Your invite to a Crafternoon

YarnGathering of Stone may not be there any more but all the local wonderful crafters and makers I know are still around. So Jeanette of YarnGathering invites all to a CrafterDay or CrafterAfternoon or even a CrafterHour.

WHEN : June 1st 2013
WHERE : Stone Station, Stone, Staffordshire. ST15 8ER
TIME : 10.30 – 15.30
COST: £3 & £1 child

Come along and sit and knit, sew, crochet, spin…..whatever is your joy. Share your projects and skills. Pass out your business cards if you are a maker.

There will be a Chinese Auction, (see Wikipedia for how this works) so bring along all your unwanted craft items and supplies. Proceeds will go to Medecins Sans Frontieres via p/hop. You will be able to learn more of p/hop and see their most popular patterns on the day.

And most importantly there will be tea, coffee, cake and cookies :)

Stone Station Community Centre is a wonderful place, on one level, full of lovely light and so interesting. You can catch a train from Stafford literally to the front door and parking is great.
Children are very welcome to come along and craft.

Look forward to seeing you

Jeanette x

WWKIP 2012

Despite a week of fairly rainy weather, the sun shone for Stitch London’s Stitch Crawl picnic on Saturday. The grass may have been damp but everyone who turned up came prepared with picnic blankets and a smile. The whole event was organised by the fabulous Deadlyknitshade to celebrate Worldwide Knit in Public Day, as well as raising money for P/hop through a raffle of lovely craft related prizes. The venue was the newly redesigned Jubilee Gardens next to the London Eye. It was great to see so many knitters in one place and we certainly got some curious looks from passers-by.

Crafty People Galore by Momtaz

Some workshops were on offer if you wanted to try cross stitch with Mr X-Stitch, or you could have a go at sewing brooches with Momtaz Begum-Hossain from The Make Escape. There was also a talk given by Sarah Corbett from The Craftivist Collective, which I’ll attest I didn’t hear myself as I got carried away chatting with some new knitting friends, but I heard some very exciting things from those who did hear it.

The Crafty Avengers by Momtaz

World wide naked bike ride 2012 by Goldenblades91

The highlight of the day (apart from the 300 naked cyclists that we witnessed at one point) was the raffle for P/hop. There were 41 fantastic prizes up for grabs and tickets only cost £1 each, bargain! The prizes ranged from knitting kits to cushions and from vouchers to the many, many books that had been donated.

Awesome raffle prizes by Goldenblades91

Sadly I came away empty handed but I was cheered up when I heard that an amazing £301 had been raised for P/hop! Lots of cake was consumed and current works in progress were admired over the course of the afternoon, plus a few of us made some new friends. Knitting in public really is the best way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. Roll on next year!


Ace blog post, thank you Emma aka @Goldenblades91 and thank you to Momtaz aka @thecraftcafe for the photos from her blog. And of course a massive thank you to Deadly Knitshade for organising the whole event and to everyone who helped out. Marvellous. Crafty people are ace! Clare

WWKIP Day 2012

WWKIP? What on earth is WWKIP I hear you cry?

We like abbreviations here at p/hop, it’s in our nature, and we like knitting in public. We also like knitting in public on a day when thousands of knitters around the world take their crafty awesomeness outside and share the wonders of wielding sticks and string and making fabric with the non-crafty muggles, which is WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY.

This year, huge p/hop supporters Stitch London are hosting their WWKIP event at a FREE Giant Jubilee Stitch Picnic, in the Jubilee Gardens on Southbank, Saturday 9th June, 12-6pm, and raising money for p/hop at the same time.

The day will help spread a warm fuzzy feeling and promote craft, creativity and community in London too. Win win.

Raffle

Part of the picnic will be Stitch London’s Really Rather Marvellous raffle. Each year London’s craft community donate prizes which Stitch London will raffle off throughout the day. All funds raised will go directly Medicins Sans Frontieres through p/hop.

