Designer Louisa Harding & husband, Stephen Jessup
I still remember the first time I looked through
a Louisa Harding book. It was actually two books, Louisa's 2007 Venezia Felice Mai Dopo and Venezia Una Volta pattern books. Page after page, Louisa's gorgeous designs and her husband Stephen's beautiful photographs (he's the photographer for her books) transported me to a magical place. I never knew hand-knitting could be so beautiful!
After discovering Louisa's books and yarns, I signed up for knitting lessons. The first Louisa Harding pattern I ever knit was Louisa's Scala Wrap from that Venezia, Felice Mai Dopo book. I even wore my Scala Wrap when I met Louisa in person back in 2009 when she visited Northern California from the UK.
Louisa's designs, yarns and books have given me such knitting pleasure and I have made treasured friendships all around the world with fellow Louisa Harding admirers. So when I found out that Louisa was climbing mountains...I just had to help.
In January, 2011, Louisa's husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She and her family received exceptional care from Macmillan Cancer Support. As you can imagine, Macmillan Cancer Support can not give their vital services to families facing cancer without people supporting them. So Louisa is now supporting them by joining Team Macmillan on their fund raising Nepal Hiking Challenge in November and by raising donations with her Himalayan Hiking Hat patterns she designed for her incredible endeavor.
Last May, I organized a Himalayan Hiking Hat knit-a-long in the Louisa Harding group on Ravelry to help create support and awareness for Louisa's Himalayan Hiking Hats and fund raising effort. In my heart, I have yearned to do so much more. So a week ago I wrote to Louisa's American yarn distributor, Knitting Fever, and they are now generously helping me so I can raise more funds for Louisa.
Thanks to Knitting Fever, I am organizing a local Louisa Harding Charity Night where I will be offering Louisa Harding hat kits for donations to raise funds for Louisa's charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. All proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support, Charity Registration No. 261017 and will be donated on Louisa's Just Giving page. To date, Louisa is at 60% of her personal fund raising goal of raising 5,000 GBP's for Macmillan Cancer Support. My personal goal is to raise $1,000 US Dollars for Louisa and Macmillan Cancer Support.
So, if you're a knitter who has been touched by Louisa Harding as I have or if you or a loved one have been dealt the C-word cancer (as my family has, as well), I hope you will help me support Louisa to reach her fund raising goal.
It's easy to help. If you're a knitter, simply go to Louisa's Himalayan Hiking Hats page and download her hat patterns and then make a donation for them on her Just Giving page. I've knit the Annapurna and Karuwa hats so far and they are a delight to knit. There are hat designs for every skill level and naturally, they all have Louisa's signature look.
Perhaps the simplest and single greatest thing you can do is to help me spread the word to fellow knitters of Louisa's Hiking Hats and their story. There will be seven total Himalayan Hiking hat patterns in all. Currently there are three patterns to download and according to Louisa, three more patterns will be released next week. The seventh hat pattern, Louisa, will actually be knitting on the Nepal hike. Louisa's aim is to have her photograph taken wearing a different Himalayan Hiking Hat on each day of her seven day hike. I can't wait to see the photos of Louisa wearing each of her hats!
As for my Louisa Harding Charity Night,
I will be releasing more details over the next week.
Since I don't own a yarn store,
my friend and knitting teacher, Danielle Bowen,
owner of Knitique, A Yarn Boutique,
is graciously hosting my event for me.
Louisa Harding Charity Night
Friday, October 5, 2012
6:00PM to 9:00PM
Knitique, A Yarn Boutique
8741 Elk Grove Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Stay tuned for more details!
Details will also be posted on
Knitique's Facebook page.