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Helping Father Frost, our new style Christmas Stocking project for 2020

Help Father Frost! The Christmas Stocking Project 2020

Stocking are made very early as due to transporting them over to Belarus goes, they leave when the summer visitors go back and go into safe storage! They will be given to the children around the time of the orthodox Christmas early January 2021.

Please read carefully as things are different.

  • We have been given a list of children, names and ages as at the time they will receive their stocking. Initially we have 31.
  • If you would like to take part, message or email us and we will allocate a child to you. How lovely is this??!! You then make a stocking just for them!
  • Let’s say no more than 2 children per person, but if you are prepared to make for more, let us know and we can always come back to you. No extras needed this year, just personalised stockings for these children. If we have more donors than children we will take your names in case we get more.

So last posting is Friday 23rd May 2020.

Elizabeth Parker (Mid Suffolk Chernobyl Children’s Life line link)and her team personally take filled stockings to Belarus, to the homes/schools of very disadvantaged children. Their aim is to give the children a real Christmas present and those they give to have most likely never received a Christmas present before.  It is very important to note this is absolutely not one of those shoe box appeals, so these stockings do not include functional toothpaste/brush type items, and there are no strings attached. It is just a wonderful thing to be able to do for some of the most disavanted and sick children.

So message/email for a child’s details, then once you have these please read on! Should anything change and you can’t make the stocking PLEASE PLEASE let us know so that we can sort things out. This is so important, we don’t want any child to be left out.

Even if you took part last year, please do read the instructions, they are absolutely vital to making this work. We are grateful to you, this is a wonderful project. Thank you.

We are looking for home made fabric only please stockings, OR shop bought stockings, we found some  on Ebay and Amazon but PLEASE as close to the size below as possible.  Then fit it with age appropriate treasure and get it as close to the weight as possible!

Here’s how to help…

  1. Whether it is home made or shop bought, stockings need to be as close to 18cm by 40cm  (approx 7” x 16) which seems to be average standard size of shop bought ones.
  2. The stockings can contain anything that would be considered a Christmas present but for this project, no utility items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste
  3. A list of suggested items is below but these are by no means the only items to be included, feel free to add anything you want!
  4. The gifts inside the stockings must not be wrapped in Christmas paper as this makes it easier if they are stopped at customs.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT – Completed stockings must weigh no more than 650 grams please and need to be able to lie as flat as possible for travelling purposes.
  6. Reiterating the 650g weight limit!
  7. Please send any filled stockings to us wrapped in a carrier bag with a list of the contents jotted down on a bit of paper and the weight in grammes, PLUS THE CHILD”S NAME AND NUMBER

What to put in to a stocking…The items listed are only some suggestions, please feel free to add your own items

  1. Liquids may not be sent neither should toy guns, sharps, knives or other weapons etc be sent as some parents might object to these.
  2. No sweets (as the stockings will be in storage in Minsk for a good while, they go over in June, and they can’t guarantee they mightn’t get hot)
  3. A small soft toy
  4. Small ornaments (all children love dogs and cats)
  5. A “Barbie” or Action Man type Doll
  6. temporary tattoos
  7. lip balm
  8. flavoured chapsticks
  9. Magic Gloves
  10. Hair slides, bobble, elastics etc for girls, colourful, sparkly items are really liked.
  11. Girls love all things pink and “blingy” !
  12. Wrist bands for boys
  13. Fridge Magnets are a big favourite
  14. Small logic puzzles, i.e. the ones we use to get where you had to roll a few small balls around and get
    them in the right place.
  15. Spinner toys
  16. Bracelets and necklaces for girls
  17. Balsa wood models
  18. Polystyrene plane kits
  19. Small cars or other models
  20. Small windup toys
  21. Marbles – quite heavy but a few would be ok and the children really love them
  22. Stickers – all the children seem to collect these
  23. Yo yo
  24. Harmonica
  25. Funny socks and slipper socks are liked very much, particularly if they are “Character “ones.
  26. Warm tights for girls – they like bright colors
  27. Small notebook – pretty ones for girls
  28. Pens, pencils – biros should be blue not black please, this is for school use, highlighters
  29. colouring pencils
  30. Small coin purses
  31. Pretty notebooks
  32. Pencil case
  33. Any toys with LED lights – particularly the stretchy/squishy ones
  34. Folding shopping bags (older girls)
  35. Keyrings
  36. Slipper socks

We will have quite a bit of admin this end, so please send any filled stockings to us wrapped in a carrier bag with a list of the contents jotted down on a bit of paper and the weight in grammes. Do make sure you include your child’s name and number which will all help make sure the right stocking goes to the right child! All hail the folk who get these out in Belarus! 

