Knitted by a German woman after an often-delayed 40-minute commute to work in Munich, the scarf features a color for various lengths of delay: dark gray for up to five minutes late, light pink for five to 30 minutes and bright red for more than 30 minutes late one-way. Each row corresponds to one commute, with two rows being one day.
The woman’s daughter, journalist Sara Weber, shared her mother’s workpiece on Twitter, where it went viral.
“She takes a regional train and then the subway, which normally takes 40 minutes,” Weber told CNN. “Because there are so often delays, she decided to make them visible by knitting a scarf.”
So, for the whole of 2018 the woman knitted, tracking all her commutes. And she’s still keeping at it for 2019, Weber said.
“She has worked three days so far after the Christmas holidays — and had to use all of her three colors,” Weber added.
While local reports say the German railway company Deutsche Bahn is often under fire for permanent delays and rail breakdowns, Weber stressed her mother’s scarf has value for frustrated commuters all over the world.
“The situation is as bad as it is everywhere for commuters. She has commuted for years, so at some point, it just is a lot to handle,” Weber said.
In her tweets, Weber noticed that the train schedule worsened during the summer, shown in red, when it consistently took her mother almost two hours to get to work.
“Every day. For six and a half weeks,” Weber said.
Weber said her mother mostly knits after her commute. Otherwise, she would have to take all the different colored wools onto the train, since she can’t know how long the delay might be.
The journalist added that her mother is thinking of auctioning the scarf off for a good cause.