Visitors to the seaside town of Folkestone may have spotted the poppy-lined Road of Remembrance, home to thousands of colourful knitted and crochet poppies in memory of the millions of soldiers who made their way down the steep coastal road during the Great War, many of them never to return.
The project is the brainchild of Purl Queens, a guerrilla knitting group known locally for bringing their fun and colourful yarnbombs to the streets of Folkestone, including crochet bollard covers and wall-mounted knitted displays.
Since 2012 Purl Queens founder Di Burns has been collecting poppies from crafty volunteers all around the world who wish to knit or crochet a poppy in tribute to those brave men and women. To date they have received and installed 6,000 poppies and this year the project won a Judges' Special Mention at the Civic Voice Design Awards for its low-cost but high impact expression of memory and identity.
Purl Queens are appealing for anyone who would like to take part to knit or crochet a poppy to commemorate the loss of a loved one in WWI or WWII and post it for installation on Remembrance Sunday.
Armistice Day 100th anniversary special
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I Purl Queens are requesting white poppies to signify peace.
Completed poppies can be sent to:
c/o Leasehold Solutions
32-40 Tontine Street
Crochet poppy pattern
You will need
Oddments of red 4 ply yarn, 2.50mm/2.75mm crochet hook
Double knitting yarn along with a 3mm/ 3.50mm hook can be used although you will get a larger flower.
How to make
Make 4 chain and join in a ring with a slip stitch.
Round 1 – Make 3 chain, then make 16 trebles into the ring. Join with a slip stitch to the 1st treble at the beginning of the round to form a ring. (16 stitches)
Petals (Make 4)
Row 1 – Make 3 chain (this counts as the 1st treble), and 1 treble into same space, then make 2 trebles into each of the next 3 stitches. (8 stitches in total), turn.
Row 2 – Make 3 chain. Then make 1 treble into each of the next 2 stitches. Then 2 trebles into each of the next 4 stitches, then 1 treble into each of the last 2 stitches, turn
Row 3 – Make 1 chain and 1 double crochet into 1st stitch. *Now make 2 chain, 1 double crochet into next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until end of petal. Fasten off.
Re-join yarn to next stitch of round 1 and repeat Rows 1 -3 to make next petal.
Continue in this manner until 4 petals are made.
Stitch a black button in the centre of the flower and a safety pin or brooch fixing on to the back.
Knitted poppy pattern
You will need
Double Knitting Wool in Red = A, Green = B, Black = C.
Petals in ‘A’ (Make 4)
Cast on 7 Stitches
1st Row Right Side Knit
2nd Knit front and back into first stitch, knit 2 stitches. KFB*, Knit 1 (9 sts)
3rd As 2nd Row (11 sts)
4th As 2nd Row (13)
9th SSK* twice, knit to last 4 stitches, K2tog twice
13th As row 9 (5 sts)
17th K1, slip 1, K1 psso twice, K1 (3st)
18th Cast Off
For the centre
Using ‘B’ (Green)
Cast on 16 stitches then cast off.
Joining cast-off edges, sew petals together in pairs then place one pair over the other in a cross formation and secure. Coil green centre into a tight spiral and sew in the centre of the petals.
Using ‘C’ (Black) work a ring of straight stitches around the green centre and then work French Knots around them.
Maintain the petals in a cup shape with small stitch behind pairs of petals.
* KFB is Knit Front and Back
** SSK is Slip Slip then knit through the loops
Purl Queens will be running a crochet workshop at Folkestone's Harbour Arm on September 11. Follow Purl Queens on Facebook to find out more about the Road of Remembrance project.
Did you know...?
Eagle-eyed passers by might spot the occasional white or purple poppy in the display.
White poppies are worn to symbolise peace, while the purple poppy is worn to commemorate the animals that lost their lives in the war effort. Both poppies are often worn alongside the red poppy.
Folkestone is also home to an animal war memorial in the Garden of Remembrance, Sandgate Road, the site of a church that was almost completely destroyed by a German bomb on May 17 1942, and reads "in remembrance of those with hoof, wing and paw who serve mankind in peace and war."
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