|A doctor called John McCrea, who was working to help soldiers in France, wrote a poem in 1915 about the poppies growing on the graves of dead soldiers.
In Flanders’ Fields
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.
John McCrae, 1915.
|An American poet called Moina Michael read the beautiful poem. It gave her the idea of using poppies to remember the dead but also to help the living at the same time.
Moina bought real poppies and gave them out to friends. She also sold some poppies and gave the money to surviving, needy ex-soldiers. The first official Poppy Day, organised by a charity called The Royal British Legion, was held in 1921.
How to Knit A Poppy To Remember
Size 3.5mm needles
Double knit type yarn A-red, B-green, C-black
Petals (make 4)
Using A, cast on 7 sts.
1st row (RS) K.
2nd row Kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. 9 sts.
3rd row As 2nd row. 11 sts.
4th row As 2nd row. 13 sts.
5th–8th rows K.
9th row Ssk twice, k to last 4 sts, k2tog twice. 9 sts.
13th row As 9th row. 5 sts.
17th row K1, sk2po, k1. 3 sts.
18th row K. Bind off.
Using B, cast on 16 sts. Bind off.
Sew petals together in pairs, then position one pair over the other in a cross formation and secure. Coil center into a tight spiral and sew base to the center. Using C, work a ring of straight stitches radiating from the flower center, then work French knots around the outer edge of the stitched ring. Maintain the petals in a cup shape with a small stitch behind pairs of petals.
Stitch Explanation: Sk2po – Slip 2 stitches as if to knit together, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over
Ssk – Slip stitch then knit 1 and pass slipped stitch over.