Getting ready for Glasgow School of Yarn

Although we’re based in MSF’s London office, here at p/hop we know that knitters do travel!  We like to head on the road to as many knitting and fibre events around the country as possible each year.  It’s a great opportunity to step out from behind the computer screen and catch up with knitters and crocheters face to face, including so many people who have helped out p/hop through donations.  Over the year there are so many yarny shows happening from north to south that there’s no way that one person could possibly attend them all.

That’s when our amazing p/hop volunteers from far and wide step in.

This upcoming weekend is the fab Glasgow School of Yarn.  Due to my pesky day job getting in the way, I won’t be able to attend in person, but the wonderful Clare has stepped in to organise everything so that p/hop can be there.  She’s taken the lead, recruited some other local p/hoppers to help out, and she’ll be making sure that the p/hop stall is running smoothly across the weekend.  Glasgow School of Yarn has always been a great event for p/hop and raises much-needed money for MSF’s work, so I’m chuffed that Clare is at the helm.

 

GSoY 2014(2)

 

Just because I’m not going to be physically there, doesn’t mean I’m kicking back doing nothing!  I’ve been busy getting our show kit ready to send up to Clare.  A big part of this involves printing off lots of patterns that knitters then “buy” for a donation (although if you like to save paper and knit from a digital gadget, you can always download p/hop patterns here).  We’ve now got over 60 patterns available, and we like being able to show what they look like knitted up.  Cue the photo of me scrabbling in the floor sorting out all our lovely knitted samples:

 

sample sorting

If you’re lucky enough to be in Glasgow this weekend, please do stop by the p/hop stand and discover some fabulous patterns.

 

Hi there, p/hoppers!

You may recall that a month or two ago, the call was put out to the community for someone to volunteer as the brand new volunteer p/hop co-ordinator.  Well, I heard the call, I sent in my application, and here I am, fresh in to the role.  Ta-da!

 

Larissa p:hop

 

My “real” name is Larissa, but I’m also known around knitterly places as travelknitter.  You might see me posting under either name from time to time.

I’ve known about p/hop for a long time now, ever since I first spoke with Clare at a knitting event several years ago.  Since then I’ve been quietly supporting p/hop in different ways, and looking back, the ways have been many and varied!  At various points I’ve helped out with the following:  helping set up the p/hop stall; knitting display samples; providing transport to shows; donating yarn to p/hop swaps (oh, and purchasing quite a bit of hopped yarn too!), and one time I even helped out with accommodation at Woolfest a couple of years ago when we were caught up in floods and landslides!  Good times.

The list of different ways I’ve been involved with p/hop over the years I think is a good reflection of just how much p/hop is really community-driven.   I love the way that people in the knitting and crochet community all pull together to make it happen.  The project is completely run on volunteer creativity and input, and as a community we’ve managed to raise nearly £50 000 for MSF.  Pretty amazing, huh?  That’s what makes p/hop so special, and why I’m so thrilled to be the new co-ordinator.

I’ve seen how Kate has done an amazing job over the last year-and-a-bit and I’ve very excited to be taking over where she left off.  I’m looking forward to getting to know lots of other p/hoppers, so please do say hello!

 

 

Celebrity at P/Hop stall!

I have yet to get feedback following the delights of Unwind Brighton – will keep you posted on funds raised as soon as I know!

I do know, however, that we had a celebrity visitor to our stall.  Lynda from The Great British Sewing Bee, with her daughter, Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch.

Lynda at Unwind

Great British Sewing Bee’s Lynda, wearing a P/Hop sample

Lynda and daughter at UnwindLynda being styled by her daughter, Sarah

Our wonderful volunteer Heather (aka Nearlythere on her blog and Ravelry) took these pictures.

Heather also wrote a lovely little blog about being a P/Hop volunteer at a show.  You can read that here: P/Hop: putting the fun in fundraising at Unwind Brighton

Wonderful Heather loved volunteering so much that she did it again at Fibre East – THANKS so much Heather!! :)

Goodbye and thank you Kate, hello (insert your name here?)

Kate, your excellent p/hop coordinator, has sadly got to step down from her role in September due to work commitments. I’ll be really sorry to see her go as she’s done sterling work and gone above and beyond to continue p/hop’s success.

On the bright side, this opens up a great opportunity for someone else to volunteer running the best knitting and crochet fundraiser in the world. Could this be you?

