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Christmas Cwtch Project in 2024

Little Iris wanted to say thank you for the gorgeous blanket she was given on the children’s ward where we spent a good chunk of her first five weeks of life and also the special Christmas one she received as a gift on her first ever Christmas. They definitely brightened our time there and we still use our rainbow blanket every day. Thank you to the lovely talented people who made them! Xx”

We were delighted when the staff at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle contacted us a couple of years ago and asked for help. They asked if it were possible to make some very special Little Hugs to use in the run up to Christmas for very sick children in  hospital over this period. The pictures here are from previous projects, and we are delighted they would like us to make for the children again. This project will again help children and their families at very difficult times.

Hi, i just wanted to say a massive thank you as my son Milo received one of your amazing blankets whilst critical in hospital over Christmas… it made it feel like even though we couldnt be home as a family to celebrate xmas, we were able to wrap him up in christmas thank you to all involved xx

For the Woollies…

We are looking for six and twelve inch squares in the SSDK colours below. Christmas designs/themes/embellishments warmly welcomed. Fill your boots! Just this yarn in these colours please so we can match up squares and the blankets will be consistent for wash and wear.

  • Claret
  • Cream
  • Grass green
  • Green
  • Kelly green
  • Lipstick

For the Sewing Folk…

Christmas cwtches could also be made in these sort of colours in cotton Christmassy prints, lightweight quilts. These must be machine washable and tumble dry possible only please.

For both yarn and fabric

  • Size wise we are aiming to send a mix of sizes from baby sized (24 inch squares) up to single bed sized.

Please no posting before September 2023, then whole blankets/quilts and separate squares please to Teddington.

LAST POSTING DATE FOR SQUARES AND BLANKETS PLEASE IS NOV 1st

2024. Our Christmas Craft Sale, the crafting phase!

We know this is super early, but we also know our lovely crafters like to plan and that crafting takes such a long time. We are delighted though to be launching our Christmas Craft Sale 2024, we hope you will join us. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and will help us raise much needed funds to continue our woolly work. With your love and support we hope it is a huge success!

The charity we shall support this year will be one related to Parkinson’s. Still to be confirmed, but we;d be interested in anyone UK based has experience of support from any of them, Thank you

Every penny we can raise will go to help others, we hope you will support us, either by crafting, buying or even maybe both! Thank you so so much.

Last posting for crafts please – November 1st. This is to Teddington. THANK YOU!

November 18th – 25th. The event itself will take place as usual all online through a Facebook event page and an Auction site attached to this website.

So let the Crafting Stage begin!

We are aiming to make and sell small/lightweight Christmas craft items. We are open to larger items too obviously, that is just a guide. Some suggestions for you, but we are very open to others too…

  • Stocking fillers, although obviously Father Christmas is REAL, this is just to help.
  • Christmas tree decorations.  Always very popular, as are totally bonkers quirky things, yes we are thinking gin wreaths, woolly slugs and sock pigs, who knew??!  😀
  • Stockings
  • Cute cuddly things
  • Small gifts – Little bags, purses, brooches, hair accessories, key rings, gift bags, tags,
  • Clothing items such as gloves, hats, scarves, – if making clothing PLEASE inc the ball band or let us know so we can pass this info on to those who buy. xxx
  • Bunting – everyone LOVES bunting. This could be sewn, knitted, crocheted etc.
  • Pocket friends, no bigger than palm size. Would suggest cute.
  • Book marks
  • Covered tape measures
  • Sewing type needle cases
  • Wreaths
  • Coasters
  • Cards
  • Lavender bags
  • Pencil/ hook cases
  • Hair accessories
  • Brooches
  • Keyring/bag tags
  • Pin cushions
  • face scrubbies
  • Covered notebooks
  • Animal headbands
  • Lovely lovely things!
  • Woolly, fabric, embroidered, beaded, ALL crafty crafts welcome!!

Just a few examples of the treasure sent last Christmas…

                                       

Woolly Hugs at the Carry on Crafting Festival!

We are delighted to be working at this fabulous summer festival in West Sussex (20th and 21st July 2024) and will be introducing more crafters to our wonderful charity. There are still tickets to be had,  click on this link if you think you might like to come to the festival, and if you do,  please pop in to see us! It would be awesome to see familiar faces and Huggers, do let us know if you are coming!

From the Carry on Crafting team….

After the great success of our first two festivals, we are doing it all again! We are pleased to announce we are staying at the South of England Showground, which is set in 150 acres in Ardingly, West Sussex, with easy access by road, train or plane.

