With the focus on all things woolly this month (October), organisers of Wonderwool Wales are calling on more Powys knitters to make thousands of textile poppies for a large-scale installation to mark next year’s centenary of the end of the Great War.
As the Campaign for Wool’s Wool Week gets underway (October 9 to 22) and Armistice Day approaches, there’s lots of reasons to get involved in the big “poppy knit” this autumn. And the year-end deadline for receipt of contributions looms ever nearer.
The Knitting Club at Llandrindod High School, Llandrindod Wells, Powys is one of many regional groups to have been inspired by the initiative. Joanna Chittenden, Careers, Work Experience, Enterprise and Activities Co-ordinator said: “I found out about it when I went to Wonderwool Wales this year and thought it was such a great project for our club and school to get involved with. Through this project we are making links with the History Department and for our Remembrance Day service in November. We have made about 30 poppies so far, a mix of knitted and felt ones.”
Curtain of Poppies organiser Jane Veevers is delighted with the enthusiastic support she has also received from other schools, regional knitting and craft groups and community groups including the Knit and Natter group at Brecon Library, Guilsfield WI and the Craft Club of Powys Radnor Federation of WIs. “We’ve also had interest from the Powys War Memorials Project and we are intending to run poppy making workshops with them, to make 2000 poppies to represent the 2000 men from Powys who were killed in WW1,” she said.
The Powys War Memorial Project has organised and funded a free poppy-making workshop at The Welfare in Ystradgynlais on Monday October 16 between 10am-5pm. The drop-in session will be delivered by Wonderwool Wales and no booking is needed.
Jane is keen to galvanise more support from today’s community of knitters to recreate the united determination of the women at home during World War 1, who “did their bit” to support the troops overseas by knitting gloves, scarves, balaclavas and socks.
She said: “Please get knitting! With your friends, at home, whenever and wherever the mood takes you! The poppies are already piling up, but we need many more groups and individuals to get involved to help reach the total of 887,858 that would be required to commemorate each person from the UK who died serving their country.”
The current poppy count stands at 6495, with more being sent in all the time. Around 1000 of those were made at this year’s Wonderwool Wales back in April, where the initiative was launched. The textile flowers will be strung together in an amazing ‘Curtain of Poppies’, to be displayed at Wonderwool Wales 2018, where The Royal British Legion will have a stand and collect donations. The curtain will be one of the highlights at the annual showcase for wool and natural fibres which is being held at the Royal Welsh Showground on April 28 and 29. It will then become a travelling exhibition and is already booked to go to the National Wool Museum of Wales and Powys County Council Offices.
Poppies are needed by the end of the year, allowing organisers and a team of volunteers enough time to string them all together. A choice of two knitting patterns is available on the Wonderwool Wales website, where there are also patterns for anyone who prefers to crochet or weave one or sew a felt poppy.
Find the patterns for the textile poppies here
Wonderwool Wales is also inviting monetary donations in support of this project for the Royal British Legion.
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