From Around The World To Around The World in £83k

We received an outstanding amount of support from visitors during Shetland Wool Week last year. Not only did the week raise over £15000 for the MRI Maakers all together at the time, but some avid knitters donated items for us to sell before they left.

This green beenie was donated to us through Loose Ends on Commercial Street in Lerwick by Lesley Carlsson. It was one of a few things she kindly donated having been drawn to our cause while she was here. It is just one, of many, donations we’ve received from around the world.

Last month we received, among other things, a package from closer to home. Annemarie Larkin (Socks for Sanity) from Newcastle Upon Tyne sent a package including baby items which we listed last week. Also in the box were these hand knitted socks. One of several kind donations from elsewhere in the UK.

Meanwhile, here in Shetland we’re still working through several boxes of knitted items donated from people here at home. There’s a huge variety, which we’re gradually adding to the online store. Though much is taken to craft fairs too.

Jessie Cogle, for example, donated several chunky hats like this one. Some of the others have already sold, but you’ll find the remaining ones in our online store in the knitted hats section. Jessie is one of our MRI Maakers who contributes in this way but can’t attend the Maakin nights. There’s quite a few knitters like her, and we’re very grateful for the variety of things they contribute.

Then of course we have Maakers who are able to come to knit nights, and take with them things they’ve made from the donated yarns. We come home with finished knitwear after each meeting. From official hats etc. from the pattern collection, alternative colourways, and various other unrelated knitted things, we get it all. Barbara Rosie came with this lovely lace scarf on one such night.

These are just a few examples of how charitable knitters have been supporting us from all over the world. Their efforts have made a huge difference to our fundraising total, now well over £83,000. None of it would achieve anything if it weren’t for the many people who support us by buying things. All of the pictured items above, from the various people and places around the world, are heading over to America. From around the world, to around the world.

We can’t thank everyone enough, truly breathtaking.

Gracie Arthur Harriet’s Cowl Auction Raises another £233 by Fernlea Knitters

It’s no secret that we’re incredibly proud of how the knitting community, including all ages, nationalities and diversities, have rallied around our cause. The support shown to the MRI Maakers has turned a small island community of knitters into a trully global one.

Earlier this week, we received 7 Harriet’s Hats from Anja in the Netherlands to help us with the demand for the finished item. Anja had already translated the Harriet’s Hat pattern into Dutch for us, and is now working on translating the Harriet’s Cowl.

The Harriet’s Cowl pattern has been of significant interest since it’s launch at the Loch Ness Knit Fest in October last year. It has been included in two knit alongs, one by Morehouse Farm and the other hosted by Anne Frost and Jana Knits just last month. And despite not appearing on the Runway during Vogue Knitting Live in New York as originally posted, it saw huge interest on the Morehouse Farm Booth with the hard copies selling out long before the event closed.

We also shared with you recently that it was being used as a project for a steeking class here in the UK. Purlwise To Use Harriet’s Cowl in Fair Isle & Steeking Class

Gracie with her finished Harriet’s Hat

Regardless of the attention, given the size of the project, it was never one we thought we’d be offering as a finished item here on the site, in any format. Given the time and yarn it takes to make, it’s simply not practical for our growing team of volunteer knitters (which now includes Anja in the Netherlands). This is why we were so surprised to find one made by Gracie Arthur, of the Fernlea Day Care knitters in one of their recent boxes of finished items. We were blown away and knew that an auction was the only answer of this particularly unique item.

The Auction ended today at 1pm, with a fantastic winning bid of £233, and will be heading over to the United States next week. The lucky winner is hugely excited to receive it, and we’re sure Gracie will be too.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in the Auction and helping to make our first auction item the success it has been. And for those who didn’t win, we wish you better luck next time.

Well done Gracie, and all at Fernlea. You’re true champions.

Fernlea Maakers -Gracie Fowler, Cathie Simpson, Gracie Arthur and Alice Pottinger with model Allan Tulloch

Harriet’s Hat Translations Underway As New Total Now £81,000

Last Thursday at the second MRI Maakers meeting of 2020, amidst the usual chat and click of needles, an online pattern sale nudged the total raised so far over £81,000.

It was quite a meeting all in all with much to talk about. It was also Marina Robertson’s birthday, who has been helping Harriet since before the MRI Maakers started. So it was quite fitting and light-some to share birthday cake with her as we announced our new total.

With just over 4 months until the MRI Maakers itself has it’s own anniversary, some have begun to speculate what will have been raised in connection with this group of volunteers in their first full year.

We’ve already raised more than we thought possible from the sale of patterns and finished knitwear made by a still growing team of volunteers. That, along with the events and contributions they have inspired from around the globe has helped us get where we now are. We’re all incredibly grateful for everyone’s support, in whatever form, wherever in the world it comes from.

Going Forward

To that end the momentum carries on, we have a busy year ahead, but the offers of help continue from near and far. The Harriet’s Hat pattern is now also being translated into German, Dutch, and Japanese. Just today we released a conversion for loom knitters which was kindly donated to us by Ruth Airey, who organised the Loom Knit along last year.

