Poppy Power - A Charity Message

It’s that time of year when most of us in the Commonwealth are beginning to put our thoughts towards the soldiers (and their families) who have died in the line of their duty since the horrors of the First World War. On Sunday 10th November, I shall be one of those that takes time to share my thoughts of the brave soldiers, possibly because I grew up with a father in the Royal Air Force. However as this is a knitting blog, what is the connection with my comments about where my thoughts will be and my current knitting projects..?

Knitted Poppies. I was interested in reading about why poppies are intrinsically linked to Remembrance Services and after a quick Google I found a link which answered some of my questions at the Imperial War Museum (Poppies) website. As for the knitting content; this year, via one of our Local Yarn Shops in Harrogate, a committee and an active group of knitters has been set up with the aim to knit and crochet 10,000 of them to form a blanket of poppies which will be part of the public remembrance service. If you listen closely you can hear the furious click of the needles as many of a group knit up these red and black beauties here in North Yorkshire and I am sure around the rest of the country.

The project started Mid-August with the aim to get these knitted within 6 weeks to the end of September and we have people knitting furiously to help achieve the amount needed, but the more the merrier. This has now been extended by a week due to the UCI World Championships which is happening at the moment (the poor Lycra clad cyclists are currently getting drenched in the appalling rain that we are experiencing in this area.)

At the time of writing, the Yarn Etc Poppython group have achieved over 3200 poppies with more being made everyday. Please check the link to find out details and free patterns. Those who want to get involved don’t have to pay for all the yarn, Yarn Etc are running a scheme to provide most of the yarn for the project. The next Poppython group are meeting between 7 to 9pm on Thursday 26th September if anyone locally wants to come along, meet people and help the cause.

We currently have a small team of volunteers who will be sewing the poppies onto the background netting from next week. If you can spare the time and would like to get involved, or more information then please visit Yarn Etc or email lizplummer@hotmail.co.uk (especially if you are willing to help with this important part.)

Locally we have some people whom the committee would like to acknowledge: Those who have knitted and sewn up over 200 within a short space of time, putting all other WIPs to one side to concentrate on knitting poppies and the people with arthritis in their hands and haven’t knitted for a number of years contributing.

However, embarrassingly, I have only knitted just over a hundred. (A bout of depression along with a few seizures and a holiday have gotten in the way.) But that is my task for this week despite having electricians, contractors and surveyors looking at the work we are going to have done with our flat. Hopefully I’ll get another hundred completed if I put down the brioche scarf for my niece and an elusive search for a pattern for a Brioche hat for my nephew, plus that ongoing 10 stitch blanket (yes, it is still ongoing and probably will for several more months as it will keep my lap warm in the coming colder months). I’ve even put my current lace and cabled stole design away while the red and black yarn slips through my fingers.

Thoughts and musings about my other knitting adventures will continue after I have been to Yarndale (28th-29th September, Skipton Auction Mart) and my experience of the weekend. I shall be there both days and will try and meet as many of the sellers and purchasers as possible.

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Knaresborough, UK

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