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Help Father Frost! The Woolly Hugs’ Christmas Stocking Project 2018

Help Father Frost! The Christmas Stocking Project 2018

Our wonderful friends at the Mid Suffolk Chernobyl Children’s Life line run a fantastic Christmas project and in addition to sending them our summer blankets, we would love to help this group to help even more children. This is a fabulous idea which very much appeals to us, we hope it will do you too!

In the run up to Christmas, they personally take filled stockings to Belarus, to very sick children in hospitals and also to the homes 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.

Would you like to help us?!!

We are looking for home made ( knit, crochet or sewn) stockings, OR shop bought stockings, we found some today (June) on Ebay and Amazon but PLEASE as close to the size below as possible.  These can be sent full, all guidance below, or empty for them to fill. We need both. You can also just contribute little gifts/sweets if you prefer. There are very specific guidelines for these Christmas stockings, you will appreciate lovely Elizabeth Parker and her group have to get them over to Belarus in their own luggage, so please make sure you read carefully.

 

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. Empty stockings are very useful, but if you would like to fill one please read on…
  3. The stockings can contain anything that would be considered a Christmas present but for this project, no utility items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste
  4. 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!
  5. The gifts inside the stockings should not be wrapped in Christmas paper as this makes it easier if they are stopped at customs.
  6. They aim to take stockings for children from birth to 16 years . Most people want to give to young children so some for older teenagers would be appreciated, but whichever age range you go for they are very grateful.  Aim for one of these… 0-2, 2-4, 4-6, 6-8. 8-10, 10-12, 12-14, 14-16, and decide boy or girl.
  7. VERY IMPORTANT – Completed stockings should weigh no more than 650 grams please and need to be able to lie as flat as possible for travelling purposes.
  8. Ideas, stickers, matchbox cars, gel pens, stationery, bouncy balls, anything with LEDs, finger puppets, badges, hair clips, scrunchies, temporary tattoos, a few sweets eg Haribo mini packs (not choc) party bag type toys, polystyrene plane kits, tiny dolly/teddies, little knitted, crocheted, sewn Christmas decorations, make up sets, nail varnish. Hopefully you get the kind of idea. Just decide your age group and make sure it all fits in the weight.
  9. Reiterating the 650g weight limit!

 

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 We need to fill in a spreadsheet which helps with customs and this will mean we wont have to empty each one! We will add a numbered sticker to your bag which will help as the group try to get a photo of each stocking with their recipient where possible.  Buy in your tissues in readiness!

 

Deadlines…

  • The group have an opportunity to take some over in readiness at the beginning of August, so even though we finish for the summer on July 2nd, you can send full or empty stockings, separate contents up until July 25th.
  • The second deadline will be last posting on Monday 22nd October. Address for sending will be Teddington. Thank you so much for even reading this far!

 

If you have any questions please do message us! Thank you so much!

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Surely not Chernobyl 2019?! – Yes! It’s for the KEEN EARLY BIRDS!

Welcome to those lovely crafters looking to make an early start to our Chernobyl 2019 project! We have slimmed down the colour palette again, please do double check, and this includes joining yarn too if making a whole blanket. Having just done the 2018 blanket kit sort we found some colours harder to fit in than others. Finished blanket size remains the same at 48inches by 60 inches, and we ask  that if you are contemplating making a whole blanket for 2019 please contact us so we have an idea of numbers, it does make it easier, thank you. If looking to make squares, we will need 12 inch or 6 inch please, as simple or complex as you like, single colour, multi colour. 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.

The 2019 Palette

  • Aspen
  • Aster
  • Bluebell
  • Boysenberry
  • Bright pink
  • Candy floss
  • Citron
  • Claret
  • Cloud blue
  • 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
  • Spice
  • Storm blue
  • Teal
  • Tomato
  • Turquoise
  • Violet

Crafting info… Important stuff!

 

  • Yarn is Stylecraft Special DK – just this please, inc for any embellishments. 
  • Squares to be 12 inch ideally, or 6 inch if that is too much.
  • Knit and crochet equally welcome. Beginner or more experienced crafters also equally welcomed.
  • Please use a 4mm hook or needles.
  • No blocking please, and please ensure you are knotting off very thoroughly when colour changing or finishing, leave a 6 inch end and use a needle to sew it in.
  • We are asking folk to avoid using a magic ring (crochet) to start as find that these don’t seem to always stand up to the pressures of wash and wear.
  • Please read the list of colours in our palette carefully.
  • Squares to be single colour, multi colour, textured, but not too lacy, they need to be sturdy!
  • If you’d like to make a whole blanket, please use these colours too, makes thing easier at the giving stage! Ideally make any whole blankets gender neutral is it is so much easier for us to know what we have coming when sorting kits. Whole blankets need to be 48 inches by 60 inches with some kind of border please.
  • NO POSTING please before January 2019! We will confirm the address just before.

