Surgeon Ms Beatrix Weber To Spin Wool at Town Hall Event

In a small remote hospital such as the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, where the MRI Scanner will be located when it comes, occasionally people have to step outside of their usual roles and departments. It allows particular needs or circumstances to be catered for when required which in larger city hospitals would likely have a dedicated department, but it also brings various departments together, all working towards the same goal, in the same way the Shetland community does in general. That’s in large part why some updates haven’t been posted this week, and why we’re a bit behind with adding things to the store, but it’s also quite fitting for this announcement about the Wool Week MRI Maakers Event in October.

Inside the Lerwick Town Hall’s Main Hall – Venue for 3rd October MRI Maakers evening

Given how far many will have travelled to come to Shetland Wool Week, we’re keen for the evening to be more than simply an opportunity for people to meet the MRI Maakers. We want you to enjoy a proper Shetland welcome by way of a thank you for the outstanding support we’ve had from all corners of the world. We thought it might also be nice if, beyond the traditional Shetland supper, guests could experience some other related traditions. Spinning wool in the traditional way using a spinning wheel for example.

Lerwick Town Hall – Main hall – October 3rd venue.

Someone mentioned that Ms Beatrix Weber, who is the surgeon who treated Harriet and oversaw her follow up MRI appointments, happens to do just that in her spare time. Billy asked if she would come and spin on the night, and in the same community spirit, she not only agreed but was delighted to have been asked.

Harriet is over the moon that Ms Weber will be coming to do this for us. We never imagined when Harriet’s Hat was first launched it would become the focus of a world wide knit along organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild. To think that many who took part will be coming to an event in the Lerwick Town Hall (pictured above) and see the surgeon who treated her spinning Shetland wool on a traditional spinning wheel is quite incredible. We can’t thank Ms Weber enough for doing this and adding that little bit extra to what is sure to be a very special night.

We’ve also been to the town hall to discuss various layouts and options, so ticket availability has increased to 150. These tickets can be bought from the Wool Week MRI Maakers Event page at £10 each. Over 30 have been sold already to visitors from 5 countries including the UK.

 

Morehouse Farm To Donate $1 Per Skein Ahead Of KAL

Yesterday Oliver Henry spoke enthusiastically about how great it was to see so many people, from so many places, all coming together as one big community to support a good cause. It’s a sentiment we share but we never cease to be amazed at just how far it truly extends.

Almost two weeks ago, Erin, from Morehouse Farm in New York State, contacted us asking if it was OK for the knitting group they have to use Harriet’s patterns for a knit along. She said the group, which regularly try new projects, often asked about trying Fair Isle Knitting, and since by then we’d heard feedback of the patterns being easy to follow we thought it was a great idea. In fact, many of the people who joined in with the worldwide knit along organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild, which ends on the 20th, were knitting Fair Isle for the first time. So with Erin’s knit along beginning on the 26th July, the timing couldn’t be better.

Before the Morehouse Farm newsletter was published today, we didn’t realise that there was more to her plan than encouraging people to buy either the Harriet’s Hat pattern, or Harriet’s Headband pattern, and support us in that way as they took on a new challenge. However on reading from the knit along page on the website, we discovered that not only have they made up yarn packs of their very own Marino Wool in the official colours, but she is actually donating $1 for every skein of 2 ply sold this month! Once again we’re left speechless at the generosity of others thousands of miles away in supporting Harriet and the MRI Maakers in their efforts to raise funds for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal.

Every time we think that surely some day the momentum will fade, someone like Erin and her group comes along to give things another boost. If you missed the previous knit along, you might want to take part in this one. See the link above, and if you do facebook follow Morehouse Farm there – http://www.facebook.com/groups/MorehouseFarm

Community means something much bigger among knitters, thank you.

Jamieson & Smith’s Donate Over £2500 Through MRI Maakers

Not long before the MRI Maakers had their first meeting, while Harriet was trying to get the Harriet’s Hat pattern ready in time, there’s a few people who really helped make that possible. More or less everyone in the Jamieson and Smith’s store fall into that category in one way or another, but we were quite taken back by just how far their support was to extend when Harriet went in with an example of the final draft. It was then, speaking to Sandra and Derek, they told her that not only would they make up yarn kits in the right shades, but they would donate the entire cost of the kits sold in store to the appeal. Even then we were overwhelmed by the gesture but had no idea just how successful it was to become.

Since then, bus loads of tourists have arrived, already primed about the MRI Scanner appeal by the tour guides, asking for the patterns and yarn kits. Many of the MRI Maakers themselves went in and bought kits to make finished hats with from their own pockets, donating them to sell here on the site. Local knitters who made the hat’s for themselves, bought the patterns and kits from Jamieson & Smith’s knowing every penny would be going to the Scanner appeal. The yarn kits donated to the appeal may have been specifically those bought in the store itself, but the hats made from them have been knitted and finished all over the world, including here in Shetland.