“What does running p/hop entail?” I hear you ask. You can  download the role description here which has all the details in:

To give you a more personal idea of what running a woolly fundraiser takes read on dear reader, read on.

What does this role involve?

1) Running this blog, sharing the latest news with p/hop fans worldwide though social media and raising awareness about MSF’s awesome life-saving work!

2) Light touch pattern editing (mostly formatting to add the p/hop blurb) photo editing and coming up with creative ways to get people involved.
3) Occasionally taking p/hop on the road, meeting lots of delightful fibre-folk…
Me (Kate) standing proudly in front of my first P/Hop stall

Kate standing proudly in front of the P/Hop stall at Fibre East 2013

… yes, there may be sheep …
Woolfest sheep
…and you will end up being surrounded by squishy knitware samples.

Where do you do this?

Ideally we’d like you to come into the MSF office in Clerkenwell, London, so we’d prefer someone who lives reasonably near. MSF will pay your travel expenses and you get a lunch allowance. When I ran p/hop I found it really interesting coming into the office and learnt a lot about how a humanitarian aid agency works. Plus there is often cake and the people who work there are really friendly. There are occasional language courses and interesting talks which you are welcome to attend. And tea, lots of tea (or hot beverage of choice).

Who will I work with?

Me, based in the communications team (stop press!) as well as our friendly fundraising team.

How will I know what to do?

Training will be provided. Once you are up and running a certain level of independence and self motivation is required. The team will always be on hand to help (though most people in the office don’t know anything about knitting. The philistines.)

Have any more questions?

Kate’s the best person to answer your questions as she’s been running p/hop for the last year. You can email her here p-hop@london.msf.org

Knit in Public Week

Kate knittig in public

Kate (aka Katestwirl) knitting in public

It’s World Wide Knit in Public Week, apparently!  So get out there and show off your yarny skills to the World at large!!

I haven’t had too much time but I managed to knit in a restaurant on Saturday.

I was also knitting these lovely stripey babies on the train on my way to MSF/P/hop this morning.  I love knitting socks on the move, they are just so portable, especially if using magic loop rather than DPNs.  I even managed to keep knitting whilst changing trains and platforms at London Bridge – That’s proper knitting dedication that is!

Kate's portable sock knitting

Kate’s portable sock knitting

 

 

If the urge to knit some very portable socks hits you, then here are plenty P/Hop sock patterns to choose from!  Here’s a small selection – click on the photo to go straight to the pattern page.

Molly Weasley's Gift Socks by Susan Sharpe

Molly Weasley’s Gift Socks by Susan Sharpe

 

Spiral socks by Jane Lithgow

Spiral socks by Jane Lithgow

 

 

Wimbledon Footlets

Wimbledon Footlets by Ros Clarke

 

Of if those 3 beauties don’t suit you, there are lots more on our sock pattern page.

Happy knitting in public!

:)

Get ready for a Commonwealth Knit-a-long!

Glasgow at night.  Photo credit: TripAdvsor

Glasgow at night. Photo credit: TripAdvsor

The Commonwealth Games is being hosted in Glagsow, Scotland from 23 July to 3 August 2014.  We think it’s the perfect excuse for a p/hop knit-a-long. – So get your knit on whilst watching energetic types on the telly and helping those in need, all at the same time – now that’s what I call multi-tasking!

It’s time to dive in your stash or otherwise source your yarn for a Commonwealth Knit-a-long for p/hop.

So what are we knitting?

The Dear Green Shawl by Anna Fisk.  It is perfect because it was designed as a celebration of Glasgow and donated to p/hop to raise funds for MSF.  The shawl is also a prize winner from the Glasgow School of yarn, so definitely has good Scottish credentials.

This is what Anna says about her pattern: “Glasgow’s name means ‘dear green place’. The city’s coat of arms and motto refer to the stories of its patron saint, St. Mungo: ‘this is the bird that never flew / this is the tree that never grew / this is the bell that never rang / this is the fish that never swam.  The shawl uses lace motifs representing a bird in flight, a tree, and a bell, ending with the traditional ‘Shetland’ fishtail lace pattern.”

Dear "Blue" Shawl knitted by SuLam as a sample for P/Hop - Thanks Su!

Dear “Blue” Shawl knitted by SuLam as a sample for P/Hop – Thanks Su!

How does it work?

