Reindeers for Honduras!

Way back in November, Hazel Osmond contacted us to ask if we would mind if she used a P/Hop pattern to make and sell Rudolphs to raise funds for her daughter.    Hazel Osmond and her daughter Kate wanted to use Judith Baser’s gorgeous P/Hop pattern Rudolph, that Reindeer to raise funds by selling the little fellas at a Christmas fair.  We thought this was a lovely idea, but the designers of P/Hop patterns retain the copyright so we had to check first – Judith very kindly agreed – Thank You Judith – We love our designers! 😀

 Honduras Reindeer basket


Kate is going off to Honduras after her A Levels to teach, as a volunteer, in a primary school as part of Project Trust. She’ll be there for a year and she’s currently raising funds to make it happen.  As part of the fundraising, Hazel and Kate had a stall at a Christmas market selling all sorts of little things.  Pride of place in the centre of the stall were the Rudolphs expertly knitted by  Hazel, complete with a little sign which read:

“£1 from every reindeer goes to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders). 

Theywere knitted from a pattern donated to them as

part of the P/Hop project – pennies per hours of pleasure. 

You can find more patterns to download at”

Thank you so much Hazel and Kate for helping to raise money for MSF and promoting our website.  We wish Kate lots of luck and fun whilst volunteering on her gap year.

Honduras Reindeer 2

PomPom Quartelry’s Christmas Party

On Friday night we went to Pom Pom Quarterly‘s Christmas party.  For those who do not know, Pom Pom is an uber stylish quartlery magazine stuffed with knitting & crochet patterns, as well as recipes and and other arty/crafty goings on.  The party was a great event with everything us knitty people need to have a great night: food & drink, yarn, music and fabulously friendly creative and crafty people.


P-Hop stall

The P/Hop stall

Now there is always lots of lovely yarn at knitty events, as well as wonderful people, but this event offered us so much more – a party too!!

To feed our foodie desires, there was FREE cheese & biscuits, with gorgeous onion chutney and even bags of freshly popped popcorn.  The bar was well stocked with wonderfuly smelling mulled wine, beer, cranberry juice and a very festive gin and tonic.

There was live music too, from local musicians;  Bard, Good Girl & The Bad Times and Whiskey Moon Face.  The  played a lovely mix of quite mellow of music, which was loud enough to boogie to in the party area but not too loud that we couldn’t hear ourselves think in the pop up market area (where our little stall was).


Party room

The party place

(with Lydia and Meghan on stage doing the prize draw)


This gave the whole event much more of a relaxed party vibe than a ‘dash around and grab that skein before someone else does’ vibe that you can get at some festivals.  Having said that, there was lots of delicious yarn to be grabbing at, with stalls from Kettle Yarn Co, Lioness Arts, Skein Queen, Art Equals Happy, and last, but by no means least,  The Uncommon Thread. Oh and us, of course, with our fabulous patterns offered for donations to MSF.  You could also see a selection of the patterns from Pom Pom all knitted up so you could feel them and try them.  They looked so wonderful in the flesh (fleece?)!


Yarn stalls

The market place

We raised a rather incredible £82.91 in donations – we were only there for 4 hours! yipeee!  Thank you to everyone who donated – I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but MSF really couldn’t do it without you.  I hope you love your patterns!

I (aka Katestwirl) manned the stall for most of the night, with the wonderful Judith (aka Jude00) taking over for around an hour, so I could sample the other delights of the evening – Thank you so much, Judith!  I would also like to thank Dani (aka Lionessknits) from Lioness Arts who offered her services, even though she had never met me before, and helped me to set up our stall – pinning sock samples to the table cloth and around our MSF flag.

Finally I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Meghan (aka meghanaf) and Lydia (aka LydiaShmidia) for inviting P/Hop to their party and for giving us a great space right next to the bar (ahem…  I think they may know me a little too well)!

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!).


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!

Rudolph, that Reindeer!

We can’t believe that December is already upon us. To celebrate the season and get in the festive spirit we have a fabulous new pattern for you. Introducing Rudolph, that Reindeer! Designer Judith Baser says:

I first came across p/hop through Ravelry and thought it a brilliant scheme – anything that involves knitting will grab my attention, and the idea of raising money for such an excellent cause and being involved in knitting as well is great. I’ve knitted some of the samples so kindly donated by generous designers, and have been lucky enough to be able to help out on the stall at several events, spreading the word! Rudolph is my first attempt at producing a pattern. He was inspired by some birds I saw at a craft fair made out of bean bags, and I thought the basic design could be knitted into a cute little animal shape. I do hope people will enjoy producing a few of their own Rudolphs, and will take a few minutes to visit the p/hop site and make a small donation to help MSF continue with their work.

To download your copy of the pattern please click here

On the road – Glasgow, Birmingham, Christmas?

We don’t sit still for long here at p/hop.

We’ll be at The Yarn Cake’s exciting new Glasgow School of Yarn event on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd October. It will be a lovely tie in as they are celebrating their first birthday and p/hop celebrating it’s third! Three!  Aw, they grow up so fast. Where does the time go?

There’s another BIG birthday coming up. In November MSF turns 40! Now I’d say something about life beginning at 40 but considering MSF have saved so many lives in their first 40 years it doesn’t seem quite right. Here’s to another 40 live saving years!

We are off to Fibre Flurry on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th October. Fibre Flurry was such a fantastic event last year, with a friendly atmosphere and far too much tempting yarn on sale. I can’t make it this year but HilltopKatie and her lovely mum will be running the p/hop stand so make sure you say hello to them.

