Before the MRI Maakers were first established, while Harriet was raising funds at craft fairs, her brother paid her a visit and said “This is going to cost you a fortune in wool.”. He gave her gift tokens for Jamieson’s of Shetland, and Jamieson and Smith the Wool brokers. They’d already been so supportive, but it was from these vouchers, in those two stores, which the first official hand knit Harriet’s Hats were made to sell.
In the end, with so much yarn donated and donations specifically for purchasing the official colourway the feared costs never came to pass. Jamieson’s of Shetland donated yarn for the MRI Maakers to knit with too. The generosity of so many kept the finished items entirely free to make. The hard work of the many MRI Maaker volunteers has done the rest in that respect. Meanwhile, Jamieson and Smith the Wool Brokers donated the full price of all yarn sold for Harriet’s Hats in their store. Raising £2566 before their first batch of hard copy patterns were sold.
From patterns (around 9500 sold online), to finished items sold here on our site, we owe a great deal to the many who have spread the word around the globe. Kate Davies’ blog, social media accounts of our local yarn stores, the Minnesota Knitters Guild organising the worldwide knitalong, The Morehouse Merino Flock and relentless efforts of Anne Frost’s podcasts. Without the MRI Maakers going viral, there wouldn’t have been the same success.
People worldwide have also donated finished items for us to sell, most recently the Japanese Knot Bags which were sent by Anne from Belgium. We auctioned those along with donated yarns and patterns raising £704 today.
This week we received a further £500 from Marie Wallin, who’s been donating £1 from each sale of her book Meadow since it was launched last October. This brings the total raised for us by her to £4512! Incredible generosity. The book contains a special feature on the MRI Maakers, including our senior Maakers at Fernlea, raising awareness as well as funds.
The Fernlea Maakers have always held a special place in our hearts, and the hearts of many worldwide. All of their hand knit items have been so sought after, they’ve raised literally thousands for us.
When the first of Harriet’s patterns was launched, on of our Maakers, Melanie, suggested we’d raise £100,000 and frankly we laughed. But in recent weeks we’ve made no secret that we were in reach of that milestone, and of how fitting it would be if we surpassed it before the Scanner Appeal finishes. Again Harriet’s brother, so proud of his sister, wife and the achievements of the MRI Maakers stepped up. Donating £100 to help cross the line, he joined others who have donated in recent days through the GoFundMe page we set up.
August should have seen us meet the MRI Maakers from Norway. Margaret Helen Langø was behind that venture through her volunteer work with the Oppdal Revmatikerforening. Together, they hosted two fundraising events and were going to hand over the funds raised while they visited. It was going to be added to any funds raised at an event we jointly hosted while they toured our shores with us. That sadly couldn’t happen due to Covid-19, so today they have donated over 10,000 NOK, which comes to an amazing £850! Margaret’s grandparents met during the war, as her grandfather played his part in the Shetland Bus operations. It was while here in Shetland visiting relatives that she first became aware of the Harriet’s Hat pattern. She’s translated the patterns into Norwegian along with the other fundraising efforts by way of a thank you for Shetland keeping her grandfather safe in those difficult times. The Norwegian patterns sold here on the site and account for £408 of our online downloads. So all in, the Norwegian branch of the MRI Maakers have raised £1258.
All of the above, from so many, in all of the supportive ways sum towards the total we have reached today. We’ve done it, you’ve done it. As of tonight, our total raised now sits at £100,622.37. It truly is overwhelming, your support has been breath taking. There aren’t the words to express how grateful we are to each and every one of the many people who have played their part. Thank you.