Workshops

There are also crafty workshops, which the teachers are doing as a donation to p/hop, with people taking part being asked to donate their pennies per hours of pleasure. If you are interested in hosting a workshop please get in touch with Stitch London’s organiser Lauren info@stitchLDN.com

Donate a prize

If you are a crafty retailer and would like to donate a prize please get in touch with Stitch London.

What you get in return?

In return for your raffle prize Stitch London will post a link to your website to say thank you on Twitter and Facebook. That’s a way for your business to reach over 10 000 crafters directly through sources they trust on a global scale (there are Stitch London followers in 52 countries worldwide so we’re not just limited to London).

There are also a further 15 000 crafters following the Stitch London newsletter and checking into their website. So along with the charity element it’s a win win deal.

What kind of prizes do you want?

Anything and everything. It doesn’t even need to be crafty. From kits, to vouchers, to books, to classes, to handmade items, our stitchers will love whatever you offer. Virtual prizes that can be printed are also fine. We just need details of how the winner needs to contact you to claim.

What do I need to do?

Drop Stitch London an email at info@stitchLDN.com to tell them what you’d like to donate, including:

  • What you are donating
  • The name of your company/shop
  • Where you would like Stitch London to link to
  • Twitter and Facebook links (if you have them)

As soon as they receive your prize they’ll link on Facebook and Tweet too. We’ll do the same.

To learn more about this event see the Stitch London website: http://www.stitchldn.com/stitchcrawl2012.html

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and huge thanks for taking part. You’re a handmade hero.


If you’re not in London but are feeling inspired to hold your own event for p/hop on WWKIP Day please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at P-hop@london.msf.org. Thank you

Ravelympics: join team p/hop

Back in 2006 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as knit-blogger the Yarn Harlot) had an idea: the Knitting-Olympics.  During the 2006 Winter Olympics over 4000 knitters took on the spirit of the Olympic motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger – and challenged themselves to complete a project during the Winter Olympics.  The only rules were that the project couldn’t be started until the Olympic opening ceremony,  and had to be completed by the end of the Games.

Since 2006 the idea behind the Knitting Olympics has grown and evolved.  The knitting and crochet social network Ravelry has adopted it.  With the Olympic Games in London this summer, a group of volunteers are hard at work organising the 2012 Ravelympics.

What are the Ravelympics?

Just like the Yarn Harlot’s original idea, Ravelry members will challenge themselves and compete in various knitting and crochet events over the course of the 16 days of the Summer Olympics.  The only rules are that a project must be completed during the Olympics.  There are medals (well, blog badges) for anyone who finishes and it’s up to each individual competitor to decide just how far to challenge themselves. Never tried colourwork?  There’s an event for that.  Scared of cables or lace?  Now’s your chance to have a go.  Always wanted to make a pair of socks, but never got round to it?  Maybe this summer is the time to do it.

Up for a challenge?

Challenging ourselves as crafters can be fun and rewarding.  Up until this year I’d never made a whole garment in fair isle.  I wanted to, but I was a bit daunted and kept putting it off, even though I had the yarn and a beautiful pattern.  A friend and I decided we would make the same fair isle sweater at the same time (in different colours, otherwise it would be a bit weird) so that we could help each other out if we got stuck, and offer mutual support and encouragement.

So, for the time around the VI Nations (my favourite sporting competition, and a brilliant excuse for sitting in front of the telly all weekend for weeks on end during the winter and doing nothing but knitting) we knitted a fair isle sweater each.  Achieving something that you weren’t sure you could do is pretty awesome.

Join in the fun!

I’d love to share that buzz of achievement with my fellow crafters.  So, I’m captaining Team P/Hop for this year’s Ravelympics.   You don’t have to be a member of a team to compete, but it is much more fun and we will be supporting each other in our challenges and celebrating all those successes. You can read more about it here.

At the moment we are discussing what events we might each enter.  For me, I ‘d like to see if I can knit a whole lace shawl from start to finish in those 16 days.  Maybe something like Crocus Pocus.

Do join us – we’ll be having fun, challenging ourselves, and hopefully getting P/Hop closer to that £40,000 target.

