Saturday, 24 August 2013

5000 Poppies: A community tribute of respect and remembrance

Recently, my Mum sent me the link to the 5000 Poppies blog and I have been really taken with what is happening there. Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight are asking for contributions of crocheted, knitted or felted poppies for an outdoor installation to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and as a community tribute for more than a century of service by Australian servicemen and women in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. They want to create a field of 5000 poppies which will be displayed in Melbourne on ANZAC Day 2015. I think it is a wonderful thing they are doing so I have started making some poppies.

I have used red acrylic yarn (actually it is my friend Kathy K's from patchwork who asked me to show her how to make them), with black eyelash yarn and some avocado green yarn in the centre. I followed the pattern suggestion and used a 3mm hook which is very tight for 8ply yarn. The poppy on the left was made with the 3mm hook. It was just too tight for me. I am a fairly tight crocheter normally, so this was VERY tight. I was splitting the yarn everywhere and really forcing the hook through the work. It came out very tight, which is what they are after because it will need to stand up to the weather, but I couldn't make more than a couple this way without my wrists hurting. The other two were made with a 3.5mm hook and were so much easier to make. It is still tight and there were a few pushing and pullings but it was much easier on the wrist to make.
I used the 5000 Poppies Crochet Pattern and it was very easy to follow. The instructions are well written and you can make a complete poppy in about 30 minutes once you get the hang of it. In fact, after two poppies I didn't need the pattern anymore - that's how easy and simple it is.

I really love this project. I love the thought that goes behind it. I love that as I am working I am thinking about the personnel serving overseas at the moment, and the people signing up to serve even as I type, and the military events that have shaped Australia into the country it is today. I think about my family's heritage, and how blessed I am to live in this time, in this country. I love that it has brought an attitude of gratitude to my mind while I am waiting for appointments, school, or watching TV because it is such a neat little project/reminder to have in your bag all the time. I had originally planned to make four, one for each of my husband's grandfathers and one for each of my grandfathers who all served in WWII, but now I think I might make them as an ongoing project.
If you are thinking of making some, I would highly recommend it. Seven of my lovely patchwork ladies learned how to make these in class on Thursday. If you are local to me and need a hand, let me know and I will show you how to make them, too.
Thanks for stopping by!

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