Knit hexipuffs for a charity challenge

Puff close up cr Stephanie DosenInspired by exquisite Beekeeper’s Quilt design by Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and The Sheep Shop are calling for knitters to get involved in the Beekeeper Quilt Challenge.

The aim is to make a kingsize quilt out of ‘hexipuffs’ – little hexagon-shaped puffs of knitting, stuffed and sewn together in a honeycomb pattern. Sarah Clark, owner of The Sheep Shop in Cambridgeshire, says: “About 1,400 hexipuffs are needed for a kingsize quilt, so it will be a real community project to make this retro objet d’art!”

Hexipuff knitters are invited to enter a raffle to win the quilt, with all proceeds going to Arthur Rank Hospice, a charity which offers free life-enhancing care to patients and their families in Cambridgeshire living with the effects of life-limiting illness. Working in partnership with the NHS they support over 1000 patients each year; to continue this work the Charity are challenged with raising £1.3m every year. 

Kath Austin, Community Fundraiser at the charity says: “This is such a unique way to support the Hospice and one in which anyone can take part. Whilst we do have marathon runners and sky divers raising funds, the majority of supporters prefer a more grassroots approach to fundraising. This sort of ‘armchair’ event invites anyone to have a go and make something truly different for the charity!”

To take part you’ll just need some 4ply or sock yarn (making this an ideal stashbusting opportunity!), a set of double pointed needles, some stuffing and the pattern. 

The Sheep ShopDetails of where you can purchase the pattern can be found at The Sheep Shop or Tiny Owl Knits.  Each three-inch wide hexipuff takes about 30 minutes to make, and you can make as many or as few hexipuffs as you choose. You’ll then need to send them to The Sheep Shop to be sewn together later in the year.  

“We’ll just keep on going until we have enough puffs.” says Sarah. 

To kick off the challenge, Sarah is hosting a 'hexipuffparty' at The Sheep Shop (The Sheep Shop, 72 Beche Rd, Cambridge, CB5 8HU) on Saturday 25th February 2012.  

“There’ll be random door prizes, nibbles and anyone who spends over £15 will receive a freebie.  People can drop in and join the table to make the very first puffs together throughout the day.”

She adds: “The hexipuffs are a wonderful quick project you can knit on the go, with the added satisfaction that you’re contributing to a good cause.  They are not difficult, but are a step up from a complete beginner. People are welcome to drop in to beekeeper group sessions if they want help with the pattern, or simply wish to make the puffs together with others.  They’re completely addictive to make, once you start, you just can’t stop!” 

For full details of how to register for the challenge, join the raffle and times of beekeeper groups go to www.sheepshopcambridge.co.uk and at www.arhc.org.uk

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