poppies, 2009

I’m reposting this blog entry from last year, because I don’t think I can improve on it for 2009! Thanks to the people who have donated already for this year.

Right after Halloween in Canada, poppy pins blossom on lapels across Canada. We have Remembrance Day on November 11th to commemorate the sacrifices of war.

The poppy is a symbol of remembrance, and was popularized after the First World War due to a poem by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. Few poppies grew in Flanders, France, before the war broke out; rubble from bombardments enriched the soil with lime, and then the fields exploded with the blood-red flowers. Once the war was over, the lime became reabsorbed and the poppies disappeared.

lapel poppy

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.

– Lt. Col. John McCrae


So to help you remember, here’s a little free pattern for a poppy. It knits up very quickly in scrap yarn – I used aran weight black something, and triple-stranded Schaefer Anne for the red. You want to use a small needle so that it’s stiff. Finished size is approximately 2 inches across.

Download Poppy.pdf

Poppies are not bought or sold; people make a contribution for their poppy.
Any donations from this pattern will be given to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund, which is used to provide immediate assistance to ex-servicemen and women in need. This may include food, shelter or medical attention for them or their families. Also, education bursaries are granted to children and grandchildren of ex-service personnel.

More information about the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign.

DONATIONS CLOSED – please donate to your local legion!







10 responses to “poppies, 2009”

  1. Alison Avatar

    Laura, I love that you are doing this. I purchased the pattern last year, but I will make a donation on your site for every year that you post it. Good work.

  2. Rachel Avatar

    Very nice idea!

  3. Maryse Avatar

    I did not know that story. Shame on me…

  4. Farrah Avatar

    My grandma used to recite this poem to me. I think I’ll knit her a poppy and mail it to her. Thank you for encouraging others to remember.

  5. Georganna Avatar

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks so much for the poppy pattern. I love that Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day here) is still observed with so much respect there in Canada. I remember people here wearing poppies here when I was a child (a looooong time ago). Wonder why that tribute to our veterans has faded away? Well anyway, I’m going to make a poppy and wear it Wed. Maybe I’ll get some questions about why I’m wearing it, and I’ll be happy to explain. My dad was a veteran of W W II and fought through D Day and into Europe for 3 years, so it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?

  6. […] knit myself a poppy following this pattern by Laura Chau […]

  7. […] find a poppy? cosmicplutoknits has a quick pattern for you for the poppy below.  Laura Chau developed the pattern and was kind enough to share the […]

  8. Julie Avatar

    I just found you from a Google search for knit poppies. Thanks so much for the pattern!

  9. Julie Avatar

    PS – I will be making a donation to my local legion.

  10. ennadoolf Avatar

    Found your pattern via google and will link to it in a blog post on Nov.11/10 ~ thanks so much. Donation has been made to the poppy fund.

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