Knitalong fun

Our recent Commonwealth knitaglong went stormingly.  There were lots of knitters taking part and they have produced some gorgeous results.  Check out the conversation on Ravelry – they were/are a really chatty bunch and happy to share all their skills, ideas, hints and tips.

We all knitted the Dear Green Shawl by Anna Fisk (Narnie83 on Ravlery).  It is a lovely pattern, well written and quite intuitive when you get going.

Anna joined us on the knitalong too – here’s a picture of her knitting at the Commonwealth Games themselves!!

Narnie 83 at the Games

 

I had a small problem though in that the skein of yarn I chose just wasn’t long enough – by quite a long way.  Thankfully, Sadie (whiteheart on Ravlery) had had a similar problem so created a spreadsheet to we could all work out how much more we had to knit and therefore how much more yarn we’d need.  I decided to change yarns at the point where the fish tail pattern for the edging starts (same place Sadie did) and it worked really well – Thanks Sadie! :)

Kate's Dear Green 2  Kate's Dear Green

me in my Dear Green shawl (aka Katestwirl)

Here are a few other lovely shawls from the KAL:

Saide in her Dear Green  Whiteheart's Dear Green

Sadie (Whiteheart‘s) Dear Green Shawl

pmac39's Dear Green

pmac39‘s Dear Green

SilvrTabbyKnitter's Dear Green

SilvrTabbyKnitter‘s Dear Green

Streyknit's Dear Green

Streyknit‘s Dear Green

And finally, an honourary mention for Alessandra (PokedaGoblin on Ravelry) for her Hydrangea scarf with which she won first prize at the Worcester show on 17 August.  Well done Alessandra – you are a P/Hop stalwart and we love you! x

PokedaGoblin's hydrangea

Get ready for a Commonwealth Knit-a-long!

Glasgow at night.  Photo credit: TripAdvsor

Glasgow at night. Photo credit: TripAdvsor

The Commonwealth Games is being hosted in Glagsow, Scotland from 23 July to 3 August 2014.  We think it’s the perfect excuse for a p/hop knit-a-long. – So get your knit on whilst watching energetic types on the telly and helping those in need, all at the same time – now that’s what I call multi-tasking!

It’s time to dive in your stash or otherwise source your yarn for a Commonwealth Knit-a-long for p/hop.

So what are we knitting?

The Dear Green Shawl by Anna Fisk.  It is perfect because it was designed as a celebration of Glasgow and donated to p/hop to raise funds for MSF.  The shawl is also a prize winner from the Glasgow School of yarn, so definitely has good Scottish credentials.

This is what Anna says about her pattern: “Glasgow’s name means ‘dear green place’. The city’s coat of arms and motto refer to the stories of its patron saint, St. Mungo: ‘this is the bird that never flew / this is the tree that never grew / this is the bell that never rang / this is the fish that never swam.  The shawl uses lace motifs representing a bird in flight, a tree, and a bell, ending with the traditional ‘Shetland’ fishtail lace pattern.”

Dear "Blue" Shawl knitted by SuLam as a sample for P/Hop - Thanks Su!

Dear “Blue” Shawl knitted by SuLam as a sample for P/Hop – Thanks Su!

How does it work?

1. Download the knitting pattern from the pattern page by clicking here;

2.  Make a donation (in any currency) based on the hours of pleasure you think you’ll get from the knit-a-long, by clicking on the JustGiving link on the right;

3. Choose your yarn (hardest bit);

4. Pop over to our Ravelry group, say hello to us all and tell us which yarn you’re using in our Knit-a-long thread;

5. Cast on on the 23rd July and knit your socks off until 3 August;

6. Have fun sharing your pictures, yarn choice(s), queries, failures and triumphs and generally chatting over on the Ravelry page or tweet and instagram using the hashtag #Commonwealthknitalong.

Fancy a KAL / CAL?

