Monday, 11 November 2013

Row on Row of Poppies

Last year on Remembrance Day I wrote a post about knitting your own poppy. But some knitters don't stop at just making a poppy for themselves, or even a dozen or so for family and friends, but simply keep going like a one-person production line. The poppies they make are used in Remembrance Day events, or sold, with the monies raised subsequently donated to an organization that will use it to benefit military veterans. Sometimes a few people will decide to organize a poppy knitting effort and put out a call for donated poppies.

The largest scale of these efforts is possibly the 5000 Poppies Project, organized by Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight as one of a number of events that are being planned to commemorate the centenary of the 1915 Anzac Gallipoli landing in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, the 5000 Poppies project volunteers will be “planting” a field of more than 5000 poppies in Fed Square, Melbourne, and are asking for donations of handmade poppies, and my guess is that they will overshoot their goal of 5000 poppies.

This year's Remembrance Day ceremonies in Louth, England, were decorated with hundreds of poppies created and donated not only by local knitters, but knitters as far away as Brazil and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, all organized through a group Facebook page.

Individual efforts can be quite astounding too, though. Linda Evans, from Bilston, England, has knitted 2000 poppies (she admits that "a few" were knitted by a friend), which she sells for £1 each. Last year she raised £2,827 for the Royal British Legion

Anita Wreford, of Marshfield, South Wales, has knitted 400 poppies, which she sells for £2 to raise money for the British Legion.

It would seem that poppy knitting can be just as addictive as some other poppy-related activities, but then they are small and quickly made and it must be very satisfying to know that each little poppy will be worn and serve a greater purpose.

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