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.

What happened in York??!

I tell you what, you take your eye off p/hop for five minutes and suddenly you are sitting there stunned again. Woolly Wormhead donated half her pattern sales, the tragic events in Haiti have inspired massive generosity and something strange happened in York!

All we know is that Jane (probablyjane on Rav) was last seen boarding a train heading that way… Suspicious.

You see, I checked the p/hop total just now and there has a been a torrent of donations from our friends in the north, lots of them mentioning York… Has Jane been hypnotising Yorkshire-based knitters? If you woke up in York after the weekend, covered in wool, with a very generous, donation sized hole in your wallet or purse, this may explain it. Could be worse though – you could do an Elvis impersonation every time your phone rings or howl like a wolf whenever you hear the word ‘cake’….

In all seriousness, it is amazing. I remember not more than two weeks ago talking to Natalie about putting up the fundraising target from £10k to £12k and now we’re nearly there…. You all continue to humble and inspire me.

In other news, I have completely failed in my 100days promise. Basically I promised to do two rows a day on the scarf for 100 days starting on the 1st December. Til new year, I was probably doing ok; not every day, but making up for it when missing a day or two. Now, however, I am seriously lagging. Work was crazy in the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and, although still busy, we are not working every evening and weekend now (unlike our colleagues in the field). On top of this, I have started learning French (brilliant course) once a week and Saturday football with Les Mavericks started up again after the winter break. But enough with the excuses. I shall start again and I shall try to finish by the time the 100days project is over.