Now I know it’s only September, the kids have only just gone back to school and we haven’t had Halloween yet, and what? Christmas? Well yes, because MSF Seasonal Greetings cards are now available through the MSF UK website. The cards either contain the message Seasons Greetings or are blank, making them excellent multi-purpose cards. There’s a nice selection of images so please take a look. Here are a few to whet your appetite.

Festive Fun

We had a hoot at The Bothered Owl Christmas Party last week. There was tea, wine, mince pies, plenty of nibbles, good food and great company. It was a great evening for socialising and knitting in a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Onehandknits has written a good review of the evening here though I feel I should yarn you, it contains a lot of lovely yarn.


Sadie aka Whitehart and Sarah aka SarahAbroad volunteered at our table where we had our favourite gift knitting patterns available for donation. Sadie had brought along a pair of Cranford Mitts (I think the 8th pair of the nine pairs she has made!) which we borrowed as a sample. The Cranford Mitt-a-long was so popular we extended it to the end of December so please join in the fun over on Ravelry.


Sadie and her Cranford Mitts

We’re also having a knit-a-long for our Christmas Stocking pattern. I made one of these as I wasn’t sure if our sample would arrive in time for Christmas but it only took me a weekend to knit it. A big thank you to Crochet-y-knitter for her beautiful sample. If you’re a little nervous about stranded knitting take a look at this great tutorial (scroll down) to get inspired.

We raised £46.56 at the Bothered Owl party which is pretty good for an evening of scoffing delicious mince pies, vegan sausage rolls and eyeing up gorgeous yarn. A big thank you to everyone who made a donation and to Sarah and Sadie for giving up their free time to help out and a huge thank you to the Bothered Owls for inviting us to such a fun event.

Seasons Greeting to you all, I hope you have a peaceful and happy festive holiday.

Festive fun and festive ideas

We’re off to a Seasonal Knitting Event on Monday, The Bothered Owl’s Christmas Party, which will feature nibbles, drinks, yarn shopping and p/hop as well as good friends and festive cheer. I’m taking along our best Giftmas knitting patterns and am looking forward to chatting with knitters, the lovely Bothered Owl team, and munching mince pies.

If you’re going to a festive knitting event why not take a few copies of you favourite patterns along to help spread the p/hop word. We still have some of our postcards so if you would like some to take to an event please get in touch.

You can also support MSF by buying their Seasonal Cards.

Most of us knitters like to make special, lovingly hand crafted gifts for people at Christmas. You can also give something very special through MSF. MSF have teamed up with gifts4good to offer various medical kits as gifts. Your recipient will receive an email telling them what your gift will do. eg £15 will provide someone with antiretroviral therapy for a month or £150 will buy a surgical kit. At my old work place we used to club together and buy a large gift for good instead of small gifts for each other. 100% of the money goes directly to MSF and there is no waste as it’s all done by email. Brilliant!

Christmas in Cardiff

The air is getting colder, the mornings crisper and the evenings are drawing in. All a sure sign that Christmas is getting close. My children have written their Christmas lists; the nine year old has been quite frugal this year, only requesting six gifts and all at very reasonable prices. My six year old, not yet having learned the words ‘modest’, ‘frugal’ or ‘reasonable’ has a list three pages long, and appears to be a word for word copy of a toy catalogue which hit our doormat last week. And so the fun begins!

As a crafter, Christmas has probably been in my thoughts for a little longer than those of other people. I had completed at least two of my main presents before the kids went back to school in September, although I seem to have become complacent, resting on my laurels after this early start and now I’m wondering how I’ll manage to get everything done in time. I think that maybe many of my outstanding gifts will be foodie ones; I have some mint liqueur and orange brandy maturing in the kitchen, as well as a lovely recipe for onion marmalade which I’m quite sure will go down very well with the in-laws. Add in a couple of boxes of chocolate truffles and everyone will be happy.

Of course, Christmas music is playing in all the shops, and the decorations are getting more and more plentiful. On November 10th, together with my husband and children, I headed into Cardiff to see the Christmas lights being switched on. Doctor Who and his companions would be doing the honours, so my two fanboy children were very eager to go and stand in the cold for an hour to see them. We turned up reasonably ahead of time, but were still later than many hundreds of people who had obviously decided to brave the cold for far longer! Although, with so many people there, and packed in tightly together, it wasn’t actually that cold. We pushed and wriggled our way towards the front, to try to get a good view of the stage. We got within about fifty feet when we had to give up and make the best of where we were. Cardiff Council had erected two giant screens so that those of us a fair way from the stage still had half a chance of seeing anything. However, I am only 5’3″ tall, and my husband is a scant couple of inches taller than that so we really didn’t stand much of a chance.

Undeterred, we hoisted the boys on our shoulders (have you tried carrying nine and six year olds for any length of time? Who needs to go to the gym for weight work?) who then had a wonderful view of everything which was happening. Unfortunately, my six year old isn’t so hot with the camera, so I didn’t get any pictures of the switch-on. But then there was a fireworks display which made up for the poor view and the aching shoulders, so I felt much happier!

I love taking pictures of fireworks; they always look so dramatic. Anyway, once the Christmas lights were switched on, the event was over and the crowd dispersed. On the way back to the car park, I captured a couple of photos of Cardiff’s Christmas decorations;

They’ve gone for a blue theme again this year. It looks very lovely, but always makes me feel even colder! I’m looking forward to when they go back to red and green and gold. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to decorating for Christmas!

Thank you for blogging with us Jensta79. To read more from Jensta click here.

The blog-a-long officially finished last week but like all the best parties is going on into the small hours. You can read all the guest blogger posts here.

You can help spread the p/hop word by following us on twitter @msf_phop and by joining in the fun in our friendly Ravelry group with yarn swaps, knit-a-longs plus all the latest p/hop news.