Award giving p/hop

Last week Natalie (founder of p/hop) and I (p/hop coordinator) headed to Shoreditch town hall for the 2012 Just Giving awards.

Natalie and I had been on the judging panel for this year’s awards and had been invited to the ceremony which was a great honour.

The evening began with a drinks reception. We ddin’t know very many people there though people kept on smiling at us. For ages I couldn’t work out why until it dawned on me it’s because I am on the Just Giving website. Durr.

p/hop was well represented throughout the night.

Firstly, at the start of the awards the video encouraging people to take part in the awards was played. Jane Lithgow aka probablyJane, designer of three fantastic p/hop patterns, Cranford Mitts, Karenina Socks and Spiral Socks, looked brilliant on the huge screen.

You can watch the video here.

We had a lovely evening with good food and company. Pudding was a tasty carmel desert plate: hot sticky toffee pudding, caramel opera (?), banana banoffee pie and toffee ice cream. Yum yum yum.

True to form we knitted. I had cast on a Molly Weasley’s sock and Natalie was making a colourful toe-up sock.

There were some pretty inspiring people recieving awards. I didn’t take photos of all of them but you can read all about them on the Just Giving website.

I did take a photo of Dave Heely collecting his award who runs marathons, and cycles huge distances to raise money for Marie Curie, which is an impressive feat in itself but it even more admirable as Dave is completely blind.

Bob Wilson, footballer, brought a tear to my eye describing the personal interaction he had with parents of cancer patients on his cycle ride around England.

One person who deserves a very special mention is Harry Moseley’s mum. Harry was an inspiring eleven year old boy who sadly lost his battle with cancer last year. Despite having a debilitating brain tumour Harry raised a staggering £85,000 for charity and his mum accepted his Lifetime achievement award on his behalf. She was incredible and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end of her acceptance speech.

Natalie presented an award…

and looked fabulous on the big screen…

…and speaking of fabulous, we had an absolutely fabulous person on our table, the lovely Joanna Lumley.

When she arrived she grinned at me knitting and made a knitting gesture. Natalie later discovered that she knits before going on stage as it calms her down.

I really wish we could have had every p/hopper at the awards as it was a lovely, yes fabulous darling, evening and I hope we represented you all there. One thing Natalie and I both noticed this year is that the nominees were mostly individual fundraisers which reinforced our belief that p/hop really is special in that so many people can contribute to it. And as Jane says, “it’s the less sweaty way to give”.

I took a video on the night to give you a feel of the atmosphere. It’s not great quality but it will give you an idea.

Finally a big thank you to the Just Giving team for a wonderful evening and for all their support for p/hop.

Festive Yarn Swap at The Yarn Cake, Glasgow

The Yarn Cake, Scotland’s only dedicated knitting cafe, is hosting is hosting a special yarn swap event to raise funds for Medecins Sans Frontieres using the p/hop principle on Saturday 10th December from 5.30-8.30

There will be a festive atmosphere in the shop for the evening of the swap with snacks and wine, and you can still stock up on all your usual knitting and crochet necessities.

Donations have already been recieved of Louisa Harding, Rowan, and Mirasol yarns amongst other goodies. More details can be found from the Ravelry thread about the swap here.

Donations of good quality yarn, patterns or other needlecraft items are welcome up until the 8th December; please leave them with the friendly staff at The Yarn Cake

148 QUEEN MARGARET DRIVE, G20 8NY

Fibre Flurry 2011

The most excellent HilltopKatie and her lovely mum are taking p/hop back on the road to Fibre Flurry this weekend (Friday 28th & Saturday 29th October).

We had a great time at Fibre Flurry last year, it’s a marvellous show with lots of great vendors, workshops and friendly atmosphere. Please do go along and say hello to Katie and her mum while you are there. They’ll have all the p/hop patterns for your perusal, including one’s Katie herself has designed and donated.

There will also be a raffle for p/hop at the event so you have a chance to win some pretty nice prizes.

Please visit the Fibre Flurry website for more details.

