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, tweeting social media awesomeness, sharing the latest news with p/hop fans worldwide and raising awareness about MSF’s awesome life-saving work!
2) Taking p/hop on the road, meeting lots of delightful fibre-folk…
… yes, there may be sheep …
…and you might end up being surrounded by squishy knitware samples.
3) Light touch pattern editing (mostly formatting to add the p/hop blurb) photo editing and coming up with creative ways to get people involved.
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.)
Jane, one of p/hop’s founders and coordinator, gave a great interview about p/hop with Knit Now magazine last month. You can read it online here. Thanks to the lovely people at Knit Now magazine for sharing p/hop with your readers.
Last month P/Hop was once again invited to have a stall at the Glasgow School of Yarn, organised by The Yarn Cake yarn shop. The event is held in the beautiful surroundings of The Mackintosh Church, with two days of classes, stalls, cake and masses and masses of knitters – how could we refuse?
Our table crammed with patterns and samples
Our stall had a lovely position in the marketplace so we were really able to show off all the wonderful samples that our supporters have so generously made for us. Mind you, we have so many patterns now that it is quite difficult to fit them all on the table!
Amazing display of P/hop shawls
We were pleased to be able to launch the Riviera Scarf by Rachel Atkinson. Keep an eye on the website as we will be making it available to everyone very soon.
There was a lovely atmosphere with plenty of space for knitters to come and decide on a P/Hop pattern, go and choose some yarn, have it wound for a P/Hop donation, settle down to knit then come over and see us if they needed help in getting started. Several people cast on Trinity shawls then and there and were helped to take their first steps in lace knitting.
Now to the best news of all - thanks to the warm support we got from the organisers, vendors, volunteers and knitters we raised a quite magnificent £773.39, more than twice the amount raised last year. We would particularly like to thank:
Natalie of The Yarn Yard for putting me up for the weekend and ferrying all our equipment about.
Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns for her very generous donation of a lucky dip of gorgeous sock and lace weight yarns which disappeared in a flash on Saturday!
Yes, P-Hop is on the road again, this time we are heading for Scotland. We are really pleased to have been invited to the second Glasgow School of Yarn which is taking place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October 2012 at the beautiful Mackintosh Church, Queen’s Cross, 870 Garscube Road, Glasgow G20 7EL.
I as P-HOP Co-ordinator will be looking after the stall but would be very grateful to anyone who would like to come and help, even if only for a short while. We have some new patterns since last year, particularly some cosy mitts and snuggly cowls and neck pieces, perfect for seasonal gift knitting or a treat for yourself to chase away the autumn chills. We look forward to seeing you there!
If you glance to your right and take a look at our Just Giving Widget you will see that we, that’s me and you and all the fibre-fans who have contributed to p/hop, have raised over £33,000 for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). This is fantastic. We’re still a way off from reaching our target for this year of £40,ooo, but we’re getting closer.
If you are unable to watch the video here’s part of what Erna says:
“We went early on Tuesday morning to provide medical assistance and rehydration points along the route,” says Doctor Erna Rijnierse, MSF’s medical team leader.
“It was a truly shocking sight as we witnessed some of the weakest dying as they walked – too dehydrated for even the most urgent medical care to save them.”
She adds: “The scale of what is happening here is shocking, even for experienced emergency team members who have seen a lot.”
While you may be feeling helpless you can make a difference. Share the news of what is happening to people in South Sudan, tell your friends, tweet about it, share the video on facebook. As always, your donations through p/hop go straight to MSF’s work, where it is needed, whether or not it is on the news.
Back in 2006 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as knit-blogger the Yarn Harlot) had an idea: the Knitting-Olympics. During the 2006 Winter Olympics over 4000 knitters took on the spirit of the Olympic motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger – and challenged themselves to complete a project during the Winter Olympics. The only rules were that the project couldn’t be started until the Olympic opening ceremony, and had to be completed by the end of the Games.