Oliver Henry presents Harriet Middleton with cheque for £2566

Speaking to them all today it was obvious how happy they have all been to support us in this very generous way. Everyone was excited by the amount they’re raised doing it, rather than in any way burdened by it. Indeed, Oliver Henry – Patron of Shetland Wool Week – spoke enthusiastically about how good it was to see so many people from all over getting behind the cause in such a big way.

Pictured above, Oliver presented Harriet with the cheque for £2566 at lunchtime today, all the while speaking passionately of why he believes Shetland should have its own MRI Scanner. Talking of more senior people, he proposed that some after diagnosis when presented with their options might feel the journey for an MRI scan, as is currently undertaken, would be too much of an ordeal and decide not to. Obviously we have no way of knowing if that ever happens, and if so how often. However as he argues, if there’s a scanner right here in Shetland, the proposition becomes that there’s no harm in it. No 14 hour ferry journey in ill health.

Derek and his team with Harriet, they took delivery of more raw product while we were there.

It was, we were told, Derek Goudie who had first suggested donating the yarn pack sales to the appeal. Pictured here with Harriet, Derek (on the right) and some of the team were receiving more Shetland wool in it’s raw state. He was speaking openly about when he himself had an accident working with sheep and suffered a blow to the head. Afterwards he had to make several trips to Aberdeen, initially for MRI scans assessing the extent of his injuries. So he understands more than most how much better it would have been, particularly in such sudden circumstances, if an MRI scanner had been available locally then.

Now that the arrangement with the yarn packs has come to an end, we’d gone there to receive their donation and say thank you. As you can see while we did accept an incredibly generous cheque for £2566 on behalf of the MRI Maakers made out to the MRI Scanner, we came away with much more. Four of the people there today had been for MRI scans in recent years, 2 of them more than once. As what the MRI Maakers has been achieving became bigger, more global, we started to ask if it was getting too much. Today we understand better why every time they simply smiled and said no.

Everyone at Jamieson & Smith’s has been incredible, we really can’t thank them enough.

Worldwide Harriet’s Hat Knit Along Ends in 2 Weeks

The worldwide Harriet’s Hat Knit along organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild, which began last month on the 8th June, comes to an end on the 20th July. We’re incredibly grateful that Kathy got in touch and set it up, it has without doubt helped boost pattern sales around the globe.

The 20th July deadline also brings with it a prize draw for those who have posted their finished hat pictures on the ravelry forum thread – Harriet’s Hat KAL for the Shetland MRI Scanner. For those who like a chance to win, there’s still time to download the Harriet’s Hat pattern and post a finished picture. It must be posted on the ravelry thread to be entered in the draw.

There have been many posted already, with many colour work variations, all knitted using Harriet’s pattern, from various countries. They were all cast on in various locations, including at 35000ft on a plane to Hawaii, and during a break between sending patients for an MRI Scan in Vista, California. Some people have even made 2 or more since the KAL began on World Wide Knit in Public Day.

Some of the people taking part in the KAL are actually coming here to Shetland for Shetland Wool Week, so we’re really looking forward to seeing them in person!

To say thanks to everyone who has taken part, we’re putting together this gallery to showcase their works of art. With 2 weeks left to go, there will likely be more but we’ll add them here as they come in. Some of you may have seen these already across social media with the hashtag #harrietshat.

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Where Do I Send My Finished Harriet’s Hat?

We’ve had a few people asking where they should send their finished Harriet’s Hats to be donated for sale by us here. The Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal admin have also, so after discussing it with them we thought it best to post a couple of options.

The favoured one would be to drop them off at one of our MRI Maakers nights in the Gilbert Bain Hospital servery, which happen every second Thursday from 6pm until 8pm. It would be great to see you and you can join us knit and have a yarn.

You could of course send it with someone else if you know someone who comes to the meetings. If you do this though, please label your items in some way so we know where they’ve come from. All items we sell are tagged with the Maaker’s name.

If you can’t make it to those, you can drop it off at the NHS Shetland Board Headquarters, marked to MRI Maakers. Here’s the address if you’re not familiar with it –

MRI Maakers c/o,
NHS Shetland Endowment Fund,
Shetland NHS Board Headquarters,
Upper Floor,
Montfield,
Burgh Road,
Lerwick,
ZE1 0LA

Some have been dropping them off at the main reception marked to Billy @ Estates. This is still ok but we need to be mindful that the reception staff are doing a lot for us already on top of their regular work. All of the finished items shipped, unless collected locally, have passed through there en route to various countries around the world. Without their support sending items out, it simply wouldn’t be possible, so we’re keen not to over burden them with other things.

