Back in May when the MRI Maakers first started meeting and the Harriet’s Hat pattern had just been launched, just 6 months ago, we thought gathering enough finished items together in time for the Shetland Craft Fair was just about doable. It was ultimately our initial goal.
Since then, we’ve been overwhelmed with support both in terms of the regular MRI Maaker volunteers knitting and one of donations of things for us to sell. All hand made by people keen to support our cause and for there to be an MRI Scanner here in Shetland. So much so, we’ve managed to sell online worldwide, survive Shetland Wool Week, manage a smaller scale display at Loch Ness Knit Fest and still have more than enough for the Craft Fair we set out to attend in the first place.
The weekend got off to a great start on Friday night after setting up during the afternoon and early evening. We didn’t expect too much of the opening, being just two hours, but were kept pretty busy. We also got the chance to check out the stalls around about us a bit. Immediately behind the display pictured here was WidWark, who were raffling a yarn bowl, donating the money to the Scanner Appeal too. They’d invited one of us to draw the raffle later so we signed up Billy O’ Middle Toon for that.
On Saturday, which was even busier, Gemma Graham, who was just across from us with her incredibly detailed artwork came over. She’d made lovely Christmas Cards with intricate gold designs on white card and seeing what we were raising money for generously decided to donate the full price of each one sold to us.
Gemma’s cards weren’t the only cards raising funds for the Scanner Appeal either. Throughout the weekend we were joined by various people from the volunteers group who were selling packs of cards which were being sold from our table too. That’s a separate fundraising venture for the overall scanner appeal but it was great to see them doing so well too.
Meanwhile, up in the Bowls Hall, Sophie Whitehead from Shetland Jewellery, was there selling amongst their entire range, the Fara Pendant in the MRI Colours launched during Shetland Wool Week. They donate 20% of each on sold to the appeal too.
With all of that going on, we’re sure the Shetland Craft Fair has given the scanner appeal a great boost over the weekend. Our stall certainly did well and we’re glad so many of our MRI Maakers were able to share out stints at manning it so everyone could get a break now and then. I’m sure it’s also good for them to see their efforts over several months coming to fruition and see first hand how much interest and support they have first hand. Without them there would be nothing to sell at these events and while sometimes it’s easy to see how much the patterns have raised, the knitted items account for a considerable portion of what the MRI Maakers have contributed to the overall fund so far.
Sunday was a little quieter, and more relaxed overall with a busy period here and there but still very much worthwhile. Billy O’ Middle Toon drew the raffle for WidWark, having been quite mischievous over the rest of the weekend. He’s attracting a bit of a following it seems and has revelled in the photo requests. There’s definitely more to come from him but for now he’s having a well earned rest.
Ontop of the full range of patterns we were selling there was an abundance of knitwear being sold, so much so that despite how well we’ve done it hardly seems like we’ve put a dent in it carting the boxes back into the house. We’ll be adding the remaining stock to the website over the next couple of weeks for all those who have been asking. They’ll make great Christmas presents wherever in the world you are so we’re keen to make it available in plenty of time to allow for shipping. There are Harriet’s Hats, Harriet’s Headbands and a scarf available now, with the rest to follow shortly.
We also had a small raffle of our own going on throughout the event, and along with that, the patterns and finished items we raised £2552 which is absolutely incredible. That includes the £70 raised by Gemma’s cards but not the WidWark Raffle or the MRI Scanner Appeal Christmas Card packs which are both separate.
Over the course of the weekend, we also had a lot of support from the Sheltie Knitters who were on another neighbouring stall. They donated a couple of garments for us to sell, along with one for a raffle prize and bought half of the hats which weren’t nailed down. So we invited them, along with Gemma and Kathleen Carolan (Director of Nursing and Acute Services NHS Shetland) to help draw the raffle. The pictures I’m afraid didn’t come too great being done quite hurriedly before tidying up, but we’ve added them here in a gallery below for prosperity anyway. We’ll be contacting the lucky winners through the week to arrange delivery of their prizes.
Those who visited the stall to support us raising over £2500 now puts the total raised by the MRI Maakers for the appeal at £66230. Once again we can’t thank everyone enough for their support. Whether they’re a knitter, one of the many who buy from us, a supporting store/vendor or play any part at all in making what we’ve achieved so far possible, it truly is appreciated. Thank you all.