 The Teeny Tiny Teddy

The wonderful Jo of the Shinybees podcast and blog is very kindly hosting a P-hop  knit/crochet along on her Raverly forum.  We are very grateful to Jo, for choosing to have a KAL of any p-hop pattern, which will spread the P-Hop love to people who may not have heard about us yet.   So, if you knit or crochet, want something quick and simple, or something a little more challenging, we’re bound to have a pattern for you, so that you can join Jo and me (Katestwirl on Ravelry and Twitter) in the knitalong.

We are also tweeting as we go.  The hash tag is #phopkal – sorry crocheters, but having a tag of phopcal at the same time would be tricksy so we would like you to use the same tag as the knitters – after all, a lot of us do both anyway!

Here’s what Jo had to say about it at the top of her thread:

“I’m starting a new KAL/CAL on 1st July 2013 – the phopkal.

This will be a knitalong/crochetalong of any of the 45 patterns currently available on the Pennies Per Hour of Pleasure website (and on here) which raises money for Medecins Sans Frontiers. So, it is charity knitting, but not as we know it!

The idea is to choose a pattern, which you download for free, but you make a donation to MSF on the P/hop website. I will be aided and abetted by the new P/hop co-ordinator, Kate – Katestwirl,who is well known for wanton enabling when it comes to KALs.

Let’s get some chatter going about which projects we will be doing on here before the mass cast on on 1 July. There are loads of patterns to choose from depending on how much time you have to spare. We will also be using the hashtag #phopkal on Twitter to keep up to date and have a bit of a giggle too. If there are enough of us, we can even split into teams based on the patterns we are doing.

Who’s in? More importantly, start flashing the yarn and project combos!”

Jo also talks about the knitalong in her latest podcast and about why she supports P/Hop & MSF and in particular their work in South Africa where she lives…. for now anyway!  Don’t worry that the official start date was 1 July – it’s definitely not too late to join – we all have lots of WIPs and deadlines and non-craft lives getting in the way, so don’t feel pressure to cast on right away.  It would be nice if you’d pop by and tell us what you’d like to make though…

I have chosen to knit The Trinity Shawlette, a gorgeous pattern by Anniken Alis.  It’s a rather simple but extremely effective lace pattern and, best of all, you can choose to knit it in 3 different ways! 

Here’s where I’ve got to – photographed very un-artistically on my P-Hop desk!

  

Jo has chosen the ever-popular Cranford Mitts by our very own and fellow P-Hop volunteer Jane LithgowDQKnits on Ravelry has chosen the Cranford Mitts too, from her ‘short’ list of 8 patterns!  Others included the  Twisted Twigs hat by Sarah Louise McAdie, the Minerva Cowl by Anna Richardson and the very cute Rudolph, that Reindeer! by Judith Baser. 

Carlé has chosen the uber cute Teeny Tiny Teddy, by Alessandra Parsons.  Carlé says  ‘I have a thing about taking a bear to Paris,…. long story’  - perhaps best not to ask! ;)

We have crocheter’s taking part too – gingerbreadbunny is making the Cable Scarf and CarrotyCarrots (her first ever KAL – we are honoured) is making the Mobeius Cowl, both patterns which were kindly donated by Laura Cracknell.

Please come and join us and share your progress and pics (we love pics) as you go and raise a little for P-Hop in the process.  You can donate here!  We are very nearly at £40,000 – it’d be so great if this little craft a long would take us there!! :D

Companionable Cranford knitting

Clare aka Dragonflyknit is guest blogging about our current Cranford Mitt-a-long. Take it away Clare….

It has been fun this September to participate in another Ravelry knit-a-long for p/hop of Jane Lithgow’s wonderful Cranford mittens: fabulous to knit and to wear, and also very popular gifts. I signed up on August 3rd when littlelixie suggested the idea, and began planning which yarn to use. Fellow Ravellers signed up to the knit-a-long quickly grew to twenty-eight, and more have joined in along the way. (It’s not too late to join us! Click here for the Ravelry thread).