Everyone has been so supportive in making what the MRI Maakers are doing a success, and we really can’t thank you all enough, whatever part you’re playing. Whether you’re knitting for us, buying our patterns/finished items or simply sharing our links and pages, you’re the reason we’ve raised so much in such a short time. Thank you.

Fernlea Care Centre Residents Give MRI Maakers A Welcome Boost

Cathie (91) Fernlea Care Centre – Whalsay

Two weeks ago we were contacted by Donna Polson, who works at the Fernlea Care Centre in Whalsay, about two current residents there. She’d been helping them pass the time, using her iPad, by telling them all about the MRI Maakers and Harriet’s Hat. Both keen knitters, Gracie (85) and Cathie (91), had asked her if maybe they could do some knitting to help us, so Donna was asking to see if it would be possible.

In the following days, we arranged to send them a bag each with enough yarn for a Harriet’s Hat, along with a hard copy of the pattern. Whalsay is one of Shetland’s many islands, served by it’s own inter island ferry service, so it wasn’t until the following week before they received them.

Gracie (85) – Fernlea Care Centre – Whalsay

We were delighted that these two lovely ladies would be able to spend some of their time doing something they obviously enjoy. They’ve not wasted any time at all, and today Donna sent us the pictures to prove it. In fact, not only have they both finished the hat kits we sent up to them, but they’ve started a finished knitting box and are keen to keep on going. So far it has the two Harriet’s Hats and a pair of gloves in it!

Seeing these pictures of them both, clearly in their element, helping us with our efforts to raise funds for the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal is truly heartwarming. It’s great to think that someone at the care home looks after them in a way that keeps them very much involved in the wider community. They’ve even involved another resident to model their finished hats, and we think Alan has done them proud.

Alan (83) – Fernlea Care Centre – Whalsay

Since they’re enjoying it so much, and they’re keen to carry on, we’re arranging for more yarn in the official colours to be sent up to them. They’ll be able to knit hats, gloves or whatever else makes them happy, all in the official scanner appeal colours. So the next finished item you see in the store, might well be knitted by Gracie or Cathie and we think that’s fantastic.

We’re planning to take a trip up and see them so we can thank them in person and at the same time give them a couple of different faces to see. The least we can do as it’s so touching they want to do this for us, to be part of our efforts to raise the funds we need, and we really can’t thank them enough. We’d also like to thank Donna for getting in touch and making it happen.

We’ve included all of the pictures Donna sent us in the gallery below, so you can see their work in progress along with the finished thing.

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100th Harriet’s Hat Sold Brings Total Raised to Over £20,000

This weekend saw us sell our 100th hat knitted from the Harriet’s Hat pattern. It’s actually 102 as I write this, which includes the hats knitted from the pattern but in alternative colour works.

That means the MRI Maakers have raised a total of £3060 from finished Harriet’s Hats alone since they first began meeting at the beginning of May.

However they’ve also been making other hand knitted items from donated yarn including assorted headbands, fingerless gloves and even lace cowls, bringing the total raised from finished knitwear up to £3338 so far. It’s an incredible total in such a short space of time, all made possible by volunteers knitting in their spare time.

Meanwhile, pattern sales continue both online and from hard copies sold locally which is going particularly well during the tourist season. In fact, this hat being blocked was made by someone who purchased the pattern and yarn right here in Shetland, finishing it in Washington in the U.S. It’s one of thousands sold, with the current total raised from pattern sales now at £13421 (including both downloaded and hard copy versions). The odd number is due to some people paying a round £5.

The MRI Maakers have also inspired several donations, many of which go directly to the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal via the Paypal button on the donate page.  We have no way of knowing how much those are, but we do know of £292 donated directly to us from as far afield as Massachusetts in the U.S. which we mentioned before, and a very generous donation of £200 from Ann Hill and her husband David at this week’s MRI Maakers meeting.

What all of that added up to comes to is a staggering total of £17,051 in just under 2 months by the MRI Maakers, all paid directly into the MRI Scanner appeal fund. Harriet Middleton had the idea to start the MRI Maakers after spending several months selling her knitwear at craft stalls along with items donated by others to sell. She had already sent £3200 in to the scanner appeal from doing that before the fortnightly meetings along with this website started, meaning the total raised by Harriet along with the MRI Maakers since the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal began is now comfortably over £20,000. Mum always tells me I shouldn’t include that last bit, but it’s me writing this and I think it shouldn’t be ignored.

We can’t thank everyone enough for all their support, in particular the MRI Maakers who have contributed so much through their knitting in such a short space of time. It’s outstanding, thank you so much.