Angel Hugs for Bereaved Families ( updated for 2020)

2020. Very much an ongoing project, collection dates to aim for are at the bottom of the Home page. Thank you x

 

Our Angel Hug project began back in 2012 with a request to make blankets for newborn or very young babies who devastatingly have not survived. At an intensely bleak and dark time there is still something very positive that we can do for the baby and their family. Our blankets are always handmade with love and compassion and so are perfect. We can help care for the whole family at this time by making the baby comfortable and snuggled up whilst sending love and a hug to the parents and wider family. We have been supporting Glasgow Maternity wards and are able to support SANDS if needed.

We have recently had a request from the wonderful Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green, Essex to support their bereaved families too. With your love and support we will be so glad to help more families going through absolute hell.

We know that we have many crafters and donors who have first hand experience of such devastating loss. We understand that this is a very difficult request, but if you can join with us, and are able to help, then we would love to have you on board. From speaking to some of you, we know how incredibly important blankets like these are to those who receive them.

Angel Hugs is as always an ongoing project. Traditionally we have sent plain white Angel Hugs to Glasgow and will continue with this.  Haven House would like us to use the palette below which will tie in with the big Billie’s Butterfly blankets we have made for their post bereavement room and may well be in use for families at this incredibly difficult time.

 

If making an Angel Hug for Haven House Hospice

  • Single colours only please, using Stylecraft Special DK in these colours only…Duck egg, grape, sage, pale rose, cloud blue
  • Minimum size : 24 inches square, going up to a maximum of approx. 30 inches square.
  • At the bottom of this page is a copy of the SANDS knitted pattern if this helps you

 

If making an Angel Hug for Glasgow Maternity

  • Angel Hugs are to be all white and can be knitted or crocheted in any wool suitable for a baby blanket, so 4ply, DK, just as long as it feels soft and cosy. The design is up to you, but it should be kept simple. Angel Hugs can also be sewn using pure cotton and good quality fleece, again white please and in a simple design.
  • Minimum size : 24 inches square, going up to a maximum of approx. 30 inches square.
  • At the bottom of this page is a copy of the SANDS knitted pattern if this helps you.
  • Please make sure when you post that you label your blanket as an Angel Hug, we don’t want to get them muddled with Little Hugs.

 

If you need help to be able to take part

  • If you would like to take part in this project but feel you can’t due to the costs involved, please message us and we’ll try to help you with materials

 

If you’d like to donate funds for others to craft on this project

  • We would be very grateful for support from anyone who would like to donate funds to help with this. You can either donate via Paypal admin@woollyhugs.com but please add a message so we know who to thank and which project it is for. If you don’t have Paypal, please message us as we have other ways that you can donate. We are so grateful to all our donors, without you, these projects could not function.

It is a very sad request we are making, and yet there is something very positive here too, and we know the Blanketeers have big hearts. Sometimes thank you doesn’t seem enough, but thank you once again.

 

 

 

The SANDS pattern

Please note this is only a suggestion.

If you are intending to make a blanket with the lace edging, then please knit the basic blanket no larger than a 20 inch square.

Easy Baby Blanket with Lace Option This lace border makes the easy blanket very special but we are happy for you to knit to the basic pattern. (You can use any white wool and needles to suit, to give a soft drape). The basic pattern knit to approx a 24” square. It will always come square.

BASIC BLANKET 200gm of Double Knit Wool and 4mm needles.

Cast on 1 stitch Next row:- Make the one stitch into two stitches.

Next row:- Knit 1, into the next stitch make another, 3 stitches on needle.

Continue to knit, ALWAYS knit the first stitch and into the 2 nd stitch make another. Only increase this way at the BEGINNING of a row. Continue until you have almost come to the end of the 100gm ball. Knit 1 row plain.

Next row:- Knit 1, Knit 2 together, Knit to end of row.

