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Category: On the road | pennies per hour of pleasure

Fibre East – Thank You!

Once again I had a fabulous time at Fibre East meeting and chatting with lots of lovely supporters.  Thank you so much to Janet Ellison and her army of fabulous volunteers for another great show.  We raised a wonderful £376.75.

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The stall which raised £376.75 in donations

It was hot again this year, but that didn’t deter the fibre fanciers from coming for a great day out.  There was lots to do besides shop for yarn, patterns, needles and notions, spinning wheels, drop spindles, fleece (washed/unwashed/dyed/undyed/carded/uncarded… – very complicated world is spinning…).  Once again there was a great demonstration of sheep shearing on the field and you could buy the fleece after meeting the sheep!!  I was lucky enough to watch the demonstration whilst sitting under a tree eating my lunch – thanks for Judith (aka Jabberknit) and Tina (aka WickedWoolyWitch) for standing in for me.

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sheep – waiting patiently in the heat to be shaun!

The site of the show is at Redbourne Community College and they have a small farm, which was open!  I loved my wander around the farm on Sunday when Jacqui (aka Tiggerbee ) and Heather (aka nearlythere )were manning the stall.  I love volunteers!!

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Some less than usual “guests” at Fibre East

Fibre East 2013 was the first stand I ran as P/Hop Coordinator and, as some of you may know by now, Fibre East 2014 was also my last!  How sad, but also quite nice.  I have thoroughly loved being the P/hop person over the last year and a bit and am sad to be moving on, but my lifestyle has changed an I no longer have enough time to do the role justice.  If you can spare a day a week, love social media and all things knitty, then perhaps you could apply.  All details here.

Celebrity at P/Hop stall!

I have yet to get feedback following the delights of Unwind Brighton – will keep you posted on funds raised as soon as I know!

I do know, however, that we had a celebrity visitor to our stall.  Lynda from The Great British Sewing Bee, with her daughter, Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch.

Lynda at Unwind

Great British Sewing Bee’s Lynda, wearing a P/Hop sample

Lynda and daughter at UnwindLynda being styled by her daughter, Sarah

Our wonderful volunteer Heather (aka Nearlythere on her blog and Ravelry) took these pictures.

Heather also wrote a lovely little blog about being a P/Hop volunteer at a show.  You can read that here: P/Hop: putting the fun in fundraising at Unwind Brighton

Wonderful Heather loved volunteering so much that she did it again at Fibre East – THANKS so much Heather!! :)

The Wonders of Woolfest

I’ve just got back from Woolfest in Cumbria – what a great event.  P/Hop have been there for the last 6 years, but this was my first time.  Thank you so much to the organisers for their generosity to P/Hop and MSF over the years.  We really do appreciate it.

My good friend, Annette and I thoroughly enjoyed ousrselves.  The fun started when we jumped in our hire car and set off all the way from London to Cockermouth (according to the hire car invoice we drove a whopping 722 miles over the weekend).  We nicknamed the car Thelma and the sat nav was Louise!  Poor Thelma hated going up hills but seemed overjoyed to be going down them!  It was actually a really nice drive, starting in Lewisham, South East London we merely had to pop through the Balckwall Tunnel and then most of the trip was the lovely scenic and quiet A1(M) and then the A66.  We couldn’t have managed without Louise though – I booked a B&B in Caldbeck where the organisers of Woolfest are (The Wool Clip) instead of in Cockermouth where the event is.  This was 20 miles away and really very rural indeed – with some roads so narrow that you find yourself breathing in, in an effort to ensure that you fit through! ;)

Here’s Teeny Tiny Teddy and the view from the B&B – The Oddfellows Arms, Caldebeck, where we received a very warm welcome.

   View TeenyTinyTeddy with water Teeny tiny teddy on the road  Teddy rides the teapot

Sorry they’re a bit dark – my camera isn’t playing ball right now.

