Fibre East – Thank You!

Once again I had a fabulous time at Fibre East meeting and chatting with lots of lovely supporters.  Thank you so much to Janet Ellison and her army of fabulous volunteers for another great show.  We raised a wonderful £376.75.


The stall which raised £376.75 in donations

It was hot again this year, but that didn’t deter the fibre fanciers from coming for a great day out.  There was lots to do besides shop for yarn, patterns, needles and notions, spinning wheels, drop spindles, fleece (washed/unwashed/dyed/undyed/carded/uncarded… – very complicated world is spinning…).  Once again there was a great demonstration of sheep shearing on the field and you could buy the fleece after meeting the sheep!!  I was lucky enough to watch the demonstration whilst sitting under a tree eating my lunch – thanks for Judith (aka Jabberknit) and Tina (aka WickedWoolyWitch) for standing in for me.


sheep – waiting patiently in the heat to be shaun!

The site of the show is at Redbourne Community College and they have a small farm, which was open!  I loved my wander around the farm on Sunday when Jacqui (aka Tiggerbee ) and Heather (aka nearlythere )were manning the stall.  I love volunteers!!


Some less than usual “guests” at Fibre East

Fibre East 2013 was the first stand I ran as P/Hop Coordinator and, as some of you may know by now, Fibre East 2014 was also my last!  How sad, but also quite nice.  I have thoroughly loved being the P/hop person over the last year and a bit and am sad to be moving on, but my lifestyle has changed an I no longer have enough time to do the role justice.  If you can spare a day a week, love social media and all things knitty, then perhaps you could apply.  All details here.

P/Hop needs you!


Lighting the Knit Signal!


There are lots of brilliant ways that you can help P/Hop to raise funds for MSF.  P/Hop was set up as a community project, so that lots of people could get involved.  I donate one day a week plus additional work when we have shows to do, but there is so much more we could do with your help.

Besides downloading our patterns for a donation, or giving us a donation at a yarn show, there are several other ways that you can help raise funds for, and awareness of, MSF:


Get in touch / spread the word / Social Knitworking

We are always open to new ideas and fund-raising suggestions.  If you have a brilliant idea we would love to hear it.  Either start a thread in our Ravelry group,  email us, tweet us @msf_phop or post it on our Facebook page.  If you do have a great idea, we’d like you to help run it – there’s only me volunteering for one day a week so we’d like all the help we can get.

We’d also love you to share amusing or interesting knit/crochet/yarn – funny cats etc so please do.


 Ask your LYS to stock some P/Hop patterns

The lovely George and Louise from YarnGarden have a selection of our patterns available for donations – we think this is a great idea.  So, if you own a yarn store or rung stalls at various shows (or are friendly with someone who does), perhaps you could download a selction of our our patterns, direct from our website, and make them available in-store for a donation to MSF.  You could also use our patterns to showcase your beautiful yarns.  We’d be happy to send you some MSF literature and a collection box.  Please email us if you would like more information.

George & Louise at GsoY

George and Louise from YarnGarden handing over their pattern donations


Volunteer to help run a stall for an hour or two

P/Hop currently have stalls booked at the following events and would love some helpers:

Woolfest in Cockermouth, Cumbria Friday 27 & Saturday 28 June

Unwind Brighton Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 July

Firbre East  near Bedford Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July

I will be going to both Woolfest and Fibre East and would love some of you to help for a while – to get to meet you and so I can take the odd loo break! 😉

Sadly I cannot make it to Brighton.  We have a few volunteers already, but I need to make sure that we have enough to cover the whole event.  The wonderful Hilltop Katie from Hilltop Cloud has offered to take our stall things to and from the show, but we’d like a couple of volunteers to set up the stall (it’s really quite easy and I’ll give you full instructions) and to take it down and pack it away.  Please email me if you think you can help.  Kate Ellis, p/hop Coordinator –


Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall

Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall


Run a P/Hop stall at your local yarn show

Whilst we’d love to attend all the wonderful fibre events around the country, we simply don’t have the resources.  However if you would like to run a stall at a yarn fair for P/Hop we would love it.  We’ll be able to guide you and send literature on MSF, collection buckets and stickers and some sample knits etc.  Please email us if you are interested.


