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!

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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)!

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!).

 

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.

 

42,000 whole pounds! Whoop!

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Samples and patterns on display at Glasgow School of Yarn

October was a bumper month for P/Hop fundraising, taking our total to a smidgen below £42,000 (£41,993.55 to be exact).  How amazing is that – £42,000 raised by the generosity of knitters, crocheters and spinners!

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!

Here’s a round up of what came in in October:

We received a cheque for £150 from Jenny Lee who organised the wonderful Big Textile Show. You can read our blog post on this event here: Big Fun with Big Textiles.  This was a percentage of the ticket sales for the event at which we also raised £280.03 in donations for our patterns on the stall.  Thanks to Jenny, who invited us to host a stall at her event, we raised a whopping £430.03 as well as awareness of the valued medical aid that MSF provide around the world. If you’d like to know more about MSF and what they do, please click here: What’s MSF?

Our fabulous volunteers, Angela Blair (Angelabdc on Ravelry) and Clare Devine (knitsforklipskaap on Ravlery, from Yarn and Pointy Sticks), at the Glasgow School of Yarn raised a whopping £733.94.  This couldn’t have been done without the generous support of Antje, from The Yarn Cake and organiser of The Glasgow School of Yarn. The figure includes 2 large donations which they collected, of £35.51 from The Chocolate Teapot  and £38.40 from The Yarn Garden.   Clare has very kindly written a blog about her day running our stall at the Glasgow School of Yarn, below.

If after reading Clare’s blog, you think that they’d like to run a stall at a show, please get in touch with me, Kate, by email at p-hop@msf.london.org

George & Clare at GSoY

Clare with George from The Yarn Garden, handing over their fabulous donation

Clare’s blog

On Saturday the 18th of October I was lucky enough to visit the fabulous Glasgow School of Yarn, hosted by The Yarn Cake.  This two-day yarn festival hosts a wonderful range of workshops, a design competition and a very “enabling worthy” marketplace.   Needless to say I was very excited to be getting out on a little adventure, especially seeing as the adventure involved yarn.

The day was far more than just a “yarny” adventure though.  I was to be helping out on the MSF p/hop stand, a brilliant way to combine my love of yarn with a brilliant initiative to raise money for a very worthy cause.

I arrived very early on Saturday morning and found the stand wonderfully organised by Angela, my fellow p/hop volunteer who worked on Friday.  We had a huge selection of patterns on offer and many beautiful samples of all the designs, including some rather cute little reindeers that I became rather attached to.

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Rudolph that reindeer, by Judith Baser

Angela reported that Friday had been busy so I braced myself for a busy day. Early on people started arriving, completely soaked thanks to the Glasgow rain, and our stall was there to welcome them in from the cold and wet.  Antje had given us prime spot right by the entrance, it was perfect.

In addition to the patterns we also had a raffle with magnificent prizes. The idea was started by Lilith from Old Maiden Aunt who presented us with a prize consisting of four skeins of Corriedale specially dyed in any colourway and a book of raffle tickets (talk about super organised).  The generosity of the knitting community brought many other prizes flowing in and by the time I arrived on Saturday morning the prize stash was pretty impressive.

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Yummy raffle prizes!

The final prize selection included:

Old Maiden Aunt – four skeins dyed to order for the lucky winner)
The Yarn Yard – six skeins of lace weight
A Peppermint Penguin – project bag
Liz Lovick – CD with 250 Shetland Lace designs and stitch marker brooch
Skein Queen – skein of lace weight yarn
And Sew To Knit – project bag
Susan Sharpe Ceramics – set of buttons

Angela and I conducted the prize draw on Saturday afternoon once we had sold out of raffle tickets.  The raffle was such a success that we had to get Antje to dash off to The Yarn Cake and grab another book of tickets.  We drew a good crowd for the prize draw that even involved live phone calls to the winners … much to the amusement of onlookers in the hall.  There were four very happy prizewinners and a huge chunk of cash raised for MSF, which was the aim of the day really.

The day was chock full of highlights for me, I had an absolute ball chatting to all the knitters and discussing people’s projects, pattern picks and yarn acquisitions with them.  One of the main highlights for me was a visit from Louise and George from The Yarn Garden. They had travelled over from the NE of England to visit the event and bring a very special donation to us. When selling their beautiful yarn at recent yarn events they had also been collecting funds for MSF in exchange for patterns, designed by the fabulous Annie from  Knitsofacto.  They arrived with a carefully sealed box of donations. We unwrapped it and counted up the contents – £38.40 from generous knitters to add to our grand total. Impressive work!

George & Louise at GsoY

George and Louise (The Yarn Garden) after handing over their donation

While they did not have a stall at GSOY I hear they have a pretty impressive “Garden style” stall at yarn shows and I am looking forward to treating myself to some of their squishy yarn very soon.

In total the generous knitting community visiting the Glasgow School of Yarn raised a whopping £733.94 for MSF!

That is certainly worth celebrating!

Thank you to everyone who popped along to say hi, donated for patterns and bought raffle tickets.

Fundraising events in October

October is quite a busy month for yarny fundraising events in aid of MSF.

Friday 18 & Saturday 19 October

The ever popular Glasgow School of Yarn is taking place, once again, at the Mackintosh Church from 10 am to 6 pm on both days.  We will have a P/Hop stall there, manned by fabulous volunteers: Angela (angelabdc on Ravlery)  on Friday and Clare (knitsforklipskaap on Ravelry and from Yarn and Pointy Sticks) on Saturday.  Thank you so much for volunteering ladies.  If anyone fancies helping them out for an hour or two, you will be most welcome, just pop along to the stall.

GlasgowSchoolofYarnIdent

Saturday 19 October

Melinda (melindaj on Ravelry) is hosting a knit and crochet day, where you can craft and natter, at Accrington Library and will be accepting donations on behalf of P-Hop.  I’m not too sure of the details, but if you wish to go and would like to know more, please contact Melinda through Ravelry.  Her user name is Melindaj.

 

Sunday 27 October

Loop, in Islington, is having ‘The Big Yarn Swap‘ at their beautiful shop on Sunday afternoon, from 2pm until 4pm.  Please see their Facebook page for details, but here’s a taster of what they say:

Yarn, haberdashery, knitting & Crochet books are all welcome! It will begin at 2pm with browsing beforehand from 1:30pm. The idea is that it’s a great time to de-stash to get ready for Winter knitting and crochet projects and just have a bit of fun while getting some really fantastic bargains. We will have cakes and tea and coffee but please feel free to bring some yummy cookies etc if the baking urge strikes!’

You can read all about the last yarn swap in our post: Yarn Swapping at Loop

 

Loop Yarn Swap for MSF

Susan and Juju eating cake at the last yarn swap

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!

Crochet Bonanza!

OK bonanza is an over exaggeration – but we have, not just one new crochet pattern, but TWO.  Yes! TWO brand new crochet patterns to get your hooks waving.

We have a lovely triangular lace-weight shawl from Katherine Mills of Redclover Crochet and a fabulous retro baby buggy blanket by Helen Westerby, aka ThredHED.

October Leaves Baby Blanket 2

The October Leaves Shawl and the Retro Baby… Buggy Blanket

For more info click on the links below:

The Retro Baby… Buggy Blanket by Helen Westerby

October Leaves Shawl by Katherine Mills

We are thrilled that these two designers have donated their patterns to raise much needed funds for MSF.  A lot of work goes in to pattern design, so please remember to make a donation so they know how much their work is apprecitated.

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!