Right, a confession: I already had a pair of Cranfords on my circular needle, so I had to get the knitting of these completed in order to cast on a new pair on September 1st. However, the darning in of the ends of the pair I was knitting in August is not yet done, so my plan is do so this week. Thus by 30th September, I will in fact have completed two pairs = two donations to P-Hop!

© Dragonflyknit

As ever, being part of a knit a long has been a very rewarding experience: it is such a pleasure to see the fabulous yarn and colour choices made for the mitts, and to check in frequently to see how my fellow knitters are progressing. It is also great to see the kindness, encouragement and assistance being offered to knitters who ask for help because the Cranford pattern presents them with the opportunity to learn new skills.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Clare. If you’re not a Ravelry member here are a few of the gorgeous pairs of mittens that have been made. Thank you to everyone in our Ravelry group who has shared their photos.

© OneHandKnits

Extra repeats of the main pattern make for very elegant Cranfords as knitted by OneHandKnits. ©OneHandKnits

© DarthKnitty

DarthKnitty aka Sefronia throwing some Gagaesque shapes with her coordinated Cranfords. ©Sefronia

© Crobbles

Another fine pair by ©Crobbles

If you’ve blogged about the Mitts you’ve made we’d love to read about it. Please leave your comments and links to your blog below.

Tempted to join in? Please do. The official deadline is 30th September but as our knit-a-long is for fun we won’t mind if you’re knitting Cranfords into October, Christmas or 2012…

Speaking of Christmas check out this fun and festive pair made by Snail Hannah

© Snailhannah

Festive Cranfords by © Snailhannah

Happy knitting and as always thank you for supporting Médecins Sans Frontières.

Knit for p/hop

We don’t often have fund-raising knitting here at p/hop but if you’re itching to make something for Medecins Sans Frontieres now is your chance.

The brilliant supporters in the Ravelry p/hop group are organising another knit-a-long to make squares for blankets which will be raffled at knitting festivals over the summer. If you remember last year the group made a beautiful barn raising blanket from sock weight yarn. The lucky person who won it in the raffle at the I Knit Weekender practically ran to claim it.

This year there are two patterns to choose from, the barn raising blanket or the Lizard Ridge blanket which can be found on Knitty.com.

If you want to take part you will find details in the Ravelry group.

Thank you and happy knitting…

The Knitalong

You can now join in on a knitalong for the p/hop Flowers in the Rain pattern created by karmastitch on Ravelry.

Jacqui Walker, designer of Flowers in the Rain, writes about the online phenomenon of knitting and knitalongs!

Knitting used to be a solitary activity. You bought the pattern, chose your yarn and off you went. The only feedback you would get was from the recipient of the finished design and, if you were lucky, maybe you could ask your mum or gran for help if you got stuck and didn’t understand something in the pattern.

Not anymore! The internet and the rise of knitting forums like Ravelry have changed all that. Knitting is now a social activity. Not just on line but in the non-virtual world too. Knitters meet in cafes and bars to share their knitting and fondle each others yarn.

They also Knitalong!

A ‘knitalong’ turns a new knitting adventure into a shared journey. Lots of knitters all working on the same pattern at the same time means lots of help and companionship. Knitalongs are especially helpful if you are attempting a new knitting technique like lace knitting for example.

The first pattern donated to the MSF p/hop project is a lace scarf or stole. Many people find lace knitting intimidating. Knitting with very fine yarn on small needles and using charts for the first time can seem daunting. If you knit the pattern with someone with more experience you can pick up useful tips and tricks to help you master the skill necessary to successfully complete your first project. Knitters share their experiences and receive encouragement to keep trying and to overcome the initial set backs that learning a new technique often involves. Additionally there’s a ready made audience who appreciates the time and dedication needed to complete a long project and who will offer the feedback and praise the novice lace knitter needs and the experienced lace knitter deserves :) Often a knitalong makes the difference between an unfinished project languishing unloved and a jubilantly completed one.

These posts on my blog may help with lace knitting.
lifelines
swatching
blocking

Flowers in the rain by Jacqui Walker

Flowers in the rain by Jacqui Walker