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!

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

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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

 

Wimbledon!

Hurrah!  Wimbledon starts today!  Why not enjoy some valued knitting time whilst watching Murray, Robson and Watson battle it out for Britain.

You know how stressful it can be watching our heroes – so when you’re too scared to watch, knit a few rows and de-stress…

So grab some strawberries and cream, download the fabulous Wimbledon footlets pattern and get knitting for Britain!  Come on Murray!

Wimbledon FootletsWimbledon footlets by Ros Clark for P/Hop

Crafting humanitarian work

All patterns have been generously donated to the p/hop project by MSF supporters and are available for your knitting pleasure.

In return, we ask that you make a donation to p/hop based on the hours of enjoyment you will get from our patterns.

Making your donation is easy, just click here for pounds, here for US dollars or here for Euros. Thank you very much.

To download your PDF of the Wimbledon Footlets pattern please click here.

- See more at: http://www.p-hop.co.uk/index.php/patterns/socks/wimbledon-socks/#sthash.E0IYgcN1.dpuf

Crafting humanitarian work

This pattern has been generously donated to the p/hop project by MSF supporter, Ros Clark and is available for your knitting pleasure.

In return, we ask that you make a donation to p/hop based on the hours of enjoyment you will get from our patterns.

Making your donation is easy, just click here for pounds, here for US dollars or here for Euros. Thank you very much.

To download your PDF of the Wimbledon Footlets pattern please click here.

Wimbledon Footlets

Blue skies, green grass, extremely fit men running around, and the agony of Andy Murray losing again. A bowl of strawberries and cream, and perhaps a glass of barley water or Pimms would be the ideal accompaniment to the perfect summer afternoon of knitting while watching the tennis.

What better project for the tennis season than these little footlets, inspired by classic tennis socks with the little pompoms on the back?  The footlets have a neat i-cord bind off with a button fastening to ensure that they fit well over the heel. The pompoms are optional but recommended!

Wimbledon Footlets

They are a great way of using up small balls of leftover sock yarn. The stripe pattern shows off a beautiful variegated or self-striping yarn if you choose a neutral solid as the background. For the full Wimbledon effect, you’ll want purple and green yarn, but this would also be a good choice of pattern for the Ravelympics, knitted in the colours of your home nation.

As I write this, MSF are working with refugees in Southern Sudan who are dying because there is no fresh water to drink. As the traditional English summer rain pours down outside, it’s hard to imagine that this horrific crisis is going on unremarked. I hope you have fun knitting these socks, and please give generously to p/hop for the pattern, to support MSF’s work in Sudan and elsewhere.


Thanks Ros for another brilliant pattern. To find out more about Ros’ Wimbledon Footlets and download the pattern please click here.

Try Again

I love knitting socks. They’re small and portable, easy to tuck in my handbag ready to work on while I’m on the bus, or waiting for an appointment, or even standing in a queue. I always have a pair on the go. Unfortunately, I don’t actually wear socks that much; I mainly wear skirts with tights or bare legs, and my handknitted socks end up only being worn on weekends or in the evenings. Luckily, my husband loves handknitted socks and will take all the pairs I can knit him, so I’m free to indulge my obsession to my heart’s content.

There aren’t that many patterns for men’s socks around, though. Or at least not patterns that meet my criterion of being interesting enough to knit that I don’t die of boredom in the process (bearing in mind that my husband has wide UK size 10.5 feet, so his socks involve a lot of knitting) and my husband’s criterion of not being too fancy. So I decided I’d design him some, and because he’s a big rugby fan I came up with the idea of using a rugby goalpost motif.

I designed the socks toe-up, because when knitting socks for big feet I think it’s always a good idea to do the feet first and know how much you have left for the legs. They’ve got a heel flap and gusset, rather than short-row heels, to accommodate higher arches. I knitted them in rugby-pitch-coloured yarn, but you could easily make them in team colours instead!


Thank you Sadie for designing and donating these scrummy socks. To read more and download your pdf for Try Again Socks please click here.

Tour de sock & Sock-sniper challenges

Over on Ravelry (where all the cool knitting stuff happens) there are two sock knitting challenges currently at the preparation stages.

They are Tour-de-sock and Sock-Sniper, both of which raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

While they’re not quite p/hop in that you donate a set amount to take part (US$7.50) they are strictly non-profit and last year raised over $1,500 for MSF.

So if you fancy some training for the Ravelympics sharpen your DPN’s and head over to Ravelry.

If it’s not your think you can always check out our marvellous sock patterns and/or  join our Ravelympics team.

Lyle Socks

Hi, my name is Susan and I am really pleased to have been asked to write a blog post for P/hop. I’m a stay-at-home mum to two small boys, and knitting helps me to stay (relatively) sane.

I prefer small projects that I can finish quickly, and socks are a particular favourite of mine. There are so many beautiful feminine patterns out there, I could be knitting them for the rest of my life and never make them all! However I just couldn’t find what I wanted to knit for the men in my family – simple, versatile socks that are plain enough for the most conservative dressers, but not insanely boring to knit! I also wanted them to be stretchy to accommodate wider feet, and have nice round toes to allow good circulation.