The show itself was great fun, despite being pretty hard work.  Annette and I both slept like logs on Friday night.  I love yarny people – they’re all so friendly and accepting, not to mention very generous.  Lots of people stopped by to say hello to me too, not just P/Hop supporters but people I know from Tweeting and Raveling as Katestwirl and in from my yarny business The Golden Skein.  Annette was a little bemused by how many people came over on Friday to tell me that my “Waterlilly” (the knitted top I was wearing) looked even better in real life.  It’s rather odd to be well known in the knitty world, but I rather like it! ;)

Another favourite part of the show for me is the lifestock sharing the stalls with us.  The event is held in a cattle market and stalls are interspersed with sheep, alpaca and even angora bunnies in pens.

black and white sheep

Jacob sheep

On the Saturday we were joined by the wonderful Natalie (KnattersKnits) who was a great help and good company on the stall.  Natalie’s help meant that Annette and I could see a bit of the show together.  Thank you so much Natalie – you were fabulous!  I’m afraid that we did encourage her to go spending at the show too – sorry I’m a huge enabler!  I enabled myself more than anyone this time though and bought 3 skiens of yarn and 2 birthday presents, one for my dear friend Kat (whose birthday party I had to miss to go to Woolfest) and one for my lovely mum – her birthday isn’t until September, but I saw just the perfect thing!

I even had time to cast on a P/Hop pattern whilst I was there – The Eyre Shawl by Karie Westerman.  The shawl is named after Jane Eyre from Charlotte Brontë and completely by accident, Annette and I went to Haworth, birthplace of the Brontë sisters, so a bit of it was knitted there!

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Karie’s Eyre Shawl

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Kate’s Eyre Shawl (in progress)

Finally a huge THANK YOU to all those who chose patterns and donated funds to MSF.

We rasied just over £677 – Hurray!

We’re on the road again at Unwind (12 & 13 July) and at Fibre East (26 & 27 July) if you fancy helping out on the stall for an hour or so – just pop by and chat to whomever is there.

:)

Woolfest 2014, Cumbria

Well, we are all packed and ready to go to WoolFest this week.  I am very much looking forrward to it.  I’ve heard wonderful things about the show and this year is their 10th anniversary so I’m axpecting it to be fantastic!

All the different fibre crafts will be there, spinning, knitting, crochet, weaving, tapestry, and various other yarny artforms, as well as some wooly livestock.  I LOVE sheep!

WoolFest yarn

Woolfest sheep

baaaa

WoolFest stalls

Pictures from WoolFest website

I’ve packed a huge suitcase full of lovely patterns, knitted & crocheted samples, collection buckets, MSF literature, tablecloth, flag, postcards and all sorts of paraphernalia to use for display purposes, oh and two polystyrene heads!  It’s amazing what you can squish in.  It’ also amazing how much it all weighs!  And that’s just the suitcase.  I’m also taking 2 director’s chairs, some rubber matting to stand on and the MSF poster display stand, as well as my overnight bag – thankfully, this time, I am not doing it by public transport AND I have a lovely friend, Annette, coming with me to help! #lovevolunteers

If anyone else fancies manning the stand for an hour or so we would be very grateful indeed.  We’d love some time to see the rest of the show.  Just pop by to stand J225 if you have an hour to donate!

Suitcase

The HUGE p/hop suitcase

We will be bringing a few new patterns to the show.

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

Dear Green Shawl pattern by Anna Fisk, knitted by SuLam as a sample for P/Hop – Thanks Su!

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Southfields sweath by Miranda Jollie (Hanwell Knitter)

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Eyre Shawl by Karrie Westerman

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Diamond Dot Scarf by Kate Ellis (aka Katestwirl). That’s me that is!

High Line (2)

High Line by Janet Cullen

October Leaves

October Leaves by Katherine Mills

Major Groove Mitts

Major Groove by au fils des jours

Baby Blanket 1

Retro Baby Blanket by Helen Westerby

The best thing about any yarn show is the people!  We will be on stand J225 next to the Milk Stand, so please do pop by to say hello and to browse the latest patterns and some old favourites.   We’d especially love to see you if you’re wearing a p/hop creation – or generally fancy a chat.