We are going to be packing in even more this year! So expect more crafts, more craft classes, more craft demos, more raw materials to buy, a fabulous craft market, fabulous food, shopping and of course you don’t have to leave as you can camp, and this year you get to stay for THREE nights! (19th, 20th and 21st) The festival is open to the public 9:30am to 5:00pm on Saturday and 10:00 am to 4:30 pm on Sunday. Don’t forget we are dog friendly so you can bring your furry four legged friend with you as long as they remain on a lead.

 

We plan to run Hugathon type workshop sessions throughout the weekend, focusing on our Snug project,  getting folk to make 6 inch squares.  We will be providing yarn. There is no booking needed for this, it will be a drop in activity.  Hopefully it will be busy and great fun.

Here’s how we’d love some preparation help from you, if possible please! (1)

We’d love your help in two areas if at all possible please. Firstly we’d love to create a gorgeous super long summer festival pompom garland to decorate our event tents. ( And we plan to then to use for Hugathons after)  So we are asking for folk to make and send as many pompoms as they can manage. We have chosen the palette below to keep a theme. It is SSDK,  Whatever size pompoms you’d like to make, that’s what we’d love to receive! Thank you!

Summer festival palette for pompom garland! All Stylecraft Special DK

 

Here’s how we’d love some preparation help from you, if possible please! (2)

Secondly, we’d love to have some small items for sale. We will be seeking donations from crafters for our Hugathon workshops, but any fundraising we can do at the festival will be great,  Given the nature of the festival, which is much more adult than say Camp Bestival which focusses on the whole family, we have spent some time thinking about what to ask for, and we have some ideas, you may well have others.

  • Bunting – everyone LOVES bunting. This could be sewn, knitted, crocheted etc.
  • Pocket friends, no bigger than palm size. Would suggest cute.
  • Book marks
  • Covered tape measures
  • Sewing type needle cases
  • Mini wreaths
  • Hanging decs – birds, hearts etc
  • Bracelets
  • Bangles
  • Coasters
  • Cards
  • Lavender bags
  • Pencil/ hook cases
  • Hair accessories
  • Brooches
  • Keyring/bag rtags
  • Pin cushions]face scrubbies
  • Covered notebooks
  • Animal headbands

Any help would be so gratefully received, we can’t thank you enough!

Last posting please to be July 1st, the address will be Teddington. please message us if you need this. THANK YOU!

The Great Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon, Edinburgh. Saturday 28th September 2024

The Great Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon in Edinburgh takes place on Saturday 28th September 2024, between 11.00am and 3.30pm, at St Columba’s by the Castle Church Hall in central Edinburgh, just off the Royal Mile, close to Edinburgh Castle.

Our Venue is fully accessible. Access to the venue is via a gentle and wheelchair-friendly ramp from the street pavement and there is a lift to the level of the hall and garden area downstairs. There are accessible bathroom facilities.

Tickets cost £20 each. On Sale from 7pm from June 1st 2024.

Click here for the Eventbrite link.

Our Hugathons are a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow Woolly Huggers who share a love of crafting.They are very friendly and inclusive. It is a great time for chatting with your fellow Woolly crew and sharing ideas. If Tortie behaves we will let him come too! We’ve included some testimonials from folk who have been to one before, which might be useful if this is your first time.

During the Hugathon we will attempt to get as many 6 inch squares made. In Edinburgh we are focussing on our Snug Project 2024.   We will provide all SSDK, but please remember to bring your 4mm hooks/knitting needles, you will need them! If you have any squares already made for THIS project ONLY, please bring them, it may be that we can get some kits out for construction.

We will also be running a rather fabulous Lucky Dip (£1 a go) and our legendary Gin Raffle (£1 a ticket)  We will also be running a DeStash table. If you have crafting items to donate to our DeStash table please do bring, remember one person’s destash is another person’s treasure!

And finally we will play our Yarn Bingo game, you will not want to miss this!

We have use of the kitchen area, and will provide the wherewithal for making tea and coffee for a donation. Bring a packed lunch, snacks and drinks, we won’t judge if that is alcohol!

We will be flying to Edinburgh so will be unable to take any completed treasure home, apologies for this, we have limited luggage allowance.

How to get there…

Lothian Region Transport buses run along nearby George IV Bridge and Lothian Road. The venue is also close to Princes Street and George Street, further bus information can be found at the City Council website.

The venue is also reasonably close to Edinburgh’s Waverley station for rail services. There is a taxi rank at the station.

Parking is limited in the area:

Metered On-street parking: Johnston Terrace 8:30am – 6:30pm Mon-Sat (charges apply)

Closest NCP Parking: Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EW https://www.ncp.co.uk/parking-solutions/cities/edinburgh/

St. Columba’s by the Castle, 14 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW ( Big blue door!)

 

Some photos from previous year..

