New Year, New Stash

Do you have yarn in your stash that you just don’t know what to do with? Perhaps you’ve bought too much for a project and have leftover balls or skeins. Maybe you fell passionately in love with custard yellow a couple of years ago but now it just doesn’t do anything for you.

New Year, New Stash!

What you need is a p/hop swap to reinvigorate your stash for the new year! Traditionally, p/hop swaps have been held at local knitting groups or events. People bring yarn they’re no longer in love with to swap, it all goes on a big table, and then everyone chooses something from the big pile to take home. And of course, they make a p/hop donation for the fun of it and the shiny new-to-them yarn.

Not all of us can get to these swaps, so this January we’re hosting a postal p/hop swap. If you sign up, you’ll need to send around 200g of unused yarn from your stash to your partner. In return, you’ll get the same amount of brand new yarn to play with. It could be a yarn base you’ve never tried, a colour you’d never thought of, or a combination of yarns that work with something else you already own. Whatever you get, it will put a new splash in your stash, for the cost of postage and a p/hop donation with all the money donated going straight to MSF’s fantastic work.

Sound fun? The details of the swap and sign ups are in our friendly ravelry group here. If you have any questions about how the swap works, that’s also the place to ask them. Come and join us for a stash swapping start to 2013!

Tweeting about this? #NYNS #phop

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

Sounds like a great evening -wish I was there!

Phop Yarn Swap in Glasgow

Saturday 10th December saw the first P/hop Yarn Swap take place at The Yarn Cake in Glasgow. This was organised in response to a highly successful visit by Clare and the P/hop stall to the Glasgow School of Yarn back in October.

Knitters were invited through Ravelry to find items from their stash that they would be willing to donate to the Yarn Swap and they certainly dug deep. Amongst the stuff up for grabs was some Madelinetosh, Fyberspates, Lorna’s Laces and some fabled Wollmeise.

There was much debate to be had on the Yarn Cake Raverly forum as to how this should be shared equitably. On the night itself the tables on the petite tables at The Yarn Cake were groaning with yarn, roving and some fantastic books. The crowd were largely well behaved though the odd fibre fight did break out. (see below)

No Fighting!

The atmosphere in the shop on a frosty winter’s night was helped along by mulled wine and festive nibbles and the scores of punters who showed up gave very generously so that the total raised was an amazing £481.20.

Special mention should go to those who travelled some distance to be there from all over Scotland and to the lovely husband who came prepared with instructions from his sick wife to bag some undyed laceweight. Watch this space for next year.

The biggest P-Hop yarn swap ever?

At the end of January more than 50 knitters, crocheters and spinners enjoyed the second annual Sheddite gathering at the Bar Convent in York. Yes, I know that this sounds like a strange sect but please be assured that we are just an ever expanding group of friendly and enthusiastic fiberistas who have all met through the Yarn Yard forum known as The Shed on Ravelry.

One of the highlights of the weekend is our annual swap where we all bring yarn, fibre, books and tools that we no longer love and hope that they will find a new home with someone else. We then make a donation to P-Hop based on how much happier we are with what we are going away with compared with what we brought.

This year we had to book an extra large room to accommodate the swap which completely covered three or four huge tables. Imagine if you will, fifty excited knitters circling around like a pack of wolves (sorry!) eyeing up the particular item they loved above all others and hoping nobody else would snaffle it first. And let me tell you, the stakes were high – there was Wollemeise, Socks that Rock, Old Maiden Aunt and Yarn Yard to be had if you were quick and stealthy enough…

Mind you, I am pleased to say that everything passed in the most civilised fashion – I think we all went home a lot happier with our acquisitions and the best thing of all is that we raised well over £300 for P-Hop.

The Truth about ‘SkipNorth’!

P-hop Swap

Just a tiny bit of the donations!

The fifth annual SkipNorth holiday hit Haworth in Yorkshire on Friday 12th March, and for the second year running the p-hop swap dominated the first evening. People had brought huge bags of yarn, books, magazines and other craft materials and as the last workshop came to an end people were keen to see what was on offer.