Since 2006 the idea behind the Knitting Olympics has grown and evolved. The knitting and crochet social network Ravelry has adopted it. With the Olympic Games in London this summer, a group of volunteers are hard at work organising the 2012 Ravelympics.
What are the Ravelympics?
Just like the Yarn Harlot’s original idea, Ravelry members will challenge themselves and compete in various knitting and crochet events over the course of the 16 days of the Summer Olympics. The only rules are that a project must be completed during the Olympics. There are medals (well, blog badges) for anyone who finishes and it’s up to each individual competitor to decide just how far to challenge themselves. Never tried colourwork? There’s an event for that. Scared of cables or lace? Now’s your chance to have a go. Always wanted to make a pair of socks, but never got round to it? Maybe this summer is the time to do it.
Up for a challenge?
Challenging ourselves as crafters can be fun and rewarding. Up until this year I’d never made a whole garment in fair isle. I wanted to, but I was a bit daunted and kept putting it off, even though I had the yarn and a beautiful pattern. A friend and I decided we would make the same fair isle sweater at the same time (in different colours, otherwise it would be a bit weird) so that we could help each other out if we got stuck, and offer mutual support and encouragement.
So, for the time around the VI Nations (my favourite sporting competition, and a brilliant excuse for sitting in front of the telly all weekend for weeks on end during the winter and doing nothing but knitting) we knitted a fair isle sweater each. Achieving something that you weren’t sure you could do is pretty awesome.
Join in the fun!
I’d love to share that buzz of achievement with my fellow crafters. So, I’m captaining Team P/Hop for this year’s Ravelympics. You don’t have to be a member of a team to compete, but it is much more fun and we will be supporting each other in our challenges and celebrating all those successes. You can read more about it here.
At the moment we are discussing what events we might each enter. For me, I ‘d like to see if I can knit a whole lace shawl from start to finish in those 16 days. Maybe something like Crocus Pocus.
Do join us – we’ll be having fun, challenging ourselves, and hopefully getting P/Hop closer to that £40,000 target.
Sue from Sheepfold introduces the crocheted felted bowl pattern they have generously donated to p/hop.
Felted crochet bowl
I became aware of MSF from news bulletins where the organisation was often giving aid to people in the most desperate of circumstances. Alice and I have science and medical backgrounds, so when the chance came to support MSF by donating patterns we have designed, we jumped at the chance.
I have long had an interest in crochet but shyed away from the contrasting colours of the 1970s and the lace chair backs of my grandmother’s era! I wanted to use the technique for something simple, that a beginner could do, and practical, that anyone could use.
This little bowl was originally designed in Wensleydale wool. This sheep is one of the lustrous longwool breeds and is found in Yorkshire, England. It is a large animal with a long curly coat with a staple of up to 25cm and fleece of 7kg. The curls return when the bowl is felted giving a boucle finish.
The design would work just as well in any wool yarn suitable for felting. It is essential to work the piece loosely, so you must use a hook larger than you would normally use so that there is space for the wool to shrink into as it felts.
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.
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.
… my hair stylist, my local yarn shop, my bus driver…
As you may have noticed it’s the awards season with Baftas, Globes of Gold and a small man named Oscar filling our news headlines.
However it’s not just Hollywood that has awards. p/hop has been shortlisted for a Just Giving Award in the Most Creative Fundraiser category. This is very exciting. The judges are meeting today so we will soon know if we are in the final three which would mean a trip to the Emirates Stadium (meaning Pete would have to finally finish his scarf) for the awards ceremony. Even if we don’t make the final three it’s great to be shortlisted. You can read about us and the other deserving shortlisters here on the Just Giving website.
If you use twitter you can also help us with the Shorty Awards, twitter’s annual award ceremony. At the moment Justin Bieber and his many fans seem to be dominating the charity category but I’m sure knitters can take over and get us in the top 5. This isn’t because we want to win (well ok, we do a little) but if we get and stay in the top five it’s a great way to spread awareness about p/hop and about MSF. The Shorty website does seem a tad wonky so if your vote doesn’t show up please try again.