1. Download the knitting pattern from the pattern page by clicking here;

2.  Make a donation (in any currency) based on the hours of pleasure you think you’ll get from the knit-a-long, by clicking on the JustGiving link on the right;

3. Choose your yarn (hardest bit);

4. Pop over to our Ravelry group, say hello to us all and tell us which yarn you’re using in our Knit-a-long thread;

5. Cast on on the 23rd July and knit your socks off until 3 August;

6. Have fun sharing your pictures, yarn choice(s), queries, failures and triumphs and generally chatting over on the Ravelry page or tweet and instagram using the hashtag #Commonwealthknitalong.

P/Hop needs you!

KnitSignal

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 – p-hop@london.msf.org

 

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!

Hat
High Line

Mitts
Jacqueline

Scarf
The Diamond Dot Scarf

Crochet
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.

Knit Now

We were delighted when the  fabulous Kate Heppel from Knit Now magazine rang to offer us a whole page in this excellent magazine.  Publicity is very much appreciated by MSF & P/hop.  The more people who know of P/Hop and our patterns, the more money and awareness we can raise for MSF and the more people we can help.

We are featured in issue 33 on page 77. 

Knit Now

I think the advert looks fantastic.  It’s great at creating awareness of MSF (Medecine sans Frontieres/Doctors withour borders) and shows off a couple of our lovely patterns.

Knit Now Issue 33 April 2014

The two patterns featured are The Diamond Dot Scarf by Kate Ellis (Katestiwrl) and the Rerto Baby… Buggy Blanket by Helen Westerman (thredHED).  You can down load them by clicking on the links below:

The Diamond Dot Scarf

Retro Baby… Buggy Blanket

Please don’t forget to make a donation.

THANK YOU KNIT NOW.

 

What does £45,000 buy?

Well is doesn’t seem very long since I blogged about hitting our last target and here we are again with a whopping

£45,000!

It truly is amazing how wonderful and generous our knitty and crochety supporters are.  I am thrilled to be coordinating such a wonderful fundraising effort and you wonderful people have made me very popular in the MSF London office – they keep feeding me cake! I like cake! :D It’s such a shame that I cannot share it with you all!

On a more serious note, I thought you might like an idea of what P/Hopping can provide to assist MSF’s valuable work in the field – this is what our £45,000 can buy:

 

Your fundraising while knitting and nattering can supply 12 cholera treatment centres, vital in managing the treatment of severely sick cholera patients.

Knitting  …   becomes…

MSB5175_530

Photograper: Rocío González Bernal
Title: Cholera in Kamanyola, Bukavu, DRC

 

Your donations for patterns can buy two and a half Médecins Sans Frontières jeeps, equipped to deliver medical aid to the remotest of areas.

Pattern surfing … becomes…

MSF126928_530

Photographer: Jason Van Dyke

Caption:  The exhausted team back in Lankien after the ten hour return walk.

 

Your yarn swapping events can send a surgeon to the front line of armed conflicts or disasters for 122 weeks (that’s more than 2 years!).

YarnCakeSwapIdent …  becomes…

MSB5259_530

Photographer: Mathieu Fortoul

Title: Hôpital Communautaire de Bangui

Caption: Surgeon Bernard Leménager operating on a patient admitted for a gunshot wound.

 

Your stash diving for yarn to donate to swaps can provide antibiotics to treat 30,000 war wounded people.

not a bad collection...

… becomes…

MSB6002_530

Photographer: Laurence Hoenig

Caption:  Hassanya Yaya – 12. She was shot. The bullet touched her under the eye and killed the passenger who was sitting next to her in the bus. She doesn’t know where her parents are. Garoua-Boulaï Hospital in Cameroon.

 

Your donations at yarn shows can provide life-saving anti-malaria treatment to over 150,000 children.

P1010585 … becomes…

MSF125450_530

Photographer: Corinne Baker

Caption:   MSF’s malaria outreach team testing and treating people for malaria in Apada village, outside Aweil town, Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal state.

 

Your crocheting of P/Hop patterns can help vaccinate 261,320 children against measles in susceptible areas.

Baby Blanket 1… becomes…

MSB7007_530

Photographer: Florence Fermon

Caption:  An estimated 6,000 refugees who fled violence in CAR settled in Bitoye in southern Chad. MSF provides refugees in camp Bitoye primary health care and, in February 2014, conducted a vaccination campaign against measles, meningitis A and polio.

 

Thank you – please keep P/Hopping!

For more ways to get involved, look at our Get Involved page

 

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.