Hold a P/Hop Yarn Swap or other event

Get a few like minded people together in your area and hold a yarn swap – well any kind of swap really.  If each person takes some yarn or craft books which they no longer want they can swap them for something that someone else has bought.  You can ask everyone to make a donation to be able to take part.   Check out the yarn swaps that have already raised loads of money and awareness for MSF.

If you are holding a knitting, crochet or other fibre related event for MSF please let us know, we would love you to write a blog post about your event, both publicizing it and writing a review of it for this blog.  We can help share your event on Twitter and Facebook.


Design and donate a pattern

We wouldn’t get far with our fundraising if we didn’t have lovely designers donating their patterns to us.  We are always looking for new patterns, so whether you’re an experienced designer or just starting out, please get in touch if you’d like to give us your pattern.

Our submission guidelines are here.


Whip up a sample

We find that patterns are more popular at shows if there’s a sample or two of the fnished article on display.  We are currently looking for samples of the following patterns, but any samples are always greatfully recieved!

High Line


The Diamond Dot Scarf

Retro Baby Buggy Blanket
October Leaves


This is a community project, the more knitters and crocheters put in, the more MSF and the people they help get out.

Thank you.

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 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.


Fabulous Fun at Fibre East

Well, we are back from Fibre East and have recovered from the busy weekend.  We had a great time catching up with supporters and meeting new ones.

I was there all day on Saturday and Clare all day Sunday and quite a good chunk of Saturday too.  I had a great time, even though it was scorchingly hot.  I was ever so grateful that our part of the marquee had a “window” in it, so we did manage a little bit of a breeze.  The “window” also set off our shawl samples really well, which were blowing in the breeze on a washing line, with the sun shining through the lace stitches.

P/Hop shawls at Fibre East

As usual, we were helped by an army of supporters on both days.  I would like to give special thanks to Liz (aka Lzi on Ravelry), who drove Clare, me and all our stuff to Bedford, helped us set up and did a stint on the stand, and helped to pack up (make the stall rain safe) before driving me all the way home again!  I would also like to thank Judith (Jude00) and Mandy (Millywipstash) for helping set up and for folding lots of patterns and Jo (aka Shinybees) for helping on the stand, not forgetting Jane (ProbablyJane) who was a big  help at the end of the day.  I’m sure that Clare would like to thank lots of people too and will probably do that in the comments below! :)

It really wasn’t the weather to be wearing your knits, but the lovely and brave Tiger Bee donned her Spiral Socks, by Jane Lithgow, especially for us to take a photo!


Natalie (artandcraftlover) cleverly got around the heat wave by wearing a Teeny Tiny Teddy pinned to herself for us!


An the lovely Terri (designer donator of the Jacob Beanie) stopped by  to show us her knitting

Terri showing off her knitting and Jacob Beanie pattern


It wasn’t all fun and catching up, we also raised over £460 for MSF  – all in the name of yarn!


Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall


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!

Come and meet us at Fibre East!

The festival season is in full swing so this weekend,  Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July the P-Hop roadshow will find itself in (we hope) sunny Bedfordshire for the second Fibre East festival which promises to be even bigger and better than last year.

Fibre East is held at Scald End Farm, Thurleigh near Bedford. It is a proper, working farm with a farm shop. We will be in Marquee C on Stall 25. We will have our full range of patterns with us plus some new samples. Look out particularly for some of our new patterns, especially the Ermintrude Mitts and Teeny Tiny Teddies – these were so popular at Woolfest that we ran out of patterns for both of these so come early!

Finally, if anyone would like to volunteer to help on the stall we would be very grateful – please get in touch here or on our Ravelry group.

Fabulous Fibre East 2011

At the end of July p/hop went on the road again. This time not far from London but far enough for it to feel like another country. The day started bright (or should that be bleary) eyed at St Pancras station where I met fellow p/hopper and designer extraordinare ProbablyJane who helped me carry p/hop on the train to Bedford. After a relaxing journey and several cups of coffee we were met by the equally marvellous SarahAbroad and her lovely husband who drove us through idyllic countryside to Scald End Farm where brand new festival Fibre East was taking place.

