I have used my lunch hours at work constructively to make poppies to commemorate the end of the First World War. The end of a war is worth remembering!
These poppies will all be sent to the 5000 Poppies project, and all of the patterns are available from the pattern page on their website or from links on their Facebook group page. Members have posted some very handy video tutorials too. There are patterns for knitters and sewers and people who can only cut out and glue. If you are interested in helping this project, I encourage you to explore both the website and Facebook page.
I mostly used Luxury 8-ply wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mills, but I found remnants of a ball of mystery red yarn in the back of the cupboard and used that up too. It might have been 10 ply. I always used a 3.5-millimetre hook to get a firm and not floppy poppy (because no one likes a floppy poppy).
While crocheting these, I thought a lot about one particular pair of my great-grandparents, Fred and Dorothy Casey, who met in England when he, an Irish-Australian, visited England on leave from the war. If it were not for that awful war, they would never have met, and I would not exist.
My great-grandfather survived the war but died young, at the age I am now. I was a teenager when my great-grandmother died, and I remember her as a big part of my childhood. She had problems with her nose and could not smell the flowers she loved so much. She was always well dressed. She cycled around Switzerland. She had a twin sister called Daisy. She always politely asked for just a sliver of cake but ate the huge piece that was put in front of her. She was superstitious about bringing peacock feathers into the house. In my childhood memories, she was always cheerful and smiling.
Yesterday would have been my great-grandmother Dorothy’s 120th birthday. Her death when I was child was my first experience of losing a close and beloved relative. This week, we lost my father-in-law.
I am trying not to feel sad but instead remember and celebrate the lives they lived. How can anyone feel sad while crocheting poppies?