The Truth about ‘SkipNorth’!

P-hop Swap

Just a tiny bit of the donations!

The fifth annual SkipNorth holiday hit Haworth in Yorkshire on Friday 12th March, and for the second year running the p-hop swap dominated the first evening. People had brought huge bags of yarn, books, magazines and other craft materials and as the last workshop came to an end people were keen to see what was on offer.

The tables were pushed to the edge of the room and bag by bag the offerings were laid out. On the right went a table full of fleece, perfect for those who had learnt drop spindling that afternoon. Back left was a whole table of sock yarn, where Regia rubbed shoulders with designer brands. In between lay cones of lace weight, bags of novelty yarn, whole packs of vintage Jaeger and current Rowan as well as mountains of odd balls looking for a home.

By the end of the evening the tables were bare (apart from a few lonely orphan balls) and all those who’d taken part were committed to donating their thanks to p-hop. So far more than £300 has been donated from those who swapped that night, and plenty of what we each swapped has appeared in our stashes on Ravelry and even been cast on.

Thanks to everyone who donated to the swap and to all those who took part. You can read more about SkipNorth here and join in discussions about future holidays on ravelry here.

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Thank you very much to Alex (aka littlelixie) and everyone who took part in the Skip North p/hop swap. Are you feeling inspired to hold your own swap for p/hop? Please get in touch if you are interested as we can help out with flyers and MSF info. If you’ve already been to an event for MSF we would love to hear about it and always welcome guest bloggers. Don’t forget there is the ongoing yarn (and books, DVDs, anything-you-can-think-of) swap in the p/hop Ravelry group.

What did happen in York!

You may have noticed the rather cryptic hints that something fabulous happened in York last weekend. We managed to get several very important people who have played a major role in setting up this wonderful charity effort all in one place.

We had the fantastic Natalie from The Yarn Yard who set up this whole crazy idea.
Also present were Jane who wrote the Cranford Mitts pattern, (currently the 63rd most popular mitten pattern on Ravelry) and the Karenina Socks pattern, Thimblina who designed the Hop Sox pattern and Elizabeth’s Scarf, CelandonSusan who designed Ruth’s Harvest Socks. And that’s just the designers….

The weekend had come about as a way of getting all the wonderful women who hang out in Natalie’s Garden Shed on Ravelry together. Non- knitters, and knitters alike, come and have a look, the kettle is always on, and you’ll meet the most fantastic group of women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Many of us have played a part in the evolution of Natalie’s idea to the current global project that p/hop has become. As well as supporting each other when we dip our toes in to the murky water of pattern writing, we’ve also developed the idea of swapping yarn in exchange for donations to p/hop. Over in the p/hop Ravelry group there is nearly always a yarn swap going on.
A few of us have what might be described as a stash habit, rather less harmful than most habits, as long as you exclude the damage done to your bank balance!

However some stash acquisitions can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt, you bought the yarn and loved it, but your tastes have now changed;  you decided to try lace weight and maybe got a bit enthusiastic with your purchases but discovered you hate knitting with the stuff. Sometimes you’re given yarn that is beautiful, but just not you….

(photo courtesy of Natalie)

We all bought along several skeins of yarn and braids of fibre that fitted those categories (and several books and bags), all beautiful, but just not something we could see ourselves using. The yarn was all piled up on a convenient pool table, and in a very British manner we all picked out our favourite skein.

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn poster from Etsyseller JennieGee

We then carried on picking until all the yarn had gone, it wasn’t a true swap in that some people de-stashed, some people gained stash, and you didn’t have to have put yarn in to take some out.

We’ve all travelled back to our separate corners of the UK, donated what we could afford, fondled our new acquisitions, and told our friends about the swap, and felt good about getting new yarn and doing it for charity!

I’m planning on doing one with my knitting group in Sheffield, if you want to do similar please get in touch with the wonderful p/hop co-ordinators and let them know.