World TB Day – please help!

Squeaky bacteria by Dawn Finney

Knitted Squeaky Bacteria by Dawn Finney

For those of you wondering where your lovely money goes, here’s bit of information about the work MSF does in the fight against the ever spreading, drug resistant tuberuclosis (DR-TB).  World TB day is on Monday 24 March 2014.

Every year, around eight million people worldwide fall ill with TB and 1.3 million people die from the disease. Standard TB is a curable disease, but an inadequate global response has allowed the growing epidemic of drug-resistance to take hold.

Now these deadlier DR-TB strains are spreading from person to person – even to people who’ve never had TB before.  You can read more about the epidemic on the MSF website.

What does this have to do with knitting, I hear you say?  Well, more than you’d think.  Not only is it true that the more money P/Hop raise for MSF the better MSF will be equipped to tackle the problem, but P/Hop also has an evil TB namesake.  Our lovely Clare discovered, back in 2010, that there is a gene in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the TB bacteria, called PhoP. The PhoP gene plays a role in making TB more virulent.  This gene could be a good target for new drugs.  If the PhoP gene can be stopped from working, TB will spread less.  You can read Clare’s Blog, p/hop v PhoP here.

How can you help?

Please read and sign the “Test me, Treat me” DR-TB Manifesto and support the campaign for better DR-TB care.  Many thanks!

Bacteria by Erica McBride

Crocheted Bacteria by Toy Amigurumi


Thanks to Dawn Finey and Erica McBride for use of their photographs.  Patterns are avaialable to buy on Ravelry.  Sadly, they are not P/Hop patterns.

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! :D

 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 www.p-hop.co.uk”

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

Show off your scarves!

Now that the miserable dark days of rain that we were blighted with over the holidays seem to have stopped we are being blessed with some bright blue skies – problem is that bright blue skies at this time of year make the temperatures rather nippy.  Ah! but there’s always a plus side and that is that we can all don our wonderful hand knits and keep ourselves ever so cosy!

The Guardian seem to have had the same idea and are looking for stories of hand knitted scarves.  You can upload pictures to their website with tales of when and for whom they were knitted and whether it was fun or a chore…  They’re looking for disaster knits as well as our favourites, so if you’ve knitted a scarf recently, why don’t you tell them about it?   This is the link: Wtiness Guardian

The best contributions will feature in the February issue of Do Something, the Guardian’s brand new monthly activities magazine, so your scarf may become famous.  There are 8 days left, so if you’re really quick you could start a scarf now!

Or you could just knit a scarf for yourself or a loved one to keep you cosy in these chilly January and February days.  Here are a few suggestions from our lovely P/Hop pattern designers:

Riviera-thumb

Riviera Scarf by Rachel Atkinson

Dido scarf/lapurplepenguin

Dido Scarf by Åsa Tricosa

P1040775

Diamond Dot Scarf by Kate Ellis

elizabeths-scarf-1

Elizabeth’s Scarf by Joy Edwards

Flowers in the Rain by Jacqi Walker

Flowers in the Rain by Jacqui Walker

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 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)!

P/Hop in the field!

We did a shout out for teeny tiny hats, way back in March 2012 and thought you’d appreciated an update.  Judith, one of our midwives in Pakistan has sent us a few pictures of the baby hats which she recently took with her to Quetta.  Here’s what she had to say:

hats and baby 004-1  hats and baby 005

hats and baby 002-1 hats and baby 003-1

 

Dear Everyone especially those in the MSF. UK office
 
Some photos to show you the hats in use and how very appreciative we are of them.
The weather here in Quetta has changed dramatically freezing cold and dry. We here cannot thank the ladies of the Pennies per hour of pleasure enough for their dedication in passing these hats to MSF for use within the projects

When I counted the hats on arrival here at Quetta there were three hundred and fifty hats  and we have divided them so both projects benefit from them. The project at the Quetta children Hospital which is MSF-OCA based and the Kuchlak project.

Just to add we have now combined these two projects as one.

