Saturday, December 9, 2023

Knit for Victory! Your Town Needs You!


On 11th November I will be constructing an installation of knitted and crocheted poppies, one for each Belper soldier lost in WW1, plus a few extra, in the Memorial Gardens.

The poppies will form a centrepiece for the Belper in Wartime and World Heritage Site marking of the Armistice Day centenary.  Other areas within the World Heritage Site have wanted to get involved, and I have given them patterns and advice.

But I need your help to get this done in time.  We have 2 months to go and I need an army of crafters to make about 300 poppies between us.  I need 260 large poppies (12cm length) and about 40 small ones (9cm length).  They all need to be red.  The poppies themselves only take a few minutes to make.  The wiring takes about 10-15 minutes more.  A beginner will need about half an hour to make one.

I am also looking for expert sewing folk, as it would be nice to have the names of each soldier on each poppy.  If you are interested in doing some of the names, you will need green felt (to cut a leaf shape) and a sewing machine or embroidery tools (for stitching the name), and you can contact me for how many names you want at

Below are the patterns which I have been giving out to volunteers.  I favour the two petal poppy that is recognisable as a symbol of remembrance, due to the Royal British Legion using that form. I’m not being a stickler for form though.  You can use any pattern you like as long as it isn’t fancy and frilly.

If you need to talk to me, have poppies to hand over, or want a demonstration of how to wire the poppies, you can give me a call on 07881 284805.
If you don’t feel that you can wire your poppies, then by all means just make the poppy and I will wire it.  I need to recieve all the unwired poppies by 31st October.

For support, chat, sharing or to see how things are going, come and join the Facebook Page for Belper’s WW1 Poppies.

Please, come and be part of a huge craft project for the WW1 centenary.

Working patterns for poppy project.
Crochet: Two petal poppy to match Royal British Legion poppies.

3mm hook (small poppy) or 6mm hook (large poppy) and red yarn

Rnd 1: ch2. Make 10dc in 2nd ch from hook. Join with a slst in 1st dc. (10sts)

Rnd 2: *ch1 dc ch1 2tr in next st, 3tr in next st, 2tr ch1 dc in next st, slst in next 2sts. rep from * once again.

Rnd 3: *ch1 3dc in next 2 sts, 2dc in next 5sts, 3dc in next 2 sts,slst in next 2sts. rep from * once again. Fasten off of not wiring edge.

Wiring edge/Rnd 4: with 0.4mm jewellery wire, sl st each stitch, fasten off, then flatten wire loops and shape.

Wire stem and black centre: Thread loop of garden wire through centre and back through stitch nearest centre. Tightly wrap spare wire under poppy head to keep it in place. Sew 2-3 strands of black wool across each section of poppy centre to create poppy pod pattern. And then through and around garden wire and black under stitches until poppy head does not flop down against stem.

These wires will be taped to garden sticks over the whole length, so don’t worry if they get bent.

If you aren’t confident that you can do the wiring, just get the poppies to me by the end of October and I will do it.

Alternative patterns (3.75mm needles for small poppies and 5mm for large, as a guide, but you will need to adjust for how big they turn out, just use bigger needles/hooks, as the wiring will keep the shape. For wiring, knit/crochet with 0.4mm wire along with yarn on the last row.):


Knit: Easy garter/knit stitch pattern for beginners

Colour A – Red

Colour B – Black

Body of Poppy

Using Col A cast on 120 stitches.

Rows 1 – 4 Knit

Row 5 Knit 3 stiches together across the row (40 stiches)

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

Using B, cast on 16 sts. Cast off. Coil into a tight spiral and sew base to the centre



Knit: Easy ribbed poppy pattern

Colour A – Red

Colour B – Black

Body of Poppy

Using Colour A Cast on (60 stitches)

Rows110 : K2,P2 across whole row

Row 11 : Knit 2 stitches together across the row (30 stitches)

Row 12 : Slip 1 stitch, Knit 2 stitches together then pass the slip stitch over… repeat across the whole row (10 stitches)

Break off yarn with long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight.

Join edges with mattress stitch

Centre of Poppy

Using B, cast on 16 sts. Cast off. Coil into a tight spiral and sew base to the centre.

Crochet: Three petal poppy

with 4.5mm hook Ch 3, join with sl st to form circle.

Ch 3, work 9 dc into the centre of the circle and join with sl st.

Work the three petals separately.

Petal 1.

Ch 3, work 1st dc into same st, work 2 dc into each of the next 3 sts.

ch 1 work 2 sc into each st, tie off.

Petal 2.

work 2 dc into last dc of previous petal, work 2 dc into each of the next 3 sts.

ch 1 work 2 sc into each st, tie off.

Work petal 3 as 2.

Sew all ends in and attach button in the centre.

Stitch explanation

st(s) = stitch (es)

ch = chain


dc = double crochet


htr = half treble croch


slst = slip stitch

r = row

tr = treble crochet

Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

2 thoughts on “Knit for Victory! Your Town Needs You!

  • Jan Forrester

    Hi, I will have a go at knitting some poppies. where do we get the wool wire etc. please? I expect you will want everyone’s to be the same.

  • Hi Jan, That would fabulous. You can use any red yarn, Wilkos, Poundland and B&M all have some. The wire can be ordered online, but Tomes might also have thin wire. Clare

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