Veuf Tricot enters his last week of marathon preparation...

Jim Arnall-Culliford, aka Simply Knitting columnist Veuf Tricot, is running the London marathon in aid of Refuge. As he enters his last week of training for the London Marathon, we caught up with to find out how he's feeling...

Simply Knitting: How prepared do you feel, with just a week to go?

Jim: With a week to go, I'm confident that I'll make it round the course. My biggest worry is that I'll forget to take something with me; 26 miles is a long way in bare feet!

SK: What have you found hardest in training?

Jim: The build up has taken nearly six months, so it's been a big time commitment. In many ways that has been the toughest part. I have had a training plan, but between snow, sickness and occasional injury, I have lost about a week a month. November was a particularly tough month as I tripped over a recycling box at full tilt and landed face first on the pavement, resulting in a 10 day layoff and a barrage of awkward questions at work.

Support Veuf Tricot as he runs the London Marathon for Refuge

You may remember reading about Veuf Tricot's fundraising for Refuge, when he released a trio of designs "Ready, Steady, Go!" back in February.

Now Veuf, aka James Arnall-Culliford, has just 13 days until the enormous challenge of running the London Marathon on April 21st. Thanks to the huge generosity of his supporters, including many knitters, he's already passed his original fundraising target, and now hopes to raise £3000 for Refuge. 

You can support him too, by buying his set of charity patterns on Ravelry, or visit his Just Giving page to donate, and keep an eye on his progress.

Run, swim or cycle for Refuge in 2013

We support Refuge with our prize competition in every issue, but if you're interested in more active fundraising, there's a wide range of events taking place in the coming year. In the 2012 London Marathon, for example, runners for Refuge raised a staggering £83,000, making it the biggest fundraising event in Refuge’s history! Your fundraising helps to maintain their life-saving specialist services, to support at least 2,000 women and children every day.

Ready, Steady, Go! for Refuge

Veuf Tricot, aka James Arnall-Culliford, is running the London Marathon for Refuge in 2013. His initial aim of taking on this challenge was to avoid modelling knitwear for his wife, knitwear designer Jen Arnall-Culliford. It's backfired though, as he's now designing and selling his own patterns to raise money for Refuge too ;-)

And our Refuge competition winner is....

Refuge square winning design – Tracey WilliamsIn June The Knitter and Simply Knitting launched a fantastic knitting design competition for our readers as part of our year-long 

Knit for Refuge campaign update

Refuge, our charity of the year, would like to thank everyone who has already contributed to our Bears & Squares campaign.

Refuge teddies

More than 100 teddies have been received so far, and they have made their way to Refuge’s ‘safe houses’ and into the arms of the children staying there after fleeing domestic violence.

The Knitter issue 49 – in shops until 01 October 2012

The Knitter 49 magazine coverAutumn is well and truly upon us, and we’re reaIly embracing autumn-winter knitting, busy making hats and gloves using the lovely new-season yarns!

As part of our support for the Campaign for Wool, we’ve been looking at the latest yarns that are not only made from British Wool, but are also spun in the UK. It is wonderful to hear how yarn production is growing in our country. Read the feature on page 58.

Our Knit for Refuge campaign is at the forefront of our minds and our needles this month as our charity blankets come together. The knitting group Juliet belongs to held a tea party and raised £70, as well as knitting teddies and enough squares to make up a blanket for our campaign! You can make a donation and download the Bears & Squares patterns by going to www.justgiving.com/knitforrefuge, and bring your bears and blankets to our stand at The Knitting & Stitching Show in October.

Knit for Refuge, and inspire others too!

Refuge knitting group posterWe know lots of you are knitting busily for our Refuge 'Bears and Squares' campaign, and we’re really grateful for that! We’d love it if you could also help us to spread the word and hopefully inspire others to knit for Refuge.

If you are in a knitting group we would love it if you would download and print out the special ‘knitting groups knit for Refuge' poster – either click here or on the image.

The Knitter issue 48 – in shops until 03 September 2012

TKN48 coverThis time of year is an exciting one for knitters, especially when we get to play with the new yarns for autumn- winter.

Bigger, cosier projects will soon be making a welcome return to our knitting baskets (although with the weather we had in June and early July, they never went far away). All the sumptuous new shades inevitably have us wondering about how we could put them together.

A hat is an ideal way to experiment with a colour palette without committing to a whole garment, and Jane Crowfoot’s masterclass on how to design a Fair Isle tam gives you the perfect excuse to try out a few ideas.

Having a space to call your own for your knitting and designing may seem like an indulgence, but our feature on page 46 shows how central it is to the creative process. Size may not be important, but, as Rin Simpson explains, a sanctuary is – our ed Juliet’s happens to be her bed, “where I can look out over my lovely garden, there is lots of light and my dog is nearby.”

Knit for Refuge campaign – keep it up!

We’re always so impressed by the generosity of knitters, so we’re thrilled to tell you that, thanks to you, we have succeeded in raising £1,000 for our Refuge 'Bears and Squares' campaign already!

Refuge blanket school shot

We wanted to take this chance to say 'thank you' to anyone who has donated to Refuge via our Justgiving page, or has taken the time to knitt a teddy bear or a blanket to be given to a child staying at the charity’s ‘safe houses’. We know it will make a huge difference!