I finally gave up looking and designed my own pattern, and these are the socks I have knit for my grandfather and for my father-in-law. When “Papa” Lyle passed away earlier this year, I decided I wanted to do something in his memory, and so I wrote up the pattern to share with p/hop. I know that MSF is an organisation that does exactly the kind of work of which my Papa would have approved. I have named the pattern after him, and I hope you will enjoy knitting it to keep your own loved ones warm.

Thank you all for supporting p/hop, and Happy Knitting!

Molly Weasley’s Gift Socks

Dear Knitter,

As you might have realised from the name of the socks I am a Harry Potter fan. What we knitters always look out for is the latest Christmas offerings from Molly Weasley’s
needles, both in description in the book, and visually on the films. It has always seemed that her knitting for the boys of the family, and often Harry, are a little hurried
and done because there was not a huge amount of money in the house hold.

After the battles and the wars, and the family had grown up and left home, I began to wonder what Molly and Arthur Weasley would do with their time. I knew that Arthur would be happy in his shed with his Muggle bits and pieces, but what about Molly, with time and stillness on her hands, what would she knit? She’d often knitted for her boys and Ginny too, but what could she knit that was a little bit special? What could she knit for the possible daughters in law? Socks seemed to be the perfect answer, and for all the daughters, what better than lace socks? Or perhaps during a lull in family life Molly treated herself to a pair of these?

Molly Weasley's Gift Socks

The lace pattern was based upon one in the Barbara Walker Treasury series of books, and charted to be knitted in the round. While it is a pretty lace pattern it is not complicated, and I and my test knitter found it a joy to see the pattern emerge. I have one other sock pattern donated to P/hop and always had this in mind when I wrote this pattern.

Close up of vine lace pattern

Everyone in life needs a little help, even in every day life, but when disaster strikes they need all the help we can give them. So I hope you enjoy the socks, and the pleasure of knitting them, and I know that the money raised is going to a wonderful and worthwhile cause, Doctors Without Borders, MSF.

Lastly, thank you to my test knitter, Debbie.
Yours Susan

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A big thank you to Susan for another great pattern (click here to go to the pattern page) which will help MSF weave their humanitarian magic around the world. If you like this pattern please take a look at Susan’s other p/hop pattern, the popular Ruth’s Harvest Socks.

Tzenni

A few months ago, my friend Ankaret Wells self-published two books: The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War. The books are part fantasy, part detective novel, part Regency romance and part cyberpunk, full of humour and populated with wonderfully vivid and three-dimensional characters. I particularly loved Ankaret’s heroine, Tzenni Boccamera, a shy, geeky engineer with a marvellously level-headed approach to problems and a great deal of determination, and I was inspired by a Twitter conversation to design some socks inspired by her.

One of the first things we learn about Tzenni is that she is scared of heights, and particularly of staircases, which puts her at something of a disadvantage living in a world of vertical city-states, or Spires. So I knew straight away that the socks would have to have a staircase-like stitch pattern. However, I didn’t want Tzenni’s socks to define her just by her fears when I had been inspired by her awesomeness. Fortunately her society has a complex system of heraldic devices, and Tzenni’s personal symbol is a rose-glyph, so I took the Rosebud Lace from the first Barbara Walker Treasury, charted in in Excel and then added a framework of purl stitches around the rosebuds to represent the staircases.

I’d never designed anything before, let alone written a pattern, but a few people on Ravelry asked if I was going to write this up, so I thought I’d give it a go. Once I’d made that decision I knew I wanted to offer the pattern to p/hop; I’ve had a great deal of pleasure from knitting p/hop patterns myself and I really hope that other knitters will enjoy knitting their very own Tzenni socks and knowing that they are helping MSF at the same time.

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Thank you Sadie. You can read more from Sadie on her blog, the Knitting up the Ravelled Sleeve of Care.

Happy (Serpentine) Valentines Day!

We’re really feeling the love here at p/hop after winning Most Creative Fundraiser at the Just Giving Awards. Thank you to everyone who has sent us messages of congratulations, they are very much appreciated.

I spotted these fab Serpentine Valentines Socks while browsing Ravelry at the weekend, knitted by the designer herself, Hilltopkatie, which I thought would be perfect for today.

Serpentine Valentine Socks Knitted and Designed by Katie Weston

I’m in a pondering mood this morning and while mulling over Valentines Day my mind wandered to p/hop and humanitarian work. What makes us give up our spare time for MSF? A Saturday to volunteer on the p/hop stand at a festival, the hours and days spent writing and test knitting a pattern knowing there won’t be any personal profit, offering yarn for donations instead of selling it?

I think part of that answer is love. Love for our fellow humans who by misfortune of geography are living in appalling situations. There are other emotions involved such as a sense of  justice, equality and fairness which also motivate us to make a difference but love and compassion are pretty high on my list.

Whatever your views on Valentines Day, thank you for taking a little time out to make a huge difference.

Stained Glass Window Socks

Thanks to the generosity of designer Karen Wessel (aka quesselchen) we have a new p/hop sock pattern.

These gorgeous Stained Glass Window Socks work brilliantly with graduated yarn colours as well as combinations of solid and variegated yarns. Let your imagination run wild…

To find out more and download a copy of the pattern in return for a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières click here.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter or join the p/hop Ravelry group to keep up with the latest news and new patterns. Happy Knitting!