Happy New Year! Happy New Shawl!

Wishing all our wonderful P/Hoppers a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2014!

My fist day back in the MSF office and there’s been loads to do.  Two invites to shows were in the inbox with all the form filling that that requires to apply for a place.  The first is Woolfest in Cockermouth, Cumbria on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 June, followed by Fibre-East in Redborne, Bedford on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July.  Both are lovely shows.  If any of you would like to volunteer to run the P/hop stall at either of these shows, I’d love to hear from you.  Either drop me a line at p-hop@london.msf.org or contact me through Ravelry – I’m Katestwirl!

November 2013 021

We were also lucky enough to have the final bits of information needed for our latest pattern, which has been very kindly donated by Karie Westermann.  This gorgeous shawl is called Eyre Shawl and is now ready for download on the Eyre Shawl pattern page, where you can also read all about it.

It is perfect for keeping you cosy in this stormy weather while you’re sitting indoors reading the classics!  Think of poor Jane Eyre in that drafty school and pull it a little tighter!

Here is what Karie had to say about her inspiration for the shawl:

I first read Jane Eyre when I was fourteen. I had this mad, mad notion of ‘reading all the classics’ before I turned fifteen. I did not get far, of course, because I read indiscriminately and without any real understanding of what I read. Jane Eyre was one of the books I did read and I remember thinking it was ‘okay but a bit dull’.

Then I decided to revisit Jane Eyre last year and the novel took my breath away. What an intelligent, passionate, fierce book it is. It is both a Victorian literary equivalent of a Mills & Boon novel (“Reader, I married him”) and a proudly feminist book about the importance of knowing your own mind. The many knitting references were just cherries sprinkled on top! I swooned and cheered.

There was even a lovely bit where the housekeeper, Mrs Fairfax, says something in the vein of, “Oh, hang on a sec. Must. Finish. This. Row. before you dash off with the Master” – any knitter would smile in recognition. So, how could I resist designing a shawl to match Mrs Fairfax knitting away?

Please don’t forget to donate for patterns which you download.  Evey little bit helps MSF to help those in need wherever they may be.


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! ;)


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:

photo  photo 2-1  photo 1-1

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!


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


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!

Woolfest preparations

Woolfest is only a couple of weeks away (28th & 29th June) in Cumbria and we are very busy here at P/Hop sorting out all our patterns so that we can spread the P/Hop love!  The fabulous Woolfest people have kindly invited us to participate once again.  We’re thrilled – Thank You so much Woolfest!  We really do appreciate you donating the stand at your wonderful show!

If you haven’t been to Woolfest, which is a fabulous festival of all things wool (knitting, crochet, spinning, sheep – you name it)  before, you can read all about it: just follow this link!

Sadly I (Kate) cannot be there, but the lovely Jane will be there supported by a small army of friends/volunteers and if you fancy helping out, your assistance will be gratefully received.  Jane and her pals would like some time to see the brilliant stalls that the show has to offer – not to mention the odd sit down and a cup of tea (we are all tea-aholics!), so if you’re going to be around and can spare an hour or so, then please let Jane know on our Ravelry page: here.

If you’ve made a p/hop item before please bring it along as Jane will be capturing photographs of p/hop patterns in the wild!

So come along and say hi, we’ll be in the Milk Stand (J225a) again!  We’ll have new patterns and big smiles!!

P/Hop Festive Yarn Swap at the Yarncake!

The lovely people at the Yarn Cake in Glasgow have organised a festive yarns swap in aid of P/Hop. Details are as follows:

Date: Saturday 8th December 2012

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: The Yarn Cake,

148 Queen Margaret Drive, G20 8NY
Glasgow, Glasgow City
United Kingdom

They say:

join us on the night of the swap where as well as donations there will be wine, food and general hilarity.
p/hop is a fundraiser for medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), where you donate what you think patterns or in this case yarn is worth to you in pleasure. p/hop- pennies per hour of pleasure!

and here’s the link to the Ravelry page showing some of the yarn donated http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-yarn-cake/2356966

Sounds like a great evening -wish I was there!

Generous Glasgow knitters donate over £770

Last month P/Hop was once again invited to have a stall at the Glasgow School of Yarn, organised by The Yarn Cake yarn shop. The event is held in the beautiful surroundings of The Mackintosh Church, with two days of classes, stalls, cake and masses and masses of knitters – how could we refuse?

Our table crammed with patterns and samples

 Our stall had a lovely position in the marketplace so we were really able to show off all the wonderful samples that our supporters have so generously made for us. Mind you, we have so many patterns now that it is quite difficult to fit them all on the table! 

Amazing display of P/hop shawls

We were pleased to be able to launch the Riviera Scarf  by Rachel Atkinson. Keep an eye on the website as we will be making it available to everyone very soon. 

There was a lovely atmosphere with plenty of space for knitters to come and decide on a P/Hop pattern, go and choose some yarn, have it wound for a P/Hop donation, settle down to knit then come over and see us if they needed help in getting started. Several people cast on Trinity shawls then and there and were helped to take their first steps in lace knitting. 

Now to the best  news of all -  thanks to the warm support we got from the organisers, vendors, volunteers and knitters we raised a quite magnificent £773.39, more than twice the amount raised last year. We would particularly like to thank: 

  • Natalie of The Yarn Yard for putting me up for the weekend and ferrying all our equipment about. 
  • Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns  for her very generous donation of a lucky dip of gorgeous sock and lace weight yarns which disappeared in a flash on Saturday! 
  • Yvette from And Sew to Knit, Katie from Hilltop Cloud, Debbie from Ripples Crafts and Natalie from The Yarn Yard for their fabulous contributions for a lucky dip on Sunday which disappeared almost as fast. 
  • Revelers at The Yarn Cake’s second birthday party on Friday night for their donations. 
  • The volunteers who raised over £50 by winding skeins of yarn for knitters too impatient to wait to cast on! 
  • Katherine who brought in a huge bag of knitting and crochet books for us to give  away for donations. 
  • Joy, Hilary and Lucy who helped on the stall and gave me a chance to so a little bit of shopping. 
  • Natalie’s mum for keeping us well supplied with coffee and drinks. 
  • All the knitters who came and took patterns, chatted with us about MSF and made their donations. 
  • And finally, Antje and her team at The Yarn Cake for putting on such a wonderful event and giving us so much support.

We really felt that the Glasgow School of Yarn had taken us to their hearts. We can’t wait for next year.

P-Hop at the Glasgow School of Yarn

Yes, P-Hop is on the road again, this time we are heading for Scotland. We are really pleased to have been invited to the second Glasgow School of Yarn which is taking place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October 2012 at the beautiful Mackintosh Church, Queen’s Cross, 870 Garscube Road, Glasgow G20 7EL.  

I as P-HOP  Co-ordinator will be looking after the stall but would be very grateful to anyone who would like to come and help, even if only for a short while. We have some new patterns since last year, particularly some cosy mitts and snuggly cowls and neck pieces, perfect for seasonal gift knitting or a treat for yourself to chase away the autumn chills. We look forward to seeing you there!