Hearts for Christchurch

Not just allies, not just friends, New Zealand is family to Australia. Our brothers and sisters whos’ lives were ripped apart by unspeakable evil during a weekly time of such peace and belonging were friends, classmates, family and neighbours. My grandmother attended church almost every Sunday for her entire life and did nothing but good in this world. She helped everyone and anyone. Babysitting, ironing, delivering a hot meal, mending clothes, sourcing support and resources from her position as an Anglican lay sister for anyone in need regardless of their faith or creed.

It was people like her who would have been in that building and that broke me.

In the helplessness and grief, I wasn’t sure how to help. Then this Hearts for Christchurch drive popped up on Facebook on the Love Knitting page.

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In Sydney, we have yarn bombing everywhere. Sunflowers, empowering messages, hearts, and trees covered in cosy, colourful sweaters. It is a sweet comfort to see these things around the neighbourhood. Someone made every stitch with love and they made it for strangers.

I have made five hearts to send across the Tasman. One for each of the pillars of Islam. Hate is loud, love is quiet and constant. I hope these hearts – quilted, knitted, crocheted hearts made with love – are a small comfort to anyone who sees them.

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If you would like to send a heart, for this particular collection, you have until the 5th May 2019.

Word on the textile artist street is that this was started by a quilter’s guild in Christchurch who opened it up when knitters, crocheters and sewists contacted them wanting to help, but I cannot find any further information or reference. I will keep looking.

To donate money to assist with immediate and ongoing costs to the families of those taken too soon, there are several official channels you can use. Our communities are very good at rallying together to cover the costs when something terrible happens so many of these campaigns are fully funded and will close soon, but every little bit helps.

Our People, Our City Fund – The Christchuch Foundation

https://christchurchfoundation.org.nz/giving/our-people-our-city-fund/donate

The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC) [Closes 29 March]

https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings?fbclid=IwAR1hZNulpJtqe85oAnwJ4KwJxQJCSQ6j7os-6PkrCh8eNp7DjbWKi2ru2_0#!/

The New Zealand Red Cross (link for those outside NZ)

https://givealittle.co.nz/org/redcross

New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups [No closing date yet]

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund

Kia kaha Aotearoa. We are one, but we are many.

Liz x

 

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Remembrance Day Poppies

A red poppy worn on the lapel has long been a symbol of respect and remembrance for the brave sacrifice of soldiers lost in World War I. Red poppies have also been included in ANZAC Day ceremonies since 1940.

A group called 5000 Poppies set out to create an installation of 62 000 crocheted/knitted poppies for the Centenary of Armistice at the Australian War Memorial, among other equally massive projects. They succeeded and photos of the Poppies installation can be found here: https://www.awm.gov.au/about/our-work/projects/centenary-projects/armistice/62000-Poppies-Display

Among those 62 000 are some of mine.

Remembrance Poppies
Red for the lost soldiers, purple for animals, white for all losses on any side of a conflict.

I have continued making poppies for various charity projects and I am happy to sell them at cost to those who are not able to make their own for any reason.

My current poppy projects include making poppy wreathes for my daughter’s school ANZAC Day ceremony, and making poppies for the Sydney Royal Easter Show installation.

Current Project: ANZAC Day at school

ANZAC Day is observed on the 25th April each year across Australia and New Zealand, as well as a dawn service at Gallipoli, Turkey. This year the children will be on term break and will have to have their ceremony early. We are hoping to make 3 or 4 of these for her school to keep for years to come. The poppies seen here were the ones used at the AWM and Victoria RSL installations which are gradually being re-homed with RSLs, schools, councils, public institutions and any organisation who would like to  store and display them with the appropriate respect.

Poppy Wreath by Liz and Lottie
Our poppy wreath for school ANZAC Day ceremonies

 

Current project: Sydney Royal Easter Show

My next project is to make red, white and purple poppies to donate to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for their ANZAC installation. In this installation, white poppies will be dedicated to nurses who served.

Easter Show Poppies

Want to get involved with the Easter Show project? Click here for all the info.

Poppy makers who are interstate or overseas or can’t make it to the show are welcome to mail in poppies. Deadline for mailed poppies is Monday 8th April 2019. I am happy to provide the mailing address on request, or email Janine and she will give you the details.

Lynn Berry OAM of the 5000 Poppies Project has provided excellent crochet and knitted poppy patterns suitable for beginners. You can find the most concise patterns on the Easter Show website here. The patterns will open in a one page PDF document when you click through on the link on that page.

I have cobbled together my own version which I find quick and easy with only one colour change. I will add a pattern here when I find a suitable program to create a visual pattern. My pattern is similar to Lynn’s Three Row Easy Crochet Poppy but worked in doubles instead of trebles with a different stitch count.

Please tell me about your own poppies in the comments! I’d love to hear from other poppy makers. Lest We Forget.

Liz xx