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Welcome to Louisa Harding ‘Himalayan Hiking Hats’. In November 2012 I embarked on an amazing 11 day trip to Nepal. The challenge of the trip was to take part in a sponsored 6 day rough trek – sleeping in tents, negotiating toilet tents, using only wet wipes for washing and about nine hours daily trekking, some days never ending ups, some days only down….. There were 48 of us on the trek, all for different reasons. An amazing adventure was had by every one of us. On day three we climbed the equivalent of Ben Nevis to ‘Tara Top’ 2,800 metres, once at the summit we had a 360 degree view of the Annapurna Mountain range. I will never forget the humbling experience of watching the sun rise over those mountains. I made fantastic new friends and together as a team we completed this amazing challenge, looked after and inspired by an incredible team of Guides and Porters. However, the aim of my challenge was for each of us to raise at least £3,400 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

To date as a group we have raised over £180,000 – incredible. My personal goal was to raise at least £5,000 which I have surpassed, raising to date, just over £7,500. My family sponsored me £1,100, the cost of the trip, which meant all the money donated over this amount went directly to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Why a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising challenge?
Until last year ‘Cancer’ was a word I’d heard but was something I was totally naïve about. In January 2011 Stephen, my husband and rock was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Less than a month later he began a course of aggressive chemotherapy which made him very ill. He was cared for fantastically and I was supported by Macmillan Cancer Support. Cancer is all consuming, for those diagnosed and for those supporting them.

Macmillan Cancer Support helped us enormously, our health district has a specific Macmillan funded unit which meant Stephen was treated nearer to home by Macmillan trained specialist chemotherapy nurses who are amazing. The Macmillan website was my lifeline. We were able to find out about Stephens diagnosis, treatment, side effects, both physical and emotional, how and what to tell the children and what to expect during his treatment and afterwards. Since Stephen finished chemotherapy in June 2011 he has continued to be monitored and receives amazing care, he is flourishing – see him wearing the Stripy Karuwa Hat!

To help me achieve my fundraising target I put together a series of seven knitting patterns called ‘Himalayan Hiking Hats’. Before I left on my adventure I had designed six hats in the collection with my personal aim to knit seventh hat pattern in the series 'en route'. I achieved my goal completing the last hat ‘Sikles’ on day four and was photographed wearing it the following day with the beautiful Annapurna mountain range as my backdrop! Thank you for joining me on my challenge by downloading and knitting the hats, great as gifts and stash busting.

All seven patterns are available now – see the photos below.
You can make a donation for your download @ www.justgiving.com/Louisa-Harding-Jessup
Then download a pdf copy of the pattern by clicking on the thumbnails below.
This is an honesty box so you don’t have to make a donation, but please do…thank you X








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