Richmond woman hopes to crochet her way to a Guinness World Record

Richmond woman hopes to crochet her way to a Guinness World Record
Daisy Ptak spent months crocheting her way to a Guinness World Record. Photos/ Courtesy of Daisy Ptak.

It's almost official: On April 1, Richmond's own Daisy Ptak, who crocheted a massive 870-foot scarf, hopes to become a Guinness World Record holder when her scarf is measured and the record is certified.

Currently, the longest crochet scarf created by an individual is 834 ft 8 inches, which Corinna Richards of the United Kingdom, and was certified on March 17, 2023.

Ptak says she began her scarf when she was learning to crochet in February 2023 as a way to cope with some health issues and after finishing a business certificate. It was also a way to escape from her phone and keep her hands busy.

"I am a serial project person, and I'm always looking for my next project. I also really wanted to do something to keep the phone out of my hand," Ptak said. "I tried knitting, but I couldn't do it. Crocheting is so much easier."

Ptak said she works full-time while also serving on a charitable steering committee and two boards, diligently working on the scarf in between the various activities in her day. "Places I’ve worked on the scarf include sports practice/games, BART, movies, in the car, doctor appointments, work meetings, restaurants, flights, on trips, and by the pool on vacation," Ptak said she also liked adding to it when her husband was away on business trips and after her kids went to bed each night.

Breaking the scarf-crocheting record wasn't exactly part of the original plan but was in the back of Ptak's mind.

"It was a passing thought," Ptak admits, explaining, "because there are sections where you aren't doing a huge project all at once, so making a large scarf was doable." But once the lightbulb went on, Ptak knew she would go for the record.

Ptak said the project culminated rather unceremoniously one night in March as when she realized the finish line was near. "I told my husband I wasn't coming to bed. I was going to stay up and finish, and when I did, everyone was asleep," Ptak said. "it was kind of a shock. I texted a few friends," she said.

According to Ptak, the project took 376 days and consumed a whopping 250 skeins of yarn, much of which were donations. "I have lovely friends and family who sent yarn my way," Ptak said. Unused sections will be donated to the unhoused to help them stay warm next winter.

According to Guinness Book rules, Ptak would now have to find a professional to measure her masterpiece to claim her record.

"I posted on social media and reached out to the mayor's office and a professional company, but it was expensive," she said.

Andrew Butt, Managing Principal and Director of Design at Interactive Resources architectural firm in Richmond saw Ptak's social media post and was interested in the project.

"Daisy posted to social media about this cool project, and someone tagged me knowing that I was an architect, and that’s one of the qualifications required of someone who conducts the actual measurement, Butt said. "I thought it was a really fun idea and additionally thought it would be really cool to do this next to the Craneway Pavilion, which has been on the news recently and was the site of several important world records, including the most liberty and victory ships built in the shortest amount of time and more recently the gathering of Rosie that occurred inside the Craneway."

Butt said his daughter is also interested in crocheting and is the president of the crochet club at El Cerrito High School.

"I love the idea of doing this and bringing some cool and interesting and fun news to Richmond, which frequently is in the news for the wrong reasons. I was happy to help, and I think it will be a really neat thing!" Butt said.

The Guinness World Record attempt for the largest crocheted scarf by an individual, created by Daisy Ptak, and measuring more than 870 feet long takes place April 1, 2024, at 5 p.m. at the  Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond, CA 94804.

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