plaza. There will also be a gathering at 7 pm at Copley Square Park to begin a “funeral procession” marching through areas of wealth and business

The slogan “we are the 99%” is an effective slogan for the Occupy movement. In addition to words and numbers, however, a visual image can make the issue even clearer.

This Examiner has designed a scarf (free pattern below) which dramatically shows the contrast between 99% and 1%. There are 297 row which make up 99% of the scarf – the 3 rows in the small stripe of black constitute 1% of the length. The comparison of the small black stripe to the rest of the scarf tells the story in one look.

Occupy movement scarf (this pattern is for the scarf shown at left – see notes for variations):

FINISHED SIZE: 8 feet long, 3 inches wide


Knitting Needles: Size 10 (US)

1 6 oz. skein Caron® Simply Soft® Autumn Red (main color)
about 5 yards of Caron® Simply® Soft Black (contrasting color)

20 stitches in ribbing pattern = 3 inches; 3 rows=1 inch


With main color, cast on 20 stitches.

Work in Knit 2, Purl 2 ribbing for 297 rows.

Change to contrasting color, work in pattern for 3 rows, bind off.

Pull in ends.


Gauge is not critical to this pattern, if you knit tightly it will be shorter and narrower than the original; if you knit loosely it will be longer and wider.

To make counting rows easier, place a marker every 25 rows.

Use any two colors.

Use any knitting worsted yarn, about 200 yards.

This pattern is for a narrow scarf because of the time of year this is written (spring). For a wider scarf, use more stitches. Cast on any multiple of 4 stitches for the knit 2, purl 2 ribbing pattern.

For a shorter scarf, using the gauge indicated, 198 rows of main color and 2 rows of contrasting color will yield a scarf about 5 ½ feet long.

This pattern is for personal use only, to share the pattern please use a link to this article.




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