British Columbia

Thanks to 10 local knitters, Mr. PG is sporting a 13-metre scarf to remind residents of the value of giving

A team of 10 women ranging in age from 67 to 92 congregated weekly in Prince George's Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park to weave the accessory for the city's eight metre-high landmark, which celebrated its 60th birthday in May.

Pandemic project for team of women aged 67-92 took more than 200 hours of work

Mr. PG is now wearing a scarf hand-knitted by 10 local women, with each of its squares a different colour representing local organizations. (City of Prince George)

Clasine van Adrichem had been enjoying her time with friends knitting mini-scarves for the plush toys of Mr. PG, the mascot of Prince George, B.C., which were to be given away during the World Women's Curling Championship in the city in March.

But when the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, so were her weekly gatherings with her pals. 

As the province reopened in the summer, van Adrichem came up with a bigger project to reconnect with her friends: to make a gigantic scarf for the eight metre-tall Mr. PG statue itself.

Van Adrichem and nine other women — ranging in age from 67 to 92 — congregated weekly in Prince George's Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park to weave the 13-metre long accessory for the city's landmark, which celebrated its 60th birthday in May.

On Monday, Mr. PG finally got to put it on. 

Each member of the team knitted two to three squares, with a total of 25 making up the final scarf. The squares are different colours that represent local organizations and sports teams.

"Each square probably took close to 10 hours," van Adrichem told Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North

The knitters made two to three squares each, with each one taking around 10 hours of work. (City of Prince George)

The weekly knitting sessions in the park were a lifesaver for Sally McLean, who felt isolated at home and didn't get much social support for the first three months of the pandemic.

"We talked about the weather, and we talked about each other's families and how everybody was doing," McLean said. "We just supported one another in that way as we continued to knit."

The women normally make mittens, toques, scarves and sweaters for families in need and give much of their time to support local charities. 

Van Adrichem hopes Mr. PG's scarf will serve as a reminder to Prince George residents about the importance of giving.

"There are so many here in the city who need support," she said. "We hope that people will be generous and provide people with something they really need, whether it be food or clothing, at this time of year."

Clasine van Adrichem began the project of knitting the gigantic scarf in the summer, to reconnect with friends after months of being isolated at home due to COVID-19. (City of Prince George)

Members of the public now have a chance to own a human-size replica of Mr. PG's scarf hand-knitted by van Adrichem, McLean and their teammates. To be in the running, the City of Prince George is encouraging people to comment on its social media channels, stating which nonprofit organizations they've donated to, by Dec. 21.

Tap the link below to listen to Clasine van Adrichem and Sally McLean's interview on Daybreak North:

A 13-metre scarf has gone up on Mr. PG, the giant wooden lumberjack who serves as a mascot for the city of Prince George. It was handmade by a group of friends over the summer when COVID-19 shutdowns left them little options for socializing. 7:21

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With files from Daybreak North

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