Total Raised So Far Over £29,000 as Worldwide KAL Ends

The worldwide Knit along of Harriet’s Hat organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild has provided a spectacular boost to the MRI Maakers fundraising efforts without question. Not only did it inspire many around the globe to buy the Harriet’s Hat pattern but the interest it generated encouraged sales of finished items made by the MRI Maakers themselves too.

It’s impossible to say how much of the now £29,115 raised so far came directly or indirectly as a result of the knit along organised by Kathy and the Minnesota Knitters Guild. We can say for sure it’s a lot though, and we really can’t thank them enough along with everyone who took part.

That particular knit along finished on the 20th this month, just as the total raised was approaching £29000, a milestone which we passed today. But the benefits of it didn’t end then, far from it. People who took part are still knitting, some have made several hats, and new friendships have been forged I think on the ravelry forum thread – Harriet’s Hat KAL for the Shetland MRI Scanner. We’ve seen many posts from some who joined in who were inspired to try Fair Isle knitting for the first time having previously shied away from it – the cause and pattern were enough for them to give it ago. Not only that but we now also know that some of those who took part are coming to our one off special event during wool week – Wool Week MRI Maakers Special Event – so will be meeting each other in person as well as seeing Harriet and the MRI Maakers. Something truly special came out of the Minnesota Knitters Guild knitalong, something more than the outstanding boost to our fundraising efforts.

There was also a prize draw for those who posted a picture of their finished hats on the Ravelry forum thread, laknits, 60SpriteGal, knitterka, debmarianne were drawn at random, so congratulations to them.

We added a gallery to a post a couple of weeks ago ahead of the event closing showing some of the finished hat pictures, there are some lovely alternative colour ways! There’s more yet to add, which we’ll do below in the coming days so they’re collated in one place.

Thanks to everyone who took part and bought the pattern, everyone who bought a finished item from here in our online store as a result of it, and mostly to Kathy and the Minnesota Knitters Guild for setting it up. Totally blown away by the continued support from a community of knitting enthusiasts all around the world!

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 –

Community means something much bigger among knitters, thank you.

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,
Burgh Road,

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.

Up Helly Aa Official Photographer Sports Harriet’s Hat

The Summer Carnival took place in Lerwick this evening and this year’s Up Helly Aa squad were taking part. It was the perfect opportunity, while the squad all adorn their intricately designed viking suits, for them to present checks to two deserved causes.

The Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal, and Cancer Research UK were each given £1000 by the Jarl Squad. The presentation was being captured by the squad’s official photographer, Gordon Siegel when Carol Campbell noticed he was wearing something quite familiar.

Pictured here, Gordon is wearing one of Harriet’s Hats, knitted specially for him by Harriet herself not long ago. There are few things more exciting for us these days than seeing on of these world renowned hats in some unique setting, but the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal being awarded £1000 by world famous Vikings is one of them.

2019 Up Helly Aa Squad presenting Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal and Cancer Research UK with cheques for £1000 each.

Finished hand knitted Harriet’s hats are available to buy in the online store but rely on volunteer MRI Maakers to produce them so are occasionally out of stock. Alternatively you can buy the Harriet’s Hat Pattern and get the satisfaction of knitting your own. All proceeds go directly to the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal.



Final Day For Harriet’s Hat Worldwide Knit Along Cast On Entries

This time last week the world wide Harriet’s Hat knit along started by the Minnesota Knitters Guild got off to a flying start, with someone even casting on her hat while above the Pacific Ocean on a plane to Hawaii. There’s still photos we need to add to our gallery in the post we put up on the start day.

There’s still time to download your copy of the Harriet’s Hat Pattern, cast on quickly, and post a picture on the Ravelry thread to enter the cast on prize draw.

You then have until the 20th of July to post pictures of your finished hats in the same ravelry thread to be included in the finished hats draw.

It’s been an incredibly successful event so far, some are onto a second or third hat – looks like they’re addicted 😂 Can’t thank everyone enough for joining in and supporting us, no matter where in the world you’re taking part. Thank you.

Island Medics Stars Model Harriet’s Hat and Reversible Headbands

Aimee, Sam & Hannah modelling Harriet’s Hat and Headbands

It’s not often the staff in A&E have a spare moment, so we’re glad we got the opportunity to grab this fine three for a quick promo photo.

Aimee, Sam and Hannah were working at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Shetland today, where the MRI Scanner will be when we’ve raised enough funds. They weren’t expecting this when they started their shifts this morning, but as with any A&E department they’re accustomed to the unexpected. You might recognise them from the Island Medics Series shown on BBC TV, the film crew were actually there at the time recording for the next series.

You’ll also probably recognise Harriet’s Hat being worn by Sam in the middle, but you won’t have seen the Reversible Harriet’s Headbands being shown for the first time by Aimee and Hannah. We’ll be launching the Harriet’s Headband pattern shortly, which has been designed to compliment the hat and embodies all of it’s signature features, with the crown translated into the top and bottom banding of the darker side, while the ribbing borders the light side.

We hope you like them and look forward to bringing you the pattern in the very near future.

Don’t they look great? The hat and headbands don’t look bad either 😉

Big thanks to Aimee, Sam and Hannah for taking time out of your busy day to do this for us and helping to promote the next step by Harriet and the MRI Maakers.


Credit and debit card payments now enabled for non PayPal members

We received an email today from someone who had been trying to purchase something using a credit/ debit card without logging into PayPal. Having checked, it seems the setting for this option wasn’t quite right.

It’s been changed now, so you can now purchase anything from the online store using most credit/ debit cards even if you don’t have a PayPal account. Sorry if you’ve tried before but haven’t been able to, we didn’t realise until we were told about it.

Worldwide Harriet’s Hat KAL Off To A Flying Start

The worldwide Harriet’s Hat Knit Along event organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild started today, with the first picture being posted on the Ravelry Thread from Australia.

While Harriet and other local knitters joined in, casting on in the Mareel in Lerwick, that same knitter shared that they were still knitting back in Australia.

As the day went on, more pictures from around the world were posted not only on the Ravelry thread but across social media. So we decided to highlight the support this has gained by sharing those that are publicly accessible here, and where known include where in the world they’re from. There’s still many more to come in so this gallery is likely to be updated. If you’ve got your own casting on photo you want to share with us, please use the contact page and we’ll be only to happy to add it.

In particular from the pictures below, we’re drawn to one shared by someone in the US, who was in fact taking part in the KAL while on a break from sending patients for MRI scans.

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Remember, to be entered into the prize draws you must post your pictures on the Ravelry Thread. The deadline for the Casting on pic is the 15th, and the deadline for the completed hat picture is the 20th of July next month. So you’ve still got time to download a Harriet’s Hat Pattern, and join in!

Thanks to the Minnesota Knitters Guild for setting this up, in particular Kathy, and of course everyone for supporting us by joining in – wherever in the world you knit. Thank you.