 

We will be collecting ice cream funds, Hugs for Heads (hats) and extras but just need to talk to the groups first to see what they would like. Again posting for these will be next year!

Aiming for 120 blankets minimum in 2019!

About the Project

For the last few years we have been making warm, comforting Little Hugs for Belarusian teenagers and children visiting the UK for recuperative holidays during the summer with the fabulous charity the Chernobyl Children’s Project and Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline. Photos from the Leeds group can be seen here.. and our finished blankets from last year here…

 

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 contaminated homeland for a few weeks of fresh air and clean food. The rates of childhood cancer are incredibly high; the most common cancers being thyroid and leukaemia. Coming to the UK for a four week break increases their immunity against the awful disease by up to 3 years when they return home. Often these 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.

This project has grown in epic proportions, we started making for the Leeds group visiting, that was 14, we then expanded to include Portsmouth (35) then we shot up to 120, making blankets for various groups around the country!

Not all groups host every year, but groups we have helped so far to date!

  • Leeds
  • Gloucester
  • Portsmouth
  • Isle of Wight
  • Swindon
  • Bristol
  • Fife
  • Aberdeen
  • Ayrshire
  • Helpston, Northamptonshire
  • Norfolk
  • Mid Suffolk
  • Liverpool

 

Thank you so much, if you need further clarification, please message us. x

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The Blanket for CatThiefKeith’s family

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have taken time out of their lives to make this blanket in memory of CTK..
Myself and CTK’s family are forever grateful for the love and support you guys have shown in making sure she will not be forgotten. CTK packed a huge amount into her life and I know she never regretted a single thing. Her stories and jokes have been told far and wide and depicted in this very blanket.
We will treasure it forever..
Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means.. Especially to DD who now has a constant keepsake to remind her of mummy..
thank you

 

 

 

“Funny is not always nice but funny is always funny”

 

Xxxxxxxxxxxx

Our original thread is here…

 

 

 

 

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW! The Great Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon Event – 30.9.18

Tickets are on sale now, just click on this gorgeous link to take you through to the sale page! 

We are very excited to announce our inaugural Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon event!

It all takes place on Sunday 30th September 2018, between 11.00am and 3.30pm, at the stunning Square Tower in Old Portsmouth which is right on the sea front.

During our Hugathon, we will be making squares and joining blankets for our Chernobyl, Candy’s, Snug and Kinship projects. We will provide SSDK and equipment for the session.

We will have yarn and gorgeous bits and pieces for sale from the very lovely Oddballs and Seeded.

We are are planning a rather fabulous Lucky Dip and who knows what else we will come up with by then… The Square Tower has the most wonderful cafe and bar, although we promise not to hit the gin until at least midday!

TICKETS GO ON SALE FROM 7pm ON APRIL 16th!

Tickets will cost £10.   Tickets will include a Special exclusive Event Bag and a special mystery gift! There are only 50 tickets available. Maximum of four tickets per person.

The booking page will be live on our website from 7pm on April 16th. If you are thinking about making a whole weekend of this, we can recommend some places to stay nearby.

Accessibility

The venue is accessible by wheelchair, but does not have accessible loos on site, however the do have use (via a key) of a disabled access toilet which is about 2 minutes away near the hot walls studios.

Come and meet other wonderful Woolly Huggers and meet us too. We will be on BEST behaviour!

Travel info…

The following car parks are located within walking distance of the Square Tower. All operate a pay and display charging system, the parking charges are clearly indicated on the display boards and ticket machines.