If you’d like more info on the patterns featured, just click on the photo.

P/Hop needs you!

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Lighting the Knit Signal!

 

There are lots of brilliant ways that you can help P/Hop to raise funds for MSF.  P/Hop was set up as a community project, so that lots of people could get involved.  I donate one day a week plus additional work when we have shows to do, but there is so much more we could do with your help.

Besides downloading our patterns for a donation, or giving us a donation at a yarn show, there are several other ways that you can help raise funds for, and awareness of, MSF:

 

Get in touch / spread the word / Social Knitworking

We are always open to new ideas and fund-raising suggestions.  If you have a brilliant idea we would love to hear it.  Either start a thread in our Ravelry group,  email us, tweet us @msf_phop or post it on our Facebook page.  If you do have a great idea, we’d like you to help run it – there’s only me volunteering for one day a week so we’d like all the help we can get.

We’d also love you to share amusing or interesting knit/crochet/yarn – funny cats etc so please do.

 

 Ask your LYS to stock some P/Hop patterns

The lovely George and Louise from YarnGarden have a selection of our patterns available for donations – we think this is a great idea.  So, if you own a yarn store or rung stalls at various shows (or are friendly with someone who does), perhaps you could download a selction of our our patterns, direct from our website, and make them available in-store for a donation to MSF.  You could also use our patterns to showcase your beautiful yarns.  We’d be happy to send you some MSF literature and a collection box.  Please email us if you would like more information.

George & Louise at GsoY

George and Louise from YarnGarden handing over their pattern donations

 

Volunteer to help run a stall for an hour or two

P/Hop currently have stalls booked at the following events and would love some helpers:

Woolfest in Cockermouth, Cumbria Friday 27 & Saturday 28 June

Unwind Brighton Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 July

Firbre East  near Bedford Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July

I will be going to both Woolfest and Fibre East and would love some of you to help for a while – to get to meet you and so I can take the odd loo break! ;)

Sadly I cannot make it to Brighton.  We have a few volunteers already, but I need to make sure that we have enough to cover the whole event.  The wonderful Hilltop Katie from Hilltop Cloud has offered to take our stall things to and from the show, but we’d like a couple of volunteers to set up the stall (it’s really quite easy and I’ll give you full instructions) and to take it down and pack it away.  Please email me if you think you can help.  Kate Ellis, p/hop Coordinator – p-hop@london.msf.org

 

Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall

Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall

 

Run a P/Hop stall at your local yarn show

Whilst we’d love to attend all the wonderful fibre events around the country, we simply don’t have the resources.  However if you would like to run a stall at a yarn fair for P/Hop we would love it.  We’ll be able to guide you and send literature on MSF, collection buckets and stickers and some sample knits etc.  Please email us if you are interested.

 

Hold a P/Hop Yarn Swap or other event

Get a few like minded people together in your area and hold a yarn swap – well any kind of swap really.  If each person takes some yarn or craft books which they no longer want they can swap them for something that someone else has bought.  You can ask everyone to make a donation to be able to take part.   Check out the yarn swaps that have already raised loads of money and awareness for MSF.

If you are holding a knitting, crochet or other fibre related event for MSF please let us know, we would love you to write a blog post about your event, both publicizing it and writing a review of it for this blog.  We can help share your event on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Design and donate a pattern

We wouldn’t get far with our fundraising if we didn’t have lovely designers donating their patterns to us.  We are always looking for new patterns, so whether you’re an experienced designer or just starting out, please get in touch if you’d like to give us your pattern.

Our submission guidelines are here.

 

Whip up a sample

We find that patterns are more popular at shows if there’s a sample or two of the fnished article on display.  We are currently looking for samples of the following patterns, but any samples are always greatfully recieved!

Hat
High Line

Mitts
Jacqueline

Scarf
The Diamond Dot Scarf

Crochet
Retro Baby Buggy Blanket
October Leaves

 

This is a community project, the more knitters and crocheters put in, the more MSF and the people they help get out.

Thank you.

