Knit Off 2021 winners

The winners are revealed in the 2021 Francis House virtual Knit Off contest.

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The crafting community has once again demonstrated their enthusiastic support of Francis House Children’s Hospice by responding to a call to showcase their knitting and crocheting skills in a virtual Knit Off contest.

More than 85 photographic entries were uploaded to the hospice website for judging in five fun categories including: Attractive Accessory, Beautiful Baby Item, Cuddly Soft Toy, The Natural World and Novice Knitter.

A hospice judging panel whittled down the entries to a shortlist of 26, and the public were invited to vote for their favourites in an exciting online poll.

More than 2,700 votes were cast, and the winners can finally be revealed!

Knit Off 2021 Winners

The Natural World – Diane Harris

Diane’s entry of How Does My Garden Grow cardigan had 41% of the votes, followed by Jackie Powell with 31% for Rainbow Lockdown Stressbusting Blanket.

Diane said: “I wanted to knit something for myself that captured the wonderful colours of a garden.  There is some artistic license involved, but I was extremely pleased with the result.

“I am delighted to have won. It’s been a horrible 18 months and to win something is really lovely. Plus, you feel you’re doing something good, and my two daughters publicised Francis House when they shared the voting round on social media, it’s been a great experience all round.”

Attractive Accessory – Frances Pilling

Frances’s entry of Feathered Shawl had 36% of the votes, closely followed by Rosemary Farrimond with 31% for Duck mobile.

Frances said: “I saw this pattern while browsing the Internet during lockdown. It looked interesting so I thought why not. I don’t usually make items for myself, it’s always for my twin granddaughters. So, here’s my effort for myself.”

“It feels amazing to have won, I enjoyed taking part in something totally different and can thank my friends, family and my nieces’ friends for voting for me.”

Upon hearing she had won Frances has decided to donate her beautiful shawl to the hospice to raise additional funds. Anyone who would like to pledge a donation can email karen.flower@francishouse.org.uk

Beautiful Baby Item – Hazel Needham

Hazel’s entry of Sheep cardi and hat had 38% of the votes, followed by Rosemary Farrimond with 29% for Baby Soft jumper, blanket, and booties.

Hazel said: “I knitted the sheep cardi and hat for the birth of my friend’s grand-daughter, Isabelle. Isabelle’s dad is a sheep farmer and from a few weeks old she was out in the fields with the lambs.

“I’ve not won anything in a very long time, it is really nice to have won. I really enjoyed taking part and will put my gift card prize to very good use, although I don’t need any more wool! Thank you very much to Francis House and for all that you do.”

Cuddly Soft Toy – Rachel Williamson

Rachel’s entry of Prehistoric Buddies had 36% of the votes in this category, followed by Maria Broughton with 28% for Hamish the Cavachon dog.

Rachel said: “Theo the T-Rex is Dave the Caveboy’s best buddy. They love rolling rocks together.”

Rachel from West Yorkshire also took part in the contest last year after reading about it in a knitting magazine.

She added: “I loved getting involved and supporting the hospice. I enjoy making the toys and to win something is great. I’m a member of a few groups on Facebook and asked friends and people at work to vote for me. I’m sure I’ll buy knitting stuff with my prize.”

Novice Knitter – Arthur Buckley

Arthur’s entry of Rainbow was submitted online by his grandma Shelagh and proved popular with the voting public with 61% of the votes in this category, followed by Janice Holroyd with 25% for Spooky Halloween Wreath.

Arthur Buckley said: “Hi I am Arthur, and I am eight years old and I am entering the kniting compatition because I want to help children in francis house. I havent learnt to knit yet but I wanted to make something for francis house. I have made a wool neckless and I have put love and couler in to this to make it special.”

Arthur and his family are now back at home abroad and Shelagh is looking forward to telling him he that has won.

Shelagh said: “ Throughout the contest when Arthur saw the other entries he said, ‘I don’t have a chance’, but perhaps as people read about his entry, they voted for him. We had such fun together making it, I tried to teach him how to knit but we got in a tangle. He made the necklace as he wanted to help the children of Francis House.”

Donations

More than £430 was raised by the contest through the £3 entry fee along with donations from knitters and their voting supporters.

Karen Flower of Francis House said: “There was a lot of skill and originality shown in our virtual Knit Off contest this year. We were wowed by the quality of the entries as well as the variety of styles and ideas. There were so many cute and cuddly items, and we loved the intricacy of materials used in Frances’s Feathered Shawl, and the skill of using different colours in Diane’s natural world cardigan. Thank you so much to everyone for entering, donating, and voting, your support is greatly appreciated.”

Prizes

Each of the five category winners will receive a £25 Hobbycraft gift card to spend in store or online, kindly donated by Hobbycraft’s Altrincham store.

Plus, an additional prize for the entry with the most votes placed overall goes to Diane Harris. Diane also wins a gorgeous yarn bundle, to the value of £50 donated by Let’s Knit magazine, with her entry totting up 398 votes!

Karen added: “We had 41 fantastic supporters take part this year and congratulations to Frances, Hazel, Rachel, Arthur, and Diane. In addition, the judges have decided to offer Rosemary Farrimond a bonus prize of a further £25 Hobbycraft gift card for being pipped at the post in two categories.”

For more creative ways to support Francis House visit our Easter Chick Appeal.

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