As much as we need medical care, drugs and people to manage within the field it is the little things like the hats that go a long way in assisting with the care

Many many thanks from all those at the Kuchlak-Quetta project

Judith Nicholas

Expat midwife

Kuchlak-midwife-msf-oca

 

We can not accept anymore hats for the time being (we just don’t have the space) but if you’d love to knit for others, check out the UK Hand Knitting Association’s website – there’s a great long list of charity knitting projects for you to get your needles clicking for!  Knitting for Charity

Feeling rather Regal?

We have 2 new patterns for you, both with a Royal vibe!  The Diana Black Sheep Sweater and the Diamond Dot Scarf.

Firstly, and at last the Diana Black Sheep Sweater pattern from Muir and Osborne is finally available as a download from P/Hop.

Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne very kindly donated their pattern a long long time ago but we didn’t have the time to assemble it into a “proper” format for download.  The wonderful Bronagh (lapurplepenguin) helped enormously by popping the details in to a Word document and then, finally, thanks to the generosity of Clare from Yarn and Pointy Sticks who has donated her tech-editing skills, we now have a downloadable pattern.  It wasn’t easy – knitting pattern language has changed over the years… and the yarn it was designed for is no longer available!

If you fancy getting your 80s’ vibe on, then this gorgeous sheepy number is perfect for you!  Those little sheep are just soooo cute!

Iconic Diana sweater  Diana-car  Woman_magazine_web

If knitting up whole garments is not your thing, Kate Ellis (Kate’s Twirl) has donated her Diamond Dot Scarf pattern to us too.  The pattern was designed as an homage to Her Majesty The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee year and was previously available as a Ravelry Download.  You can now download it here for a donation to MSF.

P1040756  P1040771  P1040760

So, pour yourself a cup of Earl Grey and sit back and relax with a spot of regal knitting.

Happy knitting!

 

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!).

 

Martini anyone?

Martini Cowl - aran

Miranda in the aran weight Martini Cowl

We have a lovely new pattern from another fabulous designer.  Miranda Jollie (aka Hanwelknitter) has donated this fabulous pattern (nay, recipe!) for a wonderfully cosy and stylish cowl.  Just like a martini cocktail you can make it anyway you choose – any yarn, any length, any size!  Images of Leonard Rossiter throwing Martini over Joan Collins are spiringing to mind – Any time, any place, anywhere… (mmm perhaps you’re not as old as me…)

Miranda gives specific instructions for both a sockweight (4ply) and an aran weight (worsted) cowl, but also provides instructions on how to adapt the pattern to any weight of yarn which you may have kicking around in your stash – clever girl!

The pattern is on Raverly and you can already see other people’s projects here and download the all important patter from our pattern page here.

 

Perfect last minute Christmas knit… shhh – who mentioned the C word!

 

Happy knitting – please don’t forget to donate for your pattern.  You can do so here.

 

 

Lighting the Knit Signal – Philippines Appeal

Knit-Signal-Philippines

I am sure that you have all seen news of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan and are feeling as sad as I am about the inevitable suffering of the people caught in its path.  MSF are acting as quickly as they can to get medics and supplies to those in need.  This is hampered greatly, due to the country’s infrastucture having been destroyed by the typhoon.

MSF has set up a Philippines Typhoon Appeal for donations to fund their emergency response.  You can make a quick donation by text:

Text TYPHOON to 70099 to give £5 to MSF’s emergency response

or, for more information about the valuable work of MSF during this emergency and to make a donation to the appeal, please see the following articles:

Philippines Typhoon Appeal

MSF sends experts and tonnes of supplies

Interview with the emergency medical coordinator

If you would prefer to make a general donation to MSF which will provide much needed assistance to all their projects (not just the Philippines), then please donate to P/Hop using the JustGiving link.

When making a donation for a pattern, we really do not mind if you would prefer to donate to the Philippines appeal rather than to the P/Hop campaign.  All funds raised by P/Hoppers are greatly valued by MSF.