PomPom Party People

We are very pleased (and a little over excited) to have been invited to host a stall at PomPom Quarterly‘s very first Christmas Party and Pop Up Indie Yarn Market, where we hope to raise some much needed funds for MSF, in the wake of the disaster in the Philippines.

This stylish event will be held in The Crypt of Christ Church, Spitalfields on Commercial Street in East London on Friday 6 December from 6.30 pm until 10pm.  There will be drinks, nibbles, music and yarn – what more could we ask?  A pompom themed fancy dress prize – apparently! ;)

PPQ_Party_Invite

We will be there with our seasonal favourites:

IMG_4923Teeny tiny TeddyTis the season ident

Star Hat and Mittens

and some new patterns – coming real soon and, fingers crossed, in time for this party!  Actually they are existing patterns but will soon be available as P/Hop downloads for donations and at P/Hop show stands:

Iconic Diana sweaterNovember 2013 021P1040755

Diana Black Sheep Sweater  by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, the Eyre Shawl by Karie Westerman and the Diamond Dot Scarf by Kate Ellis (me!).

 

Big fun with Big Textiles

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The P/Hop stand next to Project Linus, where you can see Paula and Lynda

 

Wow what a lovely show!  I was at The Big Textile Show in Leicestershire at the end of September and it was such a great show.   Quite a small show, so you could get around it easily knowing you’d seen it all, but with lots of different textile crafts being represented.  Not only could you buy things to try different crafts or to top up your supplies, but there were plenty things to try and do too.

All kinds of textiles were covered: knitting, spinning, lace making, sewing, quilting etc, it was a feast for the eyes.  Just look at these lovely quilts, which were on display all around the venue:

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Judith (jaberknits on Ravelry) came along to give me a valued helping hand on the Saturday afternoon, so I was able to have some lunch and wonder around the show.  I even had time to make a Morsbag, which was great fun.  For those of you who haven’t come across morsbags, you can read all about them here: http://www.morsbags.com/ They are a charity which encourages us to make and use fabric bags rather than plastic ones.  Everyone at the show was able to make a bag at the show, with full instruction, for free!  Here’s mine:

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My Morsbag

In addition to Judith, I would also like to thank Jenny, who organized the event and the wonderful Jo, who gave me a bed for the night, complete with home cooked dinner and wine, in her beautiful home!  And, not forgetting Lynda and Paula from Project Linus (the stall next to P-Hop’s) for their fabulous company throughout the weekend and for manning the stall for my lunch and loo breaks!  Project Linus is a great charity which makes and then gives quilts to children in need of a hug.  Lynda runs the project for Leicestershire area.  If you enjoy quilting, check out their website: http://projectlinusuk.org.uk/

And finally… a huge thank you to all those who popped by and donated for our patterns.  MSF really couldn’t do what they do without your donations.  We raised £280 in donations over the weekend and the fabulous organizers are sending us an additional donation based on the number of ticket sales, so we are absolutely thrilled!

Fabulous Fun at Fibre East

Well, we are back from Fibre East and have recovered from the busy weekend.  We had a great time catching up with supporters and meeting new ones.

I was there all day on Saturday and Clare all day Sunday and quite a good chunk of Saturday too.  I had a great time, even though it was scorchingly hot.  I was ever so grateful that our part of the marquee had a “window” in it, so we did manage a little bit of a breeze.  The “window” also set off our shawl samples really well, which were blowing in the breeze on a washing line, with the sun shining through the lace stitches.

P/Hop shawls at Fibre East

As usual, we were helped by an army of supporters on both days.  I would like to give special thanks to Liz (aka Lzi on Ravelry), who drove Clare, me and all our stuff to Bedford, helped us set up and did a stint on the stand, and helped to pack up (make the stall rain safe) before driving me all the way home again!  I would also like to thank Judith (Jude00) and Mandy (Millywipstash) for helping set up and for folding lots of patterns and Jo (aka Shinybees) for helping on the stand, not forgetting Jane (ProbablyJane) who was a big  help at the end of the day.  I’m sure that Clare would like to thank lots of people too and will probably do that in the comments below! :)

It really wasn’t the weather to be wearing your knits, but the lovely and brave Tiger Bee donned her Spiral Socks, by Jane Lithgow, especially for us to take a photo!

