Lest We Forget

Today is remembrance Sunday in the UK.  Since I’m stuck at home recovering from surgery, I’ve not needed a poppy to wear.  I saw a crochet poppy wreath kit on a website (it was sold out) so thought instead of a personal poppy, I could make a wreath for the front door. 

After searching for a pattern, I bought one and then ended up following a YouTube tutorial instead as I preferred the shape of the flower.  To begin, I crocheted the centre in black with 12 dc into a magic ring, and then added some gold glass beads into the front loops.

Next was to crochet the petals.  These are simply made by making 3 dc into the back loops of 3 stitches, turning, ch2 then 2dc in each of the 9 stitches of the previous round.   This is repeated 3 more times.

To form the poppy, the tail from the petal is fed through to the back at the start point of the adjacent petal.  The ends are simply tied together in a few knots on the reverse to secure.

For the leaf, I didn’t like the one in the pattern I purchased so I crocheted a basic leaf shape and then slip stitched around the edge, adding some bumps randomly to make it into more of a poppy leaf shape. 

Finally, for the assembly.  I purchased a grapevine wreath and used the hot glue gun to add the crocheted elements.

Stay Safe

It is strange times indeed in which we are living.  My work is very weird as there’s around an 80% reduction in air traffic but we still need to keep the skies safe for the aircraft that are flying.  It is impossible to use radar to control aircraft from home so we are classed as ‘key workers’ and have to go out to go to work.  However, I feel that what we are doing is nothing compared to the key workers that are keeping our country functioning in these uncertain times, including (but not limited to) the NHS staff (including my sister), farmers, delivery drivers, the emergency services, the supermarket staff and the bin men.  Thank you all!

I haven’t been crafting this week but have been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather we’ve been enjoying and catching up on gardening.  The veg patch has been the focus of our endeavours and is ready for action unusually early!  Mr. L spent his time doing a long overdue cut on the leylandii hedge at the bottom of our garden.  About 6-8ft was lopped off the top so there’s a lot more light getting into the veg patch now.

Whilst Mr. L was doing battle with the hedge, I focused on weeding the beds and sowing some early seeds.  We’ve already got garlic growing, planted in January, and I sowed radish, various types of lettuce, carrots, red onion, spring onion, beetroot, broad beans, mange tout and sweet pea seeds.  Fingers crossed for a bumper harvest in a few months!  Whether it’s the weather or the enforced ‘at home’ time, the nation seems to be getting growing as my favourite independent seed websites have had to close for a few days in order to process the mass of orders they’ve received.  People getting out growing their own is great in my book, whatever the reason.  

I like to recycle when possible and I repurpose stuff to use in the garden.  I use plastic bottles with the bottoms chopped off to direct water to the base of plants such as courgettes and pumpkins, lengths of water pipe and scaffold netting to keep pests (and pets!) off the raised beds and I drill holes in the bottom of prosecco corks and use them as cane toppers.

I also sowed some tomato seeds indoors in the propagator and potted on my chilli plants which were sown back in February.  I’m also having a go at growing turmeric as the roots that I’d bought to eat had sprouted so I’ve potted them up.

In the evening, I’ve been crocheting.  I’m doing Helen Shrimpton’s My Nameless……. pattern which I bought ages ago but never got around to doing.  I always use a wool winder to transform my yarn balls into yarn cakes as the yarn flows more freely.  I also love the way they look!

I’m just under half way through the pattern, which will be about 5ft square when finished and will contain about 19 balls of yarn!  Here’s my creation so far…..

That’s all for this week.  Stay well.  Stay safe.  Stay home.

 

OMG! Commemorative Artwork

My dear friend, Lorie, established a charity called Project 71 which supports war veterans who, for the most part, live in our local area.  She works tirelessly to raise funds and raise awareness of the charity so that, at no cost to themselves, the veterans can enjoy lunches together, trips abroad, for example to Normandy and Arnhem, for the veterans to pay their respects to those who didn’t return home.  Project 71 also provides assistance to the veterans in the form of lifts to places, providing mobility scooters, doing the shopping or just visiting at home or in hospital to have a cup of tea and a chat.  Lorie has a group of volunteers from all walks of life that help her to provide these things for the veterans. The work they do is humbling and amazing in equal measures.  Please visit their site via the link below to see the wonderful things they do.

http://www.project71.co.uk/

Just over a year ago, Lorie sent a request out to crafty types via Facebook, to see who would be interested in producing some fabric artwork to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden.  The artwork is based on the plate produced by the Market Garden Veterans Association for the 50th anniversary.

The only rules were that the finished badge should be 6” tall and as wide as necessary to keep the proportions right.  Any crafting media or technique using fabric or wool could be used providing they could be joined together as the finished badges would be sewn together and mounted onto a background of parachutes and aircraft.  The finished article will be donated to the National Liberation Museum (Nationaal Bevrijdingsmuseum 1944-1945) in Groesbeek, Netherlands in September 2019 as part of the 75th anniversary weekend.

I chose to make the 50th Infantry Division

and 101st Airborne Division.

The 50th Infantry Division was a division of the British Army whose insignia features two Ts which apparently represent the three main rivers, the Tyne, Tees and Humber, from the recruitment area of the Territorial Army, of which the division was a part before the Second World War.  I immediately saw this design as a crocheted piece and set about creating a stitch grid onto which I could transfer the design.  Then it was simply a case of single crocheting the stitches in the appropriate colour.

The 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”) is a light infantry division of the US Army who were engaged in numerous operations during World War II.  This insignia cried out for appliqué so I got out my felt and Bondaweb and got to work.  First I scaled the insignia on the computer so that the image was just under 6” tall.  I then traced this onto tracing paper as the reverse image is needed to trace onto the Bondaweb due to it being attached on the back of the fabric by ironing.

The next step was to carefully cut out the images and adhere them by removing the backing and ironing them in position.

I hit a slight snag when I started to appliqué the letters as the felt was not holding its shape and the resulting mess was not acceptable!  I experimented with various styles of attachment and found that stitching over the entire letter produced the best result, but not using felt as the fibres stuck up through the gaps between the thread.  I remade the letters using yellow fabric, coloured the centres of the letters with black sharpie (cheat!) and sewed over the whole letter using a closely spaced zig-zag stitch.

Top shows the experiments, bottom is the finished piece.

Now it was time to assemble the piece.  I used a piece of khaki linen fabric and quilted it in a diamond pattern and then simply attached the badge pieces on top.

The edges of the piece were finished using the overlocker to get the piece to the correct size.

These are some of the other pieces of work that other crafters have made.

I’m looking forward to seeing the finished piece once Lorie has finished the construction.

Project 71 is a small charity where 100% of the money donated goes to supporting the veterans.  If you would like to donate and help out this very worthy cause, please click on the link below.  Any donation will be much appreciated.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/panicbutton