  • BROAD STREET/HIGH STREET (RIGHT OUTSIDE THE TOWER)
    There is on-road pay and display parking right outside the Tower. There are also resident’s parking areas where you can currently park for two hours (this is due to reduce to one hour later this year).
  • CLARENCE PIER, PO5 3AP
    Long Curtain Road, Southsea, just off of Southsea seafront, behind the fun fair. From here it is just a short walk along the seafront promenade to the Square Tower.
  • GRAND PARADE, PO1 2NF
    Literally just around the corner from the Square Tower in Grand Parade there is limited parking for approximately 50 cars.
  • CHEAP PAY AND DISPLAY PARKING: UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
    You can park in the University’s car parks at evenings and all-day at weekends and bank holidays for just £2.00.
    The nearest of these car parks is at the back of St George’s building (bottom of the High Street) and is entered from St. Thomas’s Street PO1 2HE (0.4 mile walk)
  • BY TRAIN Nearest train station  is Portsmouth Harbour, approx a 20 minute walk.

 

 

 

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2018. Revised Refugee Project

Having listened to what the agencies are looking for and to make this manageable our end, we have reviewed what we do and are  introducing several important changes to our Refugee project. Please read carefully both crafting info and posting info. Thank you so much for your continued support.

 

Posting info. We are introducing a posting window for this project, please do help us by sticking to this.

From now on our posting window for the Refugee project will be November 1st through until Easter. Please do not post anything for this project out of this window. Thank you!

Our next collection date to aim for…

  • April 28th, as already agreed, next year it will be Easter weekend. The window then closes until November 1st.
  • If in the mean time you are desperate to post we recommend sending to Knit for Peace.

Crafting info

PLEASE ALL CRAFTING FOR REFUGEES TO BE  IN DARKER UNISEX COLOURS. This includes squares. For children’s clothing these may be bright colours but no pastels please. 

 

  • We need 12 inch, or six inch squares. Knit or crochet both equally welcome.Yarn to be used for squares – any good quality acrylic DK, for example, Stylecraft special DK.  Squares equally welcome if made by beginner or expert. Truly. Please use darker unisex colours ONLY.  PLEASE SEW IN ALL ENDS
  • We’d love to receive whole blankets, but absolutely understand time constraints. Ideal size is approx 48 by 60 inches.
  • The smallest size we need for clothing is baby 12 months plus, agencies get overwhelmed with tiny baby things.
  • We’d also love to receive hats and gloves/mittens  from baby sized aged 12 months +  through to adult, the same for jumpers, cardigans, scarves/shawls. But appreciate that is a very big ask. For these items, any yarn is fine, from 100% wool to acrylic.
  • If you’d like to donate yarn or funds, let us know – we’d absolutely LOVE to hear from you, we need
    you too. This will be a real team effort
  • If anyone would like to join in crafting but can’t afford to, please PM us, we can help

PLEASE SEW IN ALL ENDS!!

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Hat/Mitten patterns as recommended by our crafters, all free to use!

Crochet – Little Maiden Bonnet

Crochet – V-St beanie for all

Crochet – sedge stitch beanie hat – adjustable size from newborn to adult

Crochet – Ten easy hat patterns

Crochet – Very easy crochet hat pattern

Crochet – Puff stitch hat – Crafter recommends adding a few more rows to make it deep enough to keep your ears warm, also use Aran weight

Crochet – The Hadley Slouch   – use Aran weight

 

Knit – mittens

Knit – basic beanie hat for all sizes

Knit – Classic beanie hat (WW2 watch cap)  for all sizes

 

 

One square, one blanket, a pair of gloves, one warm hat, one step at a time, really every little thing will help.

Together we can make a difference.

 

How we started this project

As for so many others, we have been moved to tears by the heartbreaking plight of refugees, both in Europe and further afield, and the inhumanity which seems to surround them too often. We have donated, signed petitions on change.org and written to our MPs, and understand the feeling of shouting in the wind, we desperately want to do more.

There is something practical we can do together, and it really will help, but we are going to need your support.

We can get woolly warmth to families in refugee camps in Kurdistan and into Syria itself, to beleaguered families in Qara thanks to the amazing charity Knit for Peace. There are over a million refugees trapped there, most have fled civil wars and ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Conditions are very bleak and it will be even more desperate and absolutely freezing during long winter months. We are also developing links to get resources to children and families elsewhere, and on their arrival in the UK. We just want to help keep folk warm. We know we can’t help everyone, but we can some.

NB. Sadly we cannot accept items other than home made woolly ones at the moment, if this changes we will come back. Do join us on our Facebook page Woolly Hugs and Twitter @Woolly_Hugs – both good ways to keep in touch.

Thank you doesn’t come close, bless you.x

 

 

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