It’s official! The Guinness World Record for the longest crochet scarf has gone to… South Africa, who have beaten India, the former holders of what’s called the “Wool Cup”. Volunteers were asked to crochet 20-cm squares (with a max hook size of 6.5mm), which they then joined to make 20 x 200-cm scarves to meet GWR requirements. Stitched together, these pieces formed the longest-ever scarf: a sensational, brilliantly coloured 29.17km (more than 18 miles).

The project was run by the charity 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and was one of many events held to celebrate the 100thanniversary of Mandela’s birth (18thJuly 1918). Crochet contributions came from as far away as the USA, UK, India and Australia. One participant from Durban made 170 scarves. The team’s target was 27km, to match the number of years that Mandela was imprisoned – so they exceeded that very comfortably.

The giant scarf was finally joined up and displayed at the historic Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick‚ in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The pieces will be separated and donated to those in need across South Africa. 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day launched in 2013 to knit, sew or crochet blankets that are distributed across the country on Mandela Day. The charity’s founder, Carolyn Steyn, who had the idea for the crochet challenge in honour of the country’s hero, pronounced herself “terribly, terribly excited” to have broken the world record. Warmest congratulations!

Photographs courtesy of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day