This year, the world will mark the centenary of the end of WW1 in November. In the course of the War, thirteen men from this small rural village signed up to fight for their country and, tragically, eight of those men died. They are commemorated on our War Memorial where a Service of Remembrance is held every year in November.
Plans for a special service and celebration in this centenary year are already being laid, master minded by Cath McGregor. The aim is to produce hundreds of knitted (or crochet) poppies that will be used to decorate the War Memorial on the 11th November.
A village Poppy Brigade is already busy knitting but this is a project that we can share with the wider Fearnan diaspora not only in Scotland and the UK, but also around the world (some of whom read this Blog). We know that people in North America, Australia, New Zealand, mainland Europe and Asia regularly click onto this blog and it would mean a lot if some people in this wider audience, who have an interest, or friends, or relatives in Fearnan, felt able to contribute a poppy or two. Equally valuable would be a little bit of information about your connection with the village – these personal stories and histories add an extra dimension to a project like this.
Four years ago, when we marked the centenary of the start of WW1, we were in touch with some of the descendants of the men whose names appear on the War Memorial and it would be particularly special if some of the poppies made came from this group of people.
There is a pattern and instructions at the end of this article, but there are lots of poppy patterns on the internet and any knitted or crochet poppy, as long as it is red, will be welcomed. The final design created at the memorial will depend on the number of poppies we receive.
(Oh, and the Blog would like to stress that this is a totally egalitarian and gender non-specific project, but we don’t seem to have any boy poppies yet. Just saying!)
You will need: Double knitting wool (red) and size 9 (3 3/4) needles.
Tip 1: don’t knit too tight – it makes the decreasing easier.
Tip 2: it is also much easier to knit the decrease 3 together row with a smaller pin.
To Start: Cast on 120 stitches.
Rows 1- 4: knit
Row 5: knit 3 stitches together (best done into back of stitches) across the row (40 stitches)
Rows 6-9: knit
Row 10: knit 2 stitches together across the row (20 stitches)
Rows 11-14: knit
Row 15: knit 2 stitches together across the row (10 stitches)
Cut yarn leaving a tail of about 20cm.
Thread tail through yarn needle and slip all the remaining live stitches onto the yarn tail and pull tight. Pull around into a circle and then mattress stitch (or use whatever stitching you normally use) to seam for an invisible seam. Sew in ends.
Centre of Poppy
Either: using black, cast on 16 stitches. Cast off. Coil into a tight spiral and sew base to the centre. Or: use a black or green button with 4 holes and sew to centre of poppy.
Collecting the Poppies
If you live in Fearnan, the poppies can be given to Cath or dropped off for collection at the Hall when attending hall events.
If you know someone who lives in Fearnan, please send them to your friend or contact who can deliver them locally.
If you don’t have a current contact in Fearnan, email the blog here and I’ll provide a mailing address.
We hope you can help us with this project and look forward to lots of poppies!