The tables were pushed to the edge of the room and bag by bag the offerings were laid out. On the right went a table full of fleece, perfect for those who had learnt drop spindling that afternoon. Back left was a whole table of sock yarn, where Regia rubbed shoulders with designer brands. In between lay cones of lace weight, bags of novelty yarn, whole packs of vintage Jaeger and current Rowan as well as mountains of odd balls looking for a home.

By the end of the evening the tables were bare (apart from a few lonely orphan balls) and all those who’d taken part were committed to donating their thanks to p-hop. So far more than £300 has been donated from those who swapped that night, and plenty of what we each swapped has appeared in our stashes on Ravelry and even been cast on.

Thanks to everyone who donated to the swap and to all those who took part. You can read more about SkipNorth here and join in discussions about future holidays on ravelry here.


Thank you very much to Alex (aka littlelixie) and everyone who took part in the Skip North p/hop swap. Are you feeling inspired to hold your own swap for p/hop? Please get in touch if you are interested as we can help out with flyers and MSF info. If you’ve already been to an event for MSF we would love to hear about it and always welcome guest bloggers. Don’t forget there is the ongoing yarn (and books, DVDs, anything-you-can-think-of) swap in the p/hop Ravelry group.

What did happen in York!

You may have noticed the rather cryptic hints that something fabulous happened in York last weekend. We managed to get several very important people who have played a major role in setting up this wonderful charity effort all in one place.

We had the fantastic Natalie from The Yarn Yard who set up this whole crazy idea.
Also present were Jane who wrote the Cranford Mitts pattern, (currently the 63rd most popular mitten pattern on Ravelry) and the Karenina Socks pattern, Thimblina who designed the Hop Sox pattern and Elizabeth’s Scarf, CelandonSusan who designed Ruth’s Harvest Socks. And that’s just the designers….

The weekend had come about as a way of getting all the wonderful women who hang out in Natalie’s Garden Shed on Ravelry together. Non- knitters, and knitters alike, come and have a look, the kettle is always on, and you’ll meet the most fantastic group of women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Many of us have played a part in the evolution of Natalie’s idea to the current global project that p/hop has become. As well as supporting each other when we dip our toes in to the murky water of pattern writing, we’ve also developed the idea of swapping yarn in exchange for donations to p/hop. Over in the p/hop Ravelry group there is nearly always a yarn swap going on.
A few of us have what might be described as a stash habit, rather less harmful than most habits, as long as you exclude the damage done to your bank balance!

However some stash acquisitions can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt, you bought the yarn and loved it, but your tastes have now changed;  you decided to try lace weight and maybe got a bit enthusiastic with your purchases but discovered you hate knitting with the stuff. Sometimes you’re given yarn that is beautiful, but just not you….

(photo courtesy of Natalie)

We all bought along several skeins of yarn and braids of fibre that fitted those categories (and several books and bags), all beautiful, but just not something we could see ourselves using. The yarn was all piled up on a convenient pool table, and in a very British manner we all picked out our favourite skein.

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn poster from Etsyseller JennieGee

We then carried on picking until all the yarn had gone, it wasn’t a true swap in that some people de-stashed, some people gained stash, and you didn’t have to have put yarn in to take some out.

We’ve all travelled back to our separate corners of the UK, donated what we could afford, fondled our new acquisitions, and told our friends about the swap, and felt good about getting new yarn and doing it for charity!

I’m planning on doing one with my knitting group in Sheffield, if you want to do similar please get in touch with the wonderful p/hop co-ordinators and let them know.

Stitch and Swap

On Monday night the London Stitch and Bitch group held a yarn swap to raise money for Haiti. It was a really fun evening with a  good mix of brand new knitters, people knitting for their BSc project (yes really) and Stitch and Bitch regulars. I went to knit as well as spread the p/hop word and was pleased to see people already knew about p/hop. One knitter was making a very fetching blue pair of  Karenina Socks and another knitter already had the Cranford Mitts pattern in her bag.