 

Do join us, we’d love to meet you or see you again. And if you are worried about not knowing anyone, let us know and we can get you seated and chatting as quick as a flash.

From folk who have been to a Hugathon before…

Walking into a room of people you might have never met could be daunting … but at the Hugathon you are surrounded immediately with love, purpose and wool! What better way to spend a day? Alexsis

 

A warm woolly welcome to all. I travelled there alone, anxiously entered, not knowing a soul. Within a few mins I felt so welcomed and part of this wonderful group. A room full of like minded people, wool galore, cakes, tea, coffee, and probably gin 🤪 Julie

 

A wonderful experience meeting friends and like minded people. Like sinking into a warm bath of friendship I’ve always known but never met before. Jen

Attending the Woolly Hugs Hugathon was an amazing experience, putting faces to the names you had made friends with online in the pursuit of a common goal to spread yarn love around the UK and the World. Paula

 

A fabulous day meeting ‘strangers’ I have known online for years. Sharing yarn, craft skills, cake and laughter. Returning home full of love for the wonderful Woolly Huggers! Jo

It was lovely to meet all the folk I have made virtual friends with online . It gave me a real sense of us working together helping to make something beautiful and worthwhile . It was also lovely for the chat , laughter and to admire the amazing craftmanship going on around me , and how everyone was happy to share their expertise Steph

The hugathon is where the WH virtual community crosses over into a face to face community, meeting others who you may have got to know online. It’s so lovely to be able to sit and work and natter together, comparing notes and making friends. It epitomises the spirit of WH, crafters working together to benefit others. Alison

 

I’ve only been to one but it was brilliant and had gin 🤣 Anna

Bonding squares and hearts to support the wonderful work of the NW neonatal transport team.

Here’s one we made earlier! Thank you so much to lovely Julie C for making this fabulous set and heart for a visual aid!

 

 

Some of you will remember our Panda Picnic back in 2021, making bonding squares for the tiniest babies at the Rosie in Cambridge and for their PaNDR ( Paediatric and Neonatal Decision Support and Retrieval Service).

We are delighted to have been approached by another neonatal transport team, this time in the North West – Connect NW (www.connectnw.baby) who cover the 21 neonatal units of the NW Operational Delivery Network (NWNODN) – made up of Greater Manchester, Lancashire & S.Cumbria and Cheshire & Mersey Neonatal Networks.

They are consistently one of the busiest neonatal transport teams year on year carrying out in the region of 150+ transfers a month and an average of 2000 a year!

This fabulous team have heard of our work with the (equally fabulous) Cambridge team and would like something very similar. Their team ‘colour’ is purple so they are thinking along the lines of some purple themed bonding squares, and also some purple hearts for them to leave with mums when they transfer their babies. You can see how comforting that would be. Very special at a time of incredible anxiety.

What are bonding squares? 

Bonding Squares are knitted in matching pairs. One square is placed with a premature baby and another is worn against the mum’s skin, then the squares are swapped round every 12 hours or every time mum visits. They help with the bonding of a premature baby in an incubator and the baby’s mum. Also can help with breastfeeding in time.

 

We know that with your love and support we can do this very easily! Please read the crafting info carefully

Part One – Bonding Squares Crafting Info

Please read carefully as only items meeting the criteria will go on to the team!

  • This is only a job for knitters, so hookers, now is the time to learn if you can’t knit yet! We’d like garter knit or moss stitch only squares as the stitches are perfect, dense yet with the necessary movement to them, ie not too stiff.
  • Squares to be 6 inches NO BIGGER please.
  • We are using Stylecraft Special DK – Proper Purple (1855) only so it ties in with their colour theme, and we know it will be consistent in wash and use.
  • No intarsia, lacy bits, holes, embroidery, loops, flaps, or appliqués.
  • Squares must be able to lie flat independently. No curling
  • When finished or changing colour, ends must be incredibly tightly tied off leaving a 6 inch tail, use a needle to sew this in please.
  • No blocking please.
  • Pairs must match, when you send please tie in pairs with a bit of wool.
  • Thank you so much for helping!

Posting will be Teddington. Deadline is June 1st for our first collection, after which we will reassess what is needed and the time frame!

Part Two – Hearts’ Crafting Info

We would like to collect crochet, knitted or stitched 3D hearts (so not single sided) these to be no bigger than 20cm MAX and to have a hanging loop. They need to be 3D, so with some padding please. Other than this the style is very much up to you. If using yarn, please go for Stylecraft Special Proper Purple DK as the purple. If using fabric, please go as close as possible to a Cadbury purple, to be similar. 

Each pair of squares and each heart is another family helped. Let’s try to help as many as possible? Huge thanks lovely Woollies, as always you totally rock

G&G