Worldwide Video Appeal as Harriet’s Hat Knit Along nears end.

At last nights MRI Maakers meeting we had the very talented Gordon Siegel join us to take photos to send Marie Wallin for her new book, Meadow, being launched in October. He’s been so supportive and has taken some absolutely fabulous pictures.

But with the worldwide knit along organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild due to end on the 20th of July, a TV production company might feature, as part of another project, how widespread the support has been for the MRI Maakers, Harriet’s Hat, and of course now Harriet’s Headband.

Some aspects of this can be done here, and already some short clips have been recorded in case it can work. However, obviously it’s not practical, or cost effective, to fly the crew all around the world with all their kit recording several short clips of many people knitting. So, we’ve come up with this challenge for you all in the hopes it can turn a possibly, maybe, into something that can work for a segment in a mainstream TV documentary type series to be aired next year. We can’t say too much in case it doesn’t work, but will use this comment on our facebook page for anyone who’s willing to post a short video clip. Link to facebook comment. We’d love you to post video clips in the comment thread below the post, the criteria needed by the film crew to be useful is below, but even if they’re not we’re still interested to see them.

1) you’re welcome to post your clips in reply to the facebook post anyway, we’d love to see them, but you’d have to be willing to sign an agreement if you’re happy for them to be used on mainstream TV. The production company will contact you to arrange this if you say you’re willing for it to be used in your comment.

2) you need to be knitting either Harriet’s Hat or Harriet’s Headband.

3) they need know where in the world you are so the feature highlights global coverage. Ideally you could audibly say what your name is , where you’re from, and what drew you to knitting the project in the recording but I suppose if you add it in the comments and it could be subtitled.

4) it needs to be recorded in landscape orientation for it to be usable. A phone held upright won’t work for what they’ve got in mind, so the clip has to be wide and short NOT tall and thin.

5) if you’re a video selfie expert with a tripod you might manage yourself, but realistically it’ll work better if a friend or someone in your knitting group records you/ your group.

Here’s the Link to the facebook comment for posting your clips.

Thanks as always for all your support, wherever in the world you are 🙂

Marie Wallen Pledges To Donate £1 From Each Sale of “Meadow”

Meadow – Marie Wallin – Launch Date 1st October 2019

Many of you will have heard the name Marie Wallen, a former head designer at Rowan who started her own design company in 2013. Marie became an enthusiast of the Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift yarn and in 2017 published her book of 12 Fair Isle designs – “Shetland”.

All of the collection’s photographs were taken at various locations around Shetland, during a trip which left Marie sad to leave and keen to return. In particular she became attached to Belmont House in Unst.

Now, 2 years later, Marie is preparing for the launch of another book – “Meadow” – featuring designs exclusively knitted using Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift yarn. However there’s more to this book release as Marie announces in her July news letter. Having recently heard of the Harriet’s Hat pattern, and the MRI Maakers efforts to raise funds for the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal, she approached us with an offer of support. She will be donating £1 from every copy sold from it’s launch on the 1st of October to the scanner appeal. Not only that, but there’s to be a small feature in the book dedicated to explaining the appeal and what the £1 donation from each sale will help to achieve.

Shetland – 12 Fair Isle Designs by Marie Wallen

Marie announces this in her July newsletter and includes details of the Harriet’s Hat pattern, along with links directly to the MRI Maakers site and the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal site.

Meadow will be available in Jamieson’s of Shetland during Shetland Wool Week, both in the Commercial Street store and at the wool mill at Sandness. We can’t thank Marie enough for her generous assistance, but reading of her fondness of Shetland from her previous book of spindrift designs, it’s easy to understand why she felt compelled to. Thank you.

Harriet’s Headband Launched Today

It seems like a long time since we first posted that the Harriet’s Headband pattern was to be launched but it’s only a little over a week really. Fortunately on the day we ambushed these three fine lasses for a promo pic, we took a few so here’s one of them showing how excited they are for the Harriet’s Headband Launch. We’re almost as excited as they look 🙂

The time in between has been used to fine tune the instructions and make sure the charts are clear and easy to follow for you. We’ve learnt a lot from the Harriet’s Hat pattern, so the distribution has already been fine tuned. The printing of hard copies was sponsored by “I thought I knew how” podcasts and they’ve been ordered today in the hope they arrive in time for our next MRI Maakers night this Thursday shipping permitting.

You can download the new Harriet’s Headband Pattern here, all proceeds go directly to the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal as with everything else sold on this site. We can’t thank everyone enough for helping us get this off the ground and bringing everyone together in the quest to raise funds for the scanner. In particular today, thanks to Nancy Hunter and Jenny Wiseman for reviewing the pattern. More news coming in the near future, but we think the Harriet’s Headband launch is excitement enough for one day.