Knitters cover World War II submarine HMS Alliance in giant, 1,337-square scarf

By Culture24 Reporter | 13 December 2013

Hundreds of knitters have added a huge scarf to iconic sub HMS Alliance

A photo of a massive submarine in a dock covered in scarves
A bit of a scarf at HMS Alliance© Royal Navy Submarine Museum, NMRN
Dozens of community groups have warmed up HMS Alliance, the wind-chilled World War II submarine docked at Gosport’s Royal Navy Submarine Museum, by stitching a giant scarf, deftly sewn into sections honouring the history of the vessel.

Insulating the conning tower with a 400 metre scarf, more than 200 local knitters have crafted a total of 1,337 squares. All of them are inspired by naval artefacts – some show Jolly Rogers, with one square bearing the name of the ship in Morse Code.

“We are very grateful and totally amazed,” says Gareth Brettell, the Education Manager at the museum, calling the community project a “perfect” method of building interest in the magnificent submarine.

“Knitting has a long tradition in the Royal Navy, from the much-loved woolly submarine jumpers to mending clothing while at sea.”

The efforts of the team, which included knitters from sheltered housing schemes and the Women’s Institute, went beyond their target sub: smaller scarves will cloak fellow submarines at the museum, with one planned for Holland 1, the Royal Navy’s first ever submarine launch.

The Alliance is receiving the final stages of a £7 million conservation, expected to be complete by Easter 2014.

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A photo of a group of female knitters standing on a submarine carrying scarves
© Royal Navy Submarine Museum, NMRN
A photo of a man standing on a submarine waving
© Royal Navy Submarine Museum, NMRN
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