Continue this way, always knit the 1 st stitch then decrease into the next stitch by knitting 2 together until 1 stitch remains.

You should now have a neat square.

LACE EDGING

Using Double Knit and size 8 (UK) needles Cast on 8 stitches

Row 1 (Wrong side) Slip 1, Knit 1, (Yarn fwd knit 2 tog) twice, Yarn fwd, Knit 2 (9 sts)

Rows 2, 3, and 6. Slip 1 Knit to the end.

Row 3. Slip 1, knit 2 (yarn fwd knit 1 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 1 (10 sts)

Row 5. Slip 1, knt 3 (yarn fwd knit 2 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 2 (11 sts)

Row 7. Slip 1, knit 4 (yarn fwd kni t 2 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 2 (12 sts)

Row 8. Slip 1, Knit 11 sts Row 9. Cast off 4 sts. Knit to the end (8 sts)

Row 10. Slip 1, knit to the end (8 sts)

These 10 rows form the pattern.

Continue in pattern until it is long enough to fit all around. Sew o nto the blanket. Thank you so much.

 

 

Our Hearty Heart Project

 

Hearty Hearts

‘A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees’
Amelia Earhart

We recently sent out handcrafted Hearts to nominated folk who needed a little boost. These were sent anonymously (for free )and with our love. ❤️  It was a wonderful to be able to undertake a random act of kindness like this and it is one we’d like to repeat.  It was only made possible by wonderful crafters making and sending hearts, and we now have none left. We’d love to be able to collect more so are making this an ongoing project.

How…

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 can be padded or just double sided. Other than this the style is very much up to you. !

Have put some links below, you may well have your own ideas!

 

Crafting suggestions

Crochet Heart Applique Pattern

Twenty six free crochet heart patterns! Including granny hearts, swirls and crocodile stitch. 

Bella Coco YouTube crochet heart tutorial, bear with the ads

Bella Coco Heart crochet pops – just leave out the stick and add a loop!

Cute Knitted heart design on Ravelry

Knitted heart design

Love stitches heart design – in photo

 

The most enormous thanks!

 

Christmas Cwtches

Christmas Cwtches

 

The Christmas Cwtch palette

We were delighted when the staff at the Great North Children’s Hospital contacted us and asked for help. They would like some very special Little Hugs making to use in the run up to Christmas for very sick children in  hospital over this period. So we are looking for squares in the SSDK colours below. Christmas designs/themes/embellishments warmly welcomed. This project will help children and their families at very difficult times.

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

 

The Christmas Cwtch palette (all SSDK yarn)

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

Squares and blankets for our Christmas Cwtch project to be sent to Teddington please. Last posting…..

Monday 19th October 2020. 

 

Chernob TwentyTwenty – for the Early Birds!

About the Project

For the last few years we have been making warm, comforting Little Hugs for Belarusian and Ukrainian teenagers and children visiting the UK for recuperative holidays during the summer with the fabulous charity the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, Chernobyl Children’s Project and the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children. Each year these marvellous charities bring children who live in the most contaminated area near the Chernobyl reactor over to the UK. In summer, when the dust causes radiation levels to rise, it becomes even more important for as many children as possible to leave their homeland for a few weeks of fresh air and clean food. The rates of childhood cancer are incredibly high and often visiting children are in remission. Sadly though there is a high chance of these children falling ill again. They all suffer living in such difficult conditions and with very little. It is a lovely thing for us to do to make these children a special cuddly blanket to take home. One child last year said to his interpreter it was like having a big hug from his Gran. Beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an absolutely joy to us to meet some of the children who visited Bristol at their homes in Protosevichi, Belarus one year on and see them with their blankest again. We know how loved and cherished these are by children and families who really have very little. It has renewed our passion for this wonderful project.

 

The groups we send our blankets to….

Not all groups host every year, but these are the groups we have helped so far, and hope to continue to do so.

  • Aberdeen
  • Ayrshire
  • Bristol
  • Chet and Waveney (Norfolk)
  • Dublin
  • Fife
  • Gloucester/Glossop (children will be splitting their trip between these two)
  • Isle of Wight
  • Mid Suffolk
  • Northamptonshire (Helpston)
  • Shropshire
  • St Ives
  • Swindon

Now then, this is early days to predict, but we are thinking it is going to be close to 150!