We now also have the 264 baubles and gnomes, etc. sent to Jamieson’s of Shetland for their Christmas window display. We’ll auction them after the Lerwick Up Helly Aa festival has passed. So we’ve set up the facility in readiness.

To test it out, we launched an auction yesterday of a hand made Harriet’s Cowl. It was made by none other than Gracie Arthur, who is over 85, from Fernlea Day Care in Whalsay. You can see how well that’s going here – Handmade Harriet’s Cowl Auction. There could be no better way for something that can’t be made routinely available for sale on the site. It’s not possible to make such a big finished project available the we sell hats, headbands and other finished items.

We’re also delighted that Margaret and 11 others from Norway will be joining us in August for a week. So we really do have much to organise throughout the year on top of everything else. They have another event taking place to raise funds for us in Oppdal on the 29th. See here – Norway To Host Second Event Supporting MRI Maakers.

The overall Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal is well over a third of the way towards it’s goal, all efforts combined. 2020 is looking good.

Many thanks for everyone’s continued support. Truly breathtaking. Thank you.

Purlwise To Use Harriet’s Cowl in Fair Isle & Steeking Class

For many, the idea of steeking is too daunting meaning they avoid certain projects, even though they find the finished item appealing.

Recently Jacqui from Purlwise, which is in Kimbolton, England, contacted us and asked for permission to use the Harriet’s Cowl pattern in a steeking class she intended to hold. We thought the cowl was a perfect project for it because despite it containing a steek, the steek is hidden when the cowl is completed. This means that if during learning the technique people find it doesn’t turn out as neat as you’d want for something like a cardigan, it really doesn’t matter so much. You still get the same classy reversible, and versatile, cowl when you’re finished and learn a new skill at the same time.

Jacqui will be holding the class on two days, Friday 24th and Saturday 25th January, from 10am until 4pm.  For details of where to book, what to take, and what’s provided for you, see her post here – Fair Isle & Steeking.

Hopefully the class will be well attended and many will leave with more confidence in the technique.

The Harriet Collection Available at Vogue Knitting Live – New York

Yesterday we told you about the event being organised in Norway by Margaret and the Oppdal Arthritis Society, but there’s more going on this month around the world too. #grateful #charitableknitting #knittersofinstagram

For several months now, Erin and her flock at Morehouse farm have been supporting us in a variety of ways. They’ve hosted 2 knit alongs which saw participants from around the world hone their colourwork skills using our patterns, donated one dollar for every skein of their Merino yarn sold during June last year, ultimately started stocking hard copies of our patterns. The latter was made even more viable when Anne Frost came to Shetland Wool Week last year and returned to the US with our Stockists Bundles in her luggage. (Anne is currently co hosting the Maakin for the MRI knit along with Jana)

Morehouse Merino Farm has a booth at Vogue Knitting Live in New York on the 17th-19th of this month and they’ve sold so well they’d run out of several of them. Since between Erin and Anne, they’ve put a lot into pushing the Harriet Collection at the event, that was a bit of a problem. So last week we shipped over more bundles of what they need to highlight the full set.

If you’re heading to the event, or are in New York and fancy adding it to your weekend plans, look out for the poster above. Make your way to Booth 102, 5th floor
of the NY Marriot Marquis in Times Square. You’ll find all of our patterns there, along with their finished knitted examples in fine quality Merino yarn. They’ll have the full collection of patterns, and a collection bucket for the Scanner Appeal throughout. Anne will be joining them between 1pm and 2 pm on Saturday the 18th. They’re also lovely people, incredibly supportive, and you should stop by and say hello anyway.

From Norway to New York, and everywhere in between, in both directions, we can’t thank everyone enough for their support. Last year was truly incredible and this year is starting off pretty well too.

Norway To Host Second Event Supporting MRI Maakers

Back in November last year, The Oppdal Arthritis Society hosted one of their regular events and within it had a special offering for it’s members and guests. Sadly, Margaret who was instrumental in setting it up wasn’t able to attend herself. It was however a big success thanks to her prior planning and the help of her close knitting friends. It was so successful in fact, and they relayed details of our cause so well, that many wanted to organise another event – this time especially for us.

It’s being held on the 29th January at 19:00 local time, dedicating the proceeds from this knitting event to Shetland. The entrance fee and sale of patterns and knitting kits will go to Shetland MRI scanner appeal.

Aside knitting, here’s some of what you can expect :-

MRI Maakers in Norway

A presentation of MRI Maakers and information about the appeal; Margaret Helen Langø will give an insight into the story behind the involvement that started with a simple knitted hat designed by the Shetlander Harriet Middleton.

 

Anne Skaslien

This is the lady who with the crochet hook and yarn in all colors create artwork for the enjoyment of many, and she will visit us with her rich selection. Her will be the opportunity to see all the great things she has created and a diverse range she has for sale.