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Natalie (artandcraftlover) cleverly got around the heat wave by wearing a Teeny Tiny Teddy pinned to herself for us!

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An the lovely Terri (designer donator of the Jacob Beanie) stopped by  to show us her knitting

Terri showing off her knitting and Jacob Beanie pattern

 

It wasn’t all fun and catching up, we also raised over £460 for MSF  – all in the name of yarn!

 

Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall

 

Fibre East and thank yous

We’re very hot and busy in the MSF/P-Hop office this week, but we’re also very very excited! Not in the least because we reached our latest target of £40,000 last week after we added our £744.55 total raised at Wool Fest. The MSF peeps were so very excited about this that they got us a card and bought us cakes! Not just any cakes but gorgeous personalised P-Hop cakes!!

Aren’t they gorgeous? We are bringing them with us to Fibre East – if you’d like one, come see us on Saturday and make a donation for a cakey!

P/Hop celebration cakes

Here are a few MSF peeps from the office donning P-Hop knits and eating cake!! Hurrah – thank you everyone for celebrating with us!

P/Hop celebration cakesP/Hop celebration cakes
P/Hop celebration cakesP/Hop celebration cakes

Following the success of Wool Fest, we are now fervently preparing for FibreEast, printing off patterns and sorting table clothes, pegs, pins, wires, stands and posters for the stall. I (Kate) will be there on Saturday with Clare (P-Hop stalwart) and Clare will be coming back on Sunday with her partner Alex who has offered her a helping hand.

I am both excited and a little apprehensive about this wonderful show. I can’t wait to go, but it’s also my first show for P-Hop (or as any stand holder) so I’m a tad scared! :/ I’m hoping you all pop over to say hi and put me at ease! :D We will be in marquee no. 1.

Yarn Festival Season

Laura having a well earned rest before the rush!

Wow! It’s very busy at P-Hop now that we are well and truly in festival season. Woolfest was a couple of weeks ago and Fibre East is only a couple of weeks away on 27 and 28 July, in Ampthill, Bedford.

Jane (ProbablyJane on Ravelry and designer of the ever popular Cranford Mitts) and her team of merry helpers had a very busy time at Woolfest, raising a whopping £744.55. They “sold” lots of patterns, which means I’m busy printing new ones for Fibre East.

Jane said: “Woolfest was full on but great fun – I’m secretly glad we were so busy as it stopped me spending a fortune on yarn and fibre I don’t need!” I know what she means – I’m saving up for Fibre East, but my stash is already 2 baskets full, but as baa baa black sheep has 3, I’m probably doing ok…right?

Laura was a fabulous help to Jane. She drove Jane and all the boxes of patterns all the way to Cumbria, helped on the stall for both days, and drove all the way back to London again. And, as if that wasn’t enough, she donated lots of books for the swap too! THANK YOU LAURA!

Others who gave up their valuable yarn shopping time to help were were Sadie (Whitehart on Ravelry), Joy (Thimblina) and Jude (Paraknit) and the wonderful Natalie (theyarnyard) donated a big pile of yarn and fibre. THANK YOU SO MUCH LADIES!

Joy was chatting with a fellow supporter, who said that she first heard of MSF through the P-Hop stand last year and that she now makes a monthly donation. That’s great to hear. You too could set up a monthly donation to MSF or you can check out the other ways to give here.

Hoping to meet lots of you at Fibre East – it’ll will be my first show and I am getting very excited! :) Please wear your p-hop creations and pop to the stall so I can take your photo. Here’s a couple from Woolfest!

Sadie’s (Can)tabs. We love her shoes too!

If you’d like to show off your talents, then you could always join the Shinybees P-Hop KAL/CAL and then wear your efforts at Fibre East. Jo from Shinybees will be joining my on the stall for a bit of Saturday – so you could meet us both!

Joy’s Cranford Mitts – love the colourway!