Lighting the Knit Signal – Philippines Appeal


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.


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


Award giving p/hop

Last week Natalie (founder of p/hop) and I (p/hop coordinator) headed to Shoreditch town hall for the 2012 Just Giving awards.

Natalie and I had been on the judging panel for this year’s awards and had been invited to the ceremony which was a great honour.

The evening began with a drinks reception. We ddin’t know very many people there though people kept on smiling at us. For ages I couldn’t work out why until it dawned on me it’s because I am on the Just Giving website. Durr.

p/hop was well represented throughout the night.

Firstly, at the start of the awards the video encouraging people to take part in the awards was played. Jane Lithgow aka probablyJane, designer of three fantastic p/hop patterns, Cranford Mitts, Karenina Socks and Spiral Socks, looked brilliant on the huge screen.

You can watch the video here.

We had a lovely evening with good food and company. Pudding was a tasty carmel desert plate: hot sticky toffee pudding, caramel opera (?), banana banoffee pie and toffee ice cream. Yum yum yum.

True to form we knitted. I had cast on a Molly Weasley’s sock and Natalie was making a colourful toe-up sock.

There were some pretty inspiring people recieving awards. I didn’t take photos of all of them but you can read all about them on the Just Giving website.

I did take a photo of Dave Heely collecting his award who runs marathons, and cycles huge distances to raise money for Marie Curie, which is an impressive feat in itself but it even more admirable as Dave is completely blind.

Bob Wilson, footballer, brought a tear to my eye describing the personal interaction he had with parents of cancer patients on his cycle ride around England.

One person who deserves a very special mention is Harry Moseley’s mum. Harry was an inspiring eleven year old boy who sadly lost his battle with cancer last year. Despite having a debilitating brain tumour Harry raised a staggering £85,000 for charity and his mum accepted his Lifetime achievement award on his behalf. She was incredible and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end of her acceptance speech.

Natalie presented an award…

and looked fabulous on the big screen…

…and speaking of fabulous, we had an absolutely fabulous person on our table, the lovely Joanna Lumley.

When she arrived she grinned at me knitting and made a knitting gesture. Natalie later discovered that she knits before going on stage as it calms her down.

I really wish we could have had every p/hopper at the awards as it was a lovely, yes fabulous darling, evening and I hope we represented you all there. One thing Natalie and I both noticed this year is that the nominees were mostly individual fundraisers which reinforced our belief that p/hop really is special in that so many people can contribute to it. And as Jane says, “it’s the less sweaty way to give”.

I took a video on the night to give you a feel of the atmosphere. It’s not great quality but it will give you an idea.

Finally a big thank you to the Just Giving team for a wonderful evening and for all their support for p/hop.

And the winner is…

On a rainy Thursday evening I squeezed onto a packed bus up to Holloway, skipped over puddles and headed to the mighty Emirates Stadium.

Just Giving Awards - Emirates Stadium

As you probably know p/hop was nominated for Most Creative Fundraiser at the Just Giving Awards, so I soon was transported from rainy London to the swish entertainment room of the stadium.

The evening began with a glass of bucks fizz and a spot of knitting gazing out on to the Arsenal pitch, which had lamps on it to make the grass grow at night. Who knew they did that!

Just Giving Awards

Pete and I pretended to be at a game, I’m supporting Flowers in the Rain (one of our samples which I borrowed for the evening) and Pete looks miserable because Arsenal haven’t won anything for ages.

Just Giving Awards

We enjoyed a delicious meal and good conversation with the other nominees at our table. I managed to squeeze in our unofficial motto, “p/hop the less sweaty way to give” while talking to someone who organises charity bike rides.

Just Giving Awards

As well as Flowers in the Rain being at the awards Natalie had a gorgeous Trinity Shawlette which her friend Paraknit had made especially for the occasion, again demonstrating how generous knitters are.

Just Giving Awards

After dinner there was a superb and heartfelt performance by the Choir With No Name which is made up of homeless and vulnerably housed people. Please take a moment to visit their website as they are truly inspiring.

Choir With No Name

Then the nerves set in as it was award time. Being part of the Just Giving Awards was a humbling experience as we were among wonderful and inspiring people and many of the stories of how people started fund raising brought a tear to my eye. The other finalists in our category were great fund raising ideas (You can read about the Davenant Slum Survivor Team and  Gabrielle Latham & Joanne Hall’s Big Wheel Lock-in fundraiser on the Just Giving website) so I had no idea who would win.

I was caught completely unawares when Natalie’s name was called out so only got this photo of her collecting it. She made a brilliant acceptance speech about how knitting a jumper starts with just one stitch, then you knit another, and another and it grows, which is how p/hop has happened. It’s thoroughly deserved and well done to Natalie for coming up with such a brilliant idea. Keep an ear out on your local radio as you might hear Natalie talking about p/hop as she’s done loads of interviews over the last 48 hours.

Just Giving Awards

I did get a better photo later on once we’d calmed down…

Just Giving Awards

and we had to show the award with some knitting!

Just Giving Awards

Awards aside, something just as momentous happened last night. Watch this video to see more…

It was a great evening and we’d like to thank Just Giving, firstly for helping to make fund-raising so easy and secondly for a lovely event.

Finally we’d like to say a  HUGE thank you to everyone who has made this happen. I hope you know p/hop isn’t about a few people, it’s about a whole community, so if you’ve done something, no matter how small, pat yourself on the back and say “I did this”.

BRILLIANT! Now what’s next?

If you look to the right…

…you will see our new video made by Ghadas who is a nurse working for MSF in Nigeria who is also a fan of the fibre arts.

Once you’ve watched Hadas’s video scroll down and check our current out UK total. Not bad eh? I was hoping we’d reach our £23,000 target in time for the Just Giving Awards but didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I suspect this has something to do with a knitterly meet up in York last weekend (more on that coming soon!).

I took a moment to gaze at the percentage total at 101%, but like MSF we don’t sit still for long (unless knitting or crocheting of course) so I’ve upped the target to £25,000.

When you watch Hadas’s video you may notice a slight irregularity, though looking the the granny squares in the video brings me on to what’s happening in our Ravelry group. Every year the group comes together making blankets for the festivals we attend. Currently there are four, yes four, on the go covering 3 weights of yarn and two crafts. If you like knitting or crocheting please feel free to join in. The main blanket thread is here which has links to the four projects at the top of the page.

I wonder how much p/hop will have raised by the end of 2011, sending more brilliant and committed people like Hadas into the field. Nice work knitters and crocheters.