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!! :)

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


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! 😀 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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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


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



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

42,000 whole pounds! Whoop!


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!


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.


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.


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.

Win with p/hop: Day 2

This competition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered. Congratulations to Natalie from Richmond who was chosen by randomly number generator from everyone who replied with the answer Sam’s team delivered 3451 babies.

Thank  for all the great comments to which came with your emails.

Our day two prize is out of this world! You could win this marvellous Doctor Who print Japanese Knot project bag from the talented NicsKnots and a one-off skein of Sparkleduck‘s interstellar Galaxy 4ply yarn.

Sonic screwdrivers at the ready! For a chance to win these stellar prizes visit the inspiring MSF Delivers website which follows the work of Midwife Sam Perkins in DR Congo, and answer the following question:

Question: How many babies did Sam’s team deliver last year? We are looking for an exact number so you will need to take a good look around the website to find the correct answer.

Email your answer to p-hop@london.msf.org with the subject “MSF Delivers” by 10am (GMT) on Monday 5th December.

Come back on Monday for another chance to win a brilliant prize!



1) Competition ends at 10am (GMT) on Monday 5th December 2011

2) Winners will be drawn from all correct answers by random number generator and notified by email. Prizes will be sent by post.
3) Competition open to everyone, including people outside UK.
4) No cash alternatives
5) One entry per person per competition.

MSF Delivers – Delivered

MSF’s new arrival is here. It’s a bouncing bundle of joy and an inspiring campaign to highlight the work British field volunteers do with MSF. MSF Delivers focuses on midwife Sam Perkins who spent 9 months working in a MSF maternity unit in Masisi, a war torn area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From Thursday 22nd til Tuesday 27th September you can see the incredible 3D photo-film MSF put together with film-makers duckrabbit to tell the story of Sam’s work. A 3D photo-film I hear you cry! What is that?

MSF often use photo films to show the work they achieve. Sometimes the stillness of an image can say more than an action packed film shot.  In practical terms video cameras are often cumbersome and guzzle energy which can be a problem in remote areas so photo cameras can be more accessible. 3D photography is an emerging technique and once the images are edited together it can create a compelling new medium. Pete and I went to the launch of the film last night where we donned futuristic specs to watch the film.

The film is excellent and inspiring. Seeing the determination of Sam, her team, and the women who use the clinic – often cross dangerous front lines on foot while in labour – made me very proud to play my small role in fund-raising for MSF.  I hope it will do the same for you too.

The 3D film is on in Spitafields Market in London from 10am til 6pm,  Thursday 22nd til Tuesday 27th September and only takes 6 minutes to watch so you can easily fit it into a lunch break or sightseeing at the weekend.

If you can’t make it to London there are several insightful short films about Sam’s work and the lives of women in Masisi on  the MSF Delivers website which is well worth a look.

I was in the MSF office when MSF Delivers was being put together. Imagine my delight when I was shown this:

Credit to Yasuyoshi Chiba

Part of the work the clinic in Masisi does  is identifying at risk pregnancies such as breech birth and twins. Women who are found to be at risk of a complicated delivery are invited to live at the clinic from their 8th month of pregnancy onwards so help will be immediately available when they go into labour. While they are at the clinic they are offered health education covering labour, birth control, disease prevention and other skills, and they are also taught how to knit!

copyright Yasuyoshi Chiba

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba

As we all know knitting has great benefits. In Masisi, the women make clothes for their new babies and it also helps pass the time in the build up to the birth date. If you’ve been pregnant, or have followed friend’s pregnancies, you’ll remember how tense the waiting can be. I’m hoping to find more about these knitters and their teacher and we will have more images to share with you very soon.

I like Sam’s quote from the MSF Delivers website about child birth:

The pain, anticipation, exhaustion, fear and excitement are the same for all women – whether in Northampton or Nairobi. What isn’t is access to trained medical staff, care, surgical interventions, drugs and materials.”

While knitting usually isn’t as life changing as childbirth there is that connection between all of us. The casting on, the marvelling at producing your first few rows of garter stitch, the magic of wielding sticks to change string into fabric.

copyright Yasuyoshi Chiba

Familiar look of concentration Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba

We are all knitters. Sadly not all of us have access to basic necessities. This is why I support MSF.

If you feel inspired by this please do spread the work about MSF Delivers.  I don’t have midwifery skills but if I pass on the message to my friends and family that will be a few more people helping to support people like Sam.

MSF Delivers

MSF are launching an exciting new campaign next week which focuses on childbirth, called MSF Delivers. See what they did there, clever isn’t it!

To launch MSF Delivers MSF have made a superb 3D photofilm following MSF midwife Sam and her work in Congo. I’ve seen a preview without the 3D and it is excellent. You are all invited to view the film from 22nd – 27th September, 3d specs included, at Spitafields market, where it will be showing from 9am til 7pm everyday. The film lasts 6 minutes so if you are in the area it is easy to pop in and watch an incredible story unfold in  a lunchbreak or after work.

If you can’t make it to London there will be plenty of information on the MSF Delivers website which is coming soon.

We have some tie ins with p/hop coming next week to coincide with the launch of MSF Delivers. Watch this space…