The fresh country air was invigorating and we soon had our stand set up in one of the marquees, where RosClarke, designer of the Cantab socks and Cricket Tea Cosy, joined in the fun. There was some minor faffing and adjustment, mostly about which direction our sock samples should face, but we were ready and raring to go. Most shows are fairly quiet in the first hour or so so we were overwhelmed by a huge wave of eager knitters who descended on us at 10:01am. It was brilliant that a new event was so popular and the day flew by.

I had planned on raffling the blankets made by our Ravelry group, as displayed here, however we were so busy talking about MSF and explaining how p/hop worked that we didn’t have time to sell any tickets. We’ll come up with another way to use them as they are lovely so keep an eye here for news.

We met lots of familiar faces and plenty of new ones. Despite being busy we found time to have a look at the other stands and it was great spotting people who had picked up one of our patterns choosing yarn to make their new project. I really enjoyed the range of stands at the show and there were lots of demonstrations to see too, such as sheep shearing, a giant spinning wheel and plenty of animals. On the Sunday Wrigglefingers ran a couple of workshops on fleece preparation, fibre blending and a ball winding service and asked participants for a donation to p/hop for her time which provided a generous addition to our fundraising. Thank you Wrigglefingers!

There were ducks and chickens wandering around behind our marquee who I enjoyed chatting to when I popped out for some fresh air. I can now say Médecins Sans Frontières in hen. The weather was glorious and there was a friendly & relaxed atmosphere with fibre fans enjoying sitting on the grass having a natter. There are many more photos of Fibre East on Flickr.

I’d like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the organisers of Fibre East who did a brilliant job, especially as it was their first ever show which was very well organised with a lovely friendly atmosphere, and also a massive thank you to Jane, Sarah and Ros for all their help and hard work (and to Sarah for putting me up on Saturday night, feeding me delicious curry, being my taxi service and providing the clothing rail for our samples) and finally an ENORMOUS thank you to everyone who stopped by our stand and made a donation.

We raised a marvellous £517.70 for MSF as well as lots of goodwill and awareness about the life saving work MSF do.

Since Fibre East I’ve received several new pattern donations so keep an eye here for new things to knit and change the world! Marvellous!

Dates for your diary 2011

First up is this fantastic event this Thursday in London:

What? Cholera treatment exhibition

When? Thursday 19th May, 5-9pm

Where? West Bank London, 133-137 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS, LONDON

What is it?

MSF are taking a unique and interactive exhibition to Glastonbury festival this year. They are previewing it this Thursday and will feature installations including a cholera treatment centre as used in Haiti, live music, photo exhibitions and live graffiti. There is more information about this on the MSF UK website.

MSF treating cholera in Haiti

MSF teams treating cholera patients in Saint-Marc, Artibonite region, Haiti. 10 October 2010 Photo by Eliza Currando (Image from

It would be great if lots of p/hoppers could go as it will be a fun evening as well as a great opportunity to learn more about the work MSF does with your fundraising money and a chance to chat to some MSF staff.

To attend please email


What? Affinity Yarns Open Studio

When? Sunday 12th June, 2-6pm

Where? AffinityYarns, Whittlesford, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

What is it?

Affinity Yarns are hosting an Open Studio event with proceeds going to to p/hop. You can chat to other knitters while enjoying tea, cake and yarn browsing. Ravelry members can get details here.

Image from Affinity Yarns Open Day in April

Please contact Affinity Yarns for further details.


We will have a stand at the following knitting festivals:

What? Woolfest 2011

When? Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June

Where? Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria

For more information please visit the Woolfest 2011 website.

What? KnitNation

When? 15th-17th July 2011

Where? Imperial College, South Kensington, London

For more information please visit the KnitNation2011 website.

What? Fibre East

When? Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th July

Where? Scald End Farm, Mill Road, Thurleigh, Bedfordshire

For more information please visit the Fibre East website.

What? Fibre Flurry

When? Friday 28th & Saturday 29th October

Where? Kings Norton, Birmingham

For more information please visit the Fibre Flurry website.

As always there will be the opporunity to help out on the p/hop stand for half a day. Please keep an eye on our Ravelry group for requests for volunteers.

If you are holding an event for p/hop we would love to hear about it. If you would like to host an event, eg a yarn swap event or tea party for MSF, but are unsure on how to get started please get in touch, we are more than happy to help.