Glasgow School of Yarn

We’re really excited here at p/hop HQ as it’s less than one week to go til the exciting Glasgow School of Yarn. On Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd October we’ll be in the gorgeous Mackintosh Church on Garscube Road, Glasgow.

There’s loads of cool stuff happening, including book signings by our very own p/hop designer Ann Kingstone, as well as other super designers Carol Feller and Stephen West. As well as the fab vendors in the market place (p/hop included) there will be great homecooked stews and cake as well as a cafe, and also, and I think this is a brilliant idea, a massage therapist for the event, who will be offering a variety of gentle relaxing treatments over the two days.

There’s also the party on Friday evening which I’m really looking forward too.

For more information such as opening times and location please click here.

I’m Looking forward to seeing you there.

PS If you can’t make it to Glasgow we’ll be at Fibre Flurry near Birmingham on Friday 28th and Thursday 29th October.

Knit Surgery, Sat 15th Oct, Cardiff

Can’t kitchener? Confused by cables? You need a Knit Surgery!

Knitting teacher and designer Karen Wessel aka Quesselchen is holding another knit surgery in return for donations to p/hop. Pop along to Big Knitters on Wellfield Rd in Cardiff from 11am to 2pm on Saturday 15th October where Karen will help solve your knitting problems. In return it’s the usual p/hop ethos, make a donation based on how much pleasure/perseverance/persistence/insert p-word of choice you gained from your new skill.

Knit Surgery in Cardiff

Last Saturday, my rather fully packed backpack and I made our way to my local yarn store (Big Knitters) here in Cardiff. I was a little apprehensive and quite nervous. This was going to be my first ever Knit Surgery and I wanted it to be good.

Anna (the wonderful shop owner) had already set out her board with all the information for the event a good week before and I had tried to spread to word by leaving posters and flyers in many of the cafes in the area as well.

The first thing we did was to set up a little information corner right by the door so people could not miss it. And I promptly forgot to take a picture. Sorry. Next time, I promise! And then we settled down to see what would happen – having done our best to spread the word, it was now down to the knitters and customers to come and ask questions.

Sadly, for some unfathomable reason (the rugby? The weather? The end of the first week of school? We still have no idea.), it was an incredibly quiet day for the shop (and many of the other shops in the area, so the turnout of help-needing knitters wasn’t great. When finally a lady came through the door with her question in tow, I was promptly at a loss as how to help her – but I shall learn how to cast on a moebius in the round rather soon. As the lady wasn’t set on knitting the pattern she had brought in, we solved that problem by suggesting that she knit a rectangle and then sew it up while twisting on end of it. Not the ideal solution but she was quite happy with it as she could now “get on with the knitting”. During the day we also provided some extensive help with choosing patterns for a mother and daughter (not that Anna wouldn’t have done that anyway, but they got my opinion as well ;) ). They were really lovely and it was wonderful to see the mother taking so much care about what to knit for her daughter who was very much appreciative of the effort.

Despite the poor turnout for the surgery we still managed to raise 60 pounds thanks to the help several avid collectors (long standing customers and friends with their children) who took it upon themselves to stand outside with the collection baskets to raise awareness, pass out information (MSF leaflets and p-hop postcards) and collect donations from other shoppers. And quite a few of the people who did come to the shop to browse or just quickly by some yarn also left donations before leaving. A very big and heartfelt “Thank you!” goes to all of you for helping and donating! And of course the money has already been passed on to p-hop. Wouldn’t want to waste time there.

Copyright Karen Wessel

And while we had hoped for a better turnout for the Knit Surgery, I had a very good time just watching and helping where I could and I think that, in retrospect, the quietness and low volume of people through the door was nice for the first try. I say first try because both Anna and I have already decided that there will be a repeat. We haven’t settled on a date just yet but the next Knit Surgery in Cardiff will likely be held in late October and we are aiming for at least another one before the end of the year.

If you would like to hold a Knit Surgery for p-hop in your town or city, please do! It’s fun and doesn’t take a lot of preparation and I’m more than happy to share the poster file I made to spread the word around the area.