 

Husfliden Oppdal

Husfliden Oppdal support MRI Maakers with quality yarn for every knitting project, big or small.

 

The entrance fee is 150 NOK, which like events we’d have right here in Shetland includes coffee/tea and homebakes. There’ll also be a raffle with great prizes!

If you can make it, The Oppdal Arthritis Society welcomes you to a social evening and the opportunity to contribute to a good cause! You can find out more, and keep up to date with any other information between now and then here – https://www.facebook.com/events/765178427326245/

We’d like to thank The Oppdal Arthritis Society, and Margaret in particular for their support and hope this event is as big a success for them as the last.

Hard Copy Patterns Now Available to Buy Online – Hundreds raised in first day

For some time we’ve been getting requests for the Harriet’s Collection patterns in hard copy format but haven’t been able to sell them online. They’ve been popular in yarn stores and to try and accommodate demand we did make them available in stockists bundles. These have done well, and supporting stores have from what we hear benefited from increased yarn sales.

The problem we’ve had until now is that shipping hard copies was simply to much to arrange given we’re all volunteers and already committing so much time to everything else the MRI Maakers do. However we’ve never stopped thinking of how it could be done, and have now managed to come up with a setup where fulfilling orders for them is achievable.

So, you can now order hard copies of our patterns here – Hard Copy Patterns. Shipping has been set so you can order a few in the same package. There’s also the option to buy the full set of 6 for the price of 5. You will get sent a link for the pdf version of each hard copy ordered in the confirmation email so you still have that option if you wish.

Swiss Alps Set To Turn Blue With Harriet’s Hats – Kits Ready To Knit

Since the MRI Maakers started in May, it really has been one thing after another. Every time we think things will be starting to slow down a bit, something else comes along to give us a boost.

On Thursday night we were contacted by Rozain in Switzerland, pictured here wearing one of the Harriet’s Hats that have already been sent there. What the MRI Maakers have been doing, and why, has captured their hearts and they wanted to buy 50 finished hats, some headbands, and a few mittens.

We did have enough before Island Medics aired, but sold out within hours of it being broadcast. Since then everything we’ve added to the store has sold almost instantly, so we literally have none left.

Rozain explained though that these are only needed for a party in February, so Billy came home from work yesterday and began making up yarn balls until the early hours. We’re a little short on the Clyde Blue/FC47Mix, so don’t quite have the 50 kits made up yet but we do have enough to be getting started with. Billy O Middle Toon offered to go and get the other yarn we need but we’ve had to explain the shops are shut for Christmas.

Some volunteers have already stepped up, despite being on a xmas break, to start knitting them. So less than 48 hours after hearing of it first, our biggest ever single order is already underway. We’ve even been approached by someone who hasn’t knitted for us before offering to help which is fantastic.

If you’re local to us and could help out by making a hat or two, please do get in touch. We can arrange getting the yarn to you and collecting the finished hat/headband when it’s done. It’s a great way to help us raise a significant amount for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal, particularly if like Fiona you’ve already knit one or two for yourself so are familiar with the patterns.

Grateful as always for all the support we’ve had throughout the year, but especially so for those who have set the intended break aside when we ran out of finished stock. #wecandothis

 

Harriet’s Hats sell out online within minutes of Island Medics Episode

Within minutes of today’s Island Medics episode (Series 3 Episode 7) airing on the BBC, we completely sold out of all official hand knitted Harriet’s Hats. We also ran out of the alternatives which were very similar to them. Since then, our complete range of patterns continue to sell with us already having had our biggest ever day of sales online.

There is a huge range of other items made by the now 64 MRI Maakers volunteers and we’ll add them to the site as soon as Billy finishes work today.

We continue to be incredibly grateful for all the support we’ve recieved, in particular today to everyone at Red Sky Productions who produce the series which has raised awareness in such a huge way. Thank you.

Despite the large number of orders received today, we’ll endeavour to ship them all first thing as usual.

#grateful #community #fundraiser #wecandothis #shetlandmri #islandmedics

Restocking Online Store Delayed

We had hoped to begin restocking our online store this week now that the larger craft events are behind us. However, with the franking machine at the Gilbert Bain Hospital beyond repair, we are delaying this until the replacement machine arrives and is fully operational.

The hospital reception staff shipping our products has been the difference between making physical products available online practical or not. We’re extremely grateful for the additional workload they’ve been willing to undertake, without even the slightest quibble. However with the usual efficient mechanisms not being available to them, they are already having to cope with much more arduous contingency arrangements keeping up with the day to day NHS mail. It wouldn’t be fair to expect them to contend with our packages as well, and on top of this the franking machine reduces the cost of shipping considerably for us too.

The new machine, we understand, is en route from Belgium and should be here in the coming days whereby it will need programmed and set up before it can be used. We’ll wait until this has been completed and tested before adding products back into stock online.

Sorry for the delay, but we’re still hopeful we’ll be able to begin shipping again in time to meet your Christmas needs and will organise products in readiness for making them available as quickly as possible for you.

Thanks as always for your support.