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!! 😀

Jacqueline mitts for warm wrists

P/hop has asked me to introduce my pattern – Jacqueline.

One of the runaway successes of p/hop has been the Cranford mitts pattern600+ projects showing on Ravelry. I’ve made a number of pairs and have knitted them while manning the p/hop stand at Knit Nation and in my breaks while volunteering at the Olympic fencing test event.

In fact I’d not worn fingerless gloves or mitts for years until I was introduced to Cranfords, and now I can’t live without them. But I like to have my wrists covered so started thinking about longer mitts and when I wanted to make a gift for a friend this long cuff design was the obvious way forward.

And because I wouldn’t have been inspired without the Cranfords, it was obvious to me I should write up the pattern for p/hop. Well, that and having spent a day as a volunteer in the MSF office and seen and heard first-hand the importance of its work.

The Jacquelines’ ribbed cuff can be shortened or folded to the length you want, the palms are smooth and practical, and the cable design is a little like an Argyle sock design. It’s made up of very simply two stitch cables so is straightforward even if you are new to cables. In my tests it looks best in a single lighter colour.

Mainly I hope you enjoy the pattern and that it inspires variations and other fingerless mitt ideas.

That’s the great thing about p/hop, you raise money by being creative with a recipient in mind (you, family, friends) rather than hoping your squares really end up in a blanket somewhere in the world.

So I wish you happy knitting and warm wrists.


Cranfords on Four

Imagine my delight when I woke up to the following tweet this morning

After some twitter based detective work I discovered the lovely Gerard Alt, of long time p/hop supporters IKnitLondon, had been on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme talking about knitting on TV. The main topic was THAT JUMPER from the top Danish crime drama The Killing (or Forbrydelsen) but he also gave our Cranford Mittens pattern and the talented Jane Lithgow a mention. Thank you Gerard.

So if you’ve found your way here from the Today programme, welcome!

We’re a knitting fundraiser for the incredible and inspiring emergency medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières MSF (Doctors Without Borders). You are more than welcome to download any of our beautiful knitting patterns. All we ask in return is you make a donation to MSF/DoctorsWithoutBorders based on how much pleaseure you’ll get from your knitting pattern. It’s as simple as that.

If you already know about us but missed the radio item you can “listen again” here.

As always you can follow us on twitter @msf_phop and get the latest news about MSF’s life saving work at @MSF_uk

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.