The Purple Purler (aka Em) did a stirling job of yelling orders and information (one of the many benefits of teacher training) and the Stitchettes did a marvellous job of coordinating the evening.

The yarn for swapping was laid out along the bar (the yarn bar) and the organised chaos began. For every swap that took place a donation was made to MSF. If the yarn recipient didn’t have yarn to swap the donation was increased to an amount the giver was happy with. It was good fun and an excellent way to either increase or decrease your stash.

Jenny Willknits made a gorgeous blanket using odds and ends from her stash which she raffled off raising £112 for the DEC Haiti appeal.

Knitters are so generous and the evening raised £205.36p (the 36p came from someone emptying the contents of  her purse into the donation bag) for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF use the fundraising money where it is most needed but to give you an example £205.36p will buy three MSF dressing kits which will provide enough supplies for 150 dressings so when you see images of people in Haiti with bandages on after being treated by MSF staff you may have paid for that dressing. This may seem like a small thing but dressings are essential. Without them wounds are more likely to get infected which if not treated can lead to limb loss or even death. So go on, feel that small glow of humanitarian warmth as your generosity really does make a difference.

It was my first time at a Stitch and Bitch meeting and I have to say there was no bitching, just lots of interesting and entertaining knitters, good conversation and of course knitting. If you live in London and want to learn to knit I can highly recommend the S’n’B meetings as a great place to start as well as for more experienced knitters to socialise.

Thank you very much to everyone who came along and took part, the Stamford Arms Pub, SE1 for the use of their room (I think they were amazed by how many knitters turned up – how little do they know?)  and of course to Stitch and Bitch London.


If you missed this event why not hold one where you live? Let us know about it if you do so we can help out with flyers and MSF info. If you’ve already been to an event for MSF please get in touch if you would like to write about it here. Don’t forget there is the ongoing yarn (and books, DVDs, anything-you-can-think-of) swap in the p/hop Ravelry group.

Harry P/hopper?

Harry Potter and the Sleeping Commuter

P/hop swapping is frenzied in the p/hop world at the moment, turning the forum in ravelry into a veritable market place. Except with less tat. As I wander past the various stands and stalls, I see Thimblina p/hopping some cobweb yarn from the back of a white van.  Our very own Lou is browsing over at Yellowpurplezebra‘s stall as they work out what size needles she might need for her first project. In another corner, Natalie is doing a line in antique patterns, announcing her wares through the brisk winter’s morning like Delboy himself.

Other swappers are busy all over the place and the atmosphere is great, the sun is shining.

But what’s this?? Hilltopkatie is offering a Harry Potter DVD?? Is this to do with knitting? Is it Harry Potter and the Needles of Newport? No, it is not. As news spreads through the market, a hush falls… “That’s nothing to do with knitting” is heard murmured from place to place……     A tumbleweed blows through the scene………

Then, and at the same time, the traders and customers come to a communal realisation. P/hop isn’t about knitting! It is because of, and thanks to knitters, but really it’s about compassion and sharing and recycling and supporting a great cause!

People turn again to Hilltopkatie with smiles in their eyes. Villain to visionary in 8.3 seconds… Not bad.

So, you can p/hop swap anything. And it will all benefit MSF. I wonder what time the market closes….

By msf-pete. Photo by gunnisal, courtesy of Flickr.

p/hop swap

If you have visited the Justgiving donations page lately, you will notice there’s more to p/hop than just knitting free patterns. Swapping. Books, Yarn Harlot calenders, spinning wheels, you name it. In return – a small donation to p/hop. How much joy did you get from your new goody!

If you are looking for something in particular why not post a message here on the blog or in the p/hop group on Ravelry (if your not already a free member of Ravelry, you will need to sign up to see this group).

We would love to hear about your swaps! Write us a message or send in some pics.

Crocheted Twirly Scarf by Pixeldiva

Crocheted Twirly Scarf by Pixeldiva