We need YOU!!

Here’s how you can help….

Squares. We need twelve inch squares in the Stylecraft Special DK palette as in photo left and listed at the bottom of the page, if 12 is too much, 6 inch squares are fine too, just this yarn in these colours please, inc for embellishments so the blankets come together and are consistent for wash and wear. Knit and crochet equally welcome, beginner or expert, as simple or complex as you like, single colour, multi colour. Design of square up to you, but not too lacy, they need to be hardy. Please use a 4mm hook or needles. If sizing is a challenge with your pattern/tension, we prefer them just under sized rather than over! SO IMPORTANT! Please ensure you knot off every end/colour change very very securely, leave approx a 6 inch tail end and use a needle to sew in. These blankets have to be super sturdy as there is no way back to fix them if squares collapse.

Whole blankets We know some crafters love to make their own whole blankets and this is wonderful! We ask you message us to let us know, so we have some idea of numbers of squares needed. Please use SSDK. Finished blanket size remains the same at 48inches by 60 inches, and please work within the colour palette as this makes it much easier when blankets are gifted. If circumstances change and you can no longer make a whole blanket, LET US KNOW! Thank you so so much x

We will confirm last posting, but please none to be posted until January 2020

The 2020 Palette

  • Aspen
  • Aster
  • Bluebell
  • Boysenberry
  • Bright pink
  • Candy floss
  • Citron
  • Claret
  • Cloud blue
  • Cornish Blue (new this year)
  • Cypress
  • Denim
  • Duck egg
  • Emperor
  • Empire
  • Fondant
  • Fuchsia pink
  • Grape
  • Grass green
  • Kelly green
  • Lapis
  • Lavender
  • Lime
  • Lipstick
  • Lobelia
  • Magenta
  • Meadow
  • Mustard
  • Pale Rose
  • Parchment
  • Petrol
  • Pistachio
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Sherbert
  • Shrimp
  • Spearmint (new this year)
  • Spice
  • Storm blue
  • Teal
  • Tomato
  • Turquoise
  • Violet

Thank you to lovely Viki for the peg pic – beautiful!

Ice Cream funds. If you would like to add 50p in when you post squares/blankets for ice creams that would be so kind, we will split any money we receive between the groups.

 

Extras for the children. Please no posting of these until after Easter 2020!

There are a few extras which we will be collecting too alongside squares, items which really help, if you would like to add in any of these we would love to receive them for the children, thank you, bless you. We have spoken with all groups receiving this year about what they would like and have an adapted list of extras, please note, no shampoo, shower gel this year. We will be adding some of these things to our Amazon wish-list if that helps.

  • New underwear, pants/socks boys and girls, age 8-12
  • Children’s Gloves
  • High factor suncream
  • Toothbrushes, single packed please
  • Toothpaste
  • Hairbrushes
  • Bars of soap, wrapped as singles.
  • Sanitary towels
  • Plasters
  • Insect bite pens
  • Cold sore cream
  • Lip balms
  • Small tubes or tubs of Sudacrem
  • Children’s vitamins
  • Vegetable seeds (tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, beetroot, gherkins)
  • Menthol type cough lozenges
  • Big and strong long life shopping bags
  • Tea and instant coffee, packets please
  • Any little luxuries that 8-12 year olds might love, eg nail varnish, fun stationery, temporary tattoos, little toys with LEDs, mini torches,  , hair clips, make up bits, mini lego kits, fun/brightly coloured sunglasses, stickers  etc.

 

Donating funds

We are always very grateful to anyone who would like to donate funds for this project. Please do inc your name so we can thank you properly.

Our Paypal is admin@woollyhugs.com

Bank transfer

    • • We are a Cooperative account in the name of Woolly Hugs
    • • Account number: 65579631
    • • Sort code: 089299

Any funds raised from our Spring/Easter sale this year will be used to support this project.

Hugs for Heads 2020

After the success last year, we thought how lovely it would be to send all children a cosy hat to take home with their blanket this year, so introduced Hugs for Heads, if you would like to knit or crochet a cosy child’s hat size age 8 to adult in machine washable yarn, we would love to receive it for them. The pattern is up to you., we do have yarn available, please message us.  Posting any time from January 2020!

 

 

Thank you so much everyone!