Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Was Ever A Scarf So Red?"

Ebenezer Scrooge's whimsical red scarf has become a symbol of A Christmas Carol here at South Coast Repertory, but you won't find any mention of Fred's cozy gift to his uncle in Charles Dickens' original version. Adapter Jerry Patch added the bright element to the script to offer a visual, tangible symbol of Scrooge's transformation following his visit from the spirits. "Scrooge leaves the gift in the box in his office, but it shows up later in his bed," says Patch. "He wants to explain it away, but he can't. It's a mini-miracle."

The scarf Hal Landon Jr. wraps around his neck in the play has been in use for 20 years, and is an astonishing 12 feet long. You can purchase a similar one in SCR's gift shop, or make your own with a pair of knitting needles, a ball of yarn and your own two hands. All you need to know is a simple garter stitch, demonstrated in our slide show, and you are on your way! Beginning knitters should try an acrylic-blend yarn that isn't too slippery or too "hairy" to the touch.

For more detailed instructions, illustrations for left-handed knitters, and free knitting patterns to personalize your scarf, visit


  1. Our family has been attending A Christmas Carol at SCR for about 17-18 years now. It is how we "kick off" our Christmas celebrations. We number 19 now and are lucky enough to take up the first row and part of the second. We've wondered about the "so red" scarf, and we also comment on the small changes from one year to the next. We look for them and enjoy finding them. Even our babies (8,9,10 years) look forward to the play...and finding that special "so red" item they will wear.
    The Edwards

  2. Imagine if everyone came to the play with a red scarf or kerchief in their pocket, which they were to pull out and put on a Scrooge winds his scarf around his neck - I think it would be a fun and maybe even moving ritual.

  3. Glad so many enjoyed the play. We saw it for the first time and were disappointed---the additional dialogue which plays for laughs, Scrooge's mumblings to himself. In fact, that his character seems to have no edge. Landon's voice is not unlike Kermit the Frog. We are taking in another production in Houston. But for me, George C. Scott is the ultimate Scrooge.

  4. We have been going to this play every year, since our children were very young. Now that they have children of their own, we still continue the tradition. This year all 14 of us will wear a red scarf!!