A Little Word on Which Poppy Pattern to Use …

Good afternoon team poppy … what an amazing few weeks we have had.

We are now up to just over 12,000 members on the facebook group … so our little group has grown into a mammoth group with all the management issues that inevitably spring from such rapid growth.

By now many of you will be ploughing into the poppy making process and having a ball … and even though some of you will be struggling with picking up and needles/hooks again after years or starting from scratch … everyone is committed because this is a wonderful wonderful thing we are doing.

It’s got heart and soul, its cathartic, it’s collegiate and it sends such an incredibly powerful message of love, honour and respect to our servicemen and women past and present, and their families and communities for their contribution to the lives we safely lead in our wonderful country.

We have NO other agenda.

We are all volunteers and colleagues working to a common goal – Remembrance Day 2018.


And we have committed to a lot but it’s a labour of love.

So this is sounding like a James A. Michener novel.

Today, on the facebook page I asked people to NOT make anymore of the Spotlight poppies for the AWM installation.  I know that has sent a few of you into a tail spin because from what I can see from the mail this week there are many being made.

We have tried not to be prescriptive with our poppy patterns in the past because we don’t want this to be a flat, generic installation … we want colour and movement … we want it to draw your eye.

However, there is a problem with this poppy pattern, and that is that it is a combination of large and flat with a big hole in the centre.  The hole itself presents us with a problem as to how to attach to our stem because the stem simply pokes through the hole.  But in testing, the poppy does not really stand up to the elements … it droops … and because of its size it droops a lot.

This is one of the reasons we ask people to use a smaller hook or needles than normal … to limit the droopiness. But with this poppy … the droopiness is inevitable.

So … in saying all this … I don’t want you to feel like we don’t want your poppies … but our first big delivery this week has seen a lot of the Spotlight poppies arriving, I expect because it’s a simple pattern … and it was posted on the facebook group today as a quick and easy pattern.  But  … it has created a bit of a problem for us because we have been closing up the hole or putting a button on them and running a thread around the centre to draw it up a bit so that it doesn’t droop quite so much … hours and hours of time.  And in truth, we really don’t have the resources to do this.  It’s counter productive for us and doesn’t allow us to focus on the wider task.

Please please please don’t allow this to upset your applecart … we are NOT being exclusive, we are just telling it like it is

A poppy in its natural environment has some shape, a wave, a cupping and we have many many patterns that emulate that “movement” in some way.

Yes we know they are not botanically correct.  They are knitted and crocheted.  It’s the movement we are trying to achieve.

Ok … now that is out there.

There are many many patterns on the blog 5000poppies.wordpress.com/poppy-patterns that achieve this LOOK to varying degrees and there are also many new patterns and variations of existing patterns being shared on Ravelry and on the facebook page that also emulate this movement.  And we also ask you to be creative with your centres … after all, you are limited in your colour range for the poppies so we ask you to have free range with your centres which many of you have chosen to do … and it’s a delight … beautiful buttons, cute knitted and crocheted fripperies … embroidery, lace, eyelash yarn beads … even freshwater pearls (I am assuming from an old piece of unused jewellery).  Its a riot out there and we love it. And it will add so much visual effect and character to the display …

I have posted some photos below of different poppies and different centres … many of these poppies don’t have patterns associated with them … they just turn up on our doorstep and they work on many levels.

I am not asking you to scrap your poppies … please send them to us … but please help us by limiting the amount of rework we need to do.  And if you don’t mind from now on, if you have been using the Spotlight pattern or any other flat pattern … please take this post into consideration for your next poppy.

With love.






About 5000 Poppies

The 5000 Poppies Project is a community tribute of respect and remembrance for our servicemen and women, their families and their communities. Created in 2013 by sisters in law Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight in honour of their fathers service in WWII, the project has been closely aligned with the Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018, and has consisted of a number of small and large scale installations made from handcrafted poppies from many thousands of contributors from all over the world.
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15 Responses to A Little Word on Which Poppy Pattern to Use …

  1. wendy bramhill says:


    I sent an email last week to ask if you were accepting purple poppies knitted in honor of all the animals who were sent to war to assist the troops, but have not received a reply as yet. I believe it is vital that animals are also honored for the sacrifices they made.

    I await your reply………………………Kind Regards, Wendy Bramhill


    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Wendy,
      Please accept my apologies for my slow response … I am still wading through many hundreds of comments on the blog as well as other correspondence.
      There are a number of poppy installations that have been created to honour the animal who served … and they are/have been quite beautiful.
      The installation that we are undertaking at the Australian War Memorial is to honour the human fallen from WWI and as such should be RED for remembrance. You are welcome to put a purple button or add a purple centre.
      Kindest regards,
      Lynn Berry

  2. Gayle says:

    Hi, I know you have a lot to do. Would these poppies be suitable to make into Lap rugs for Residential care homes or similar or given away on the day for people to use as rigs or shawls etc if it is cold? Also some of us Taft are pretty hopeless at making poppies may be able to see these together?

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Gayle,
      The poppies are all part of an art installation … a tribute to our servicemen and women.
      We have no plans to make them into knee rugs but you are welcome to make your own if you wish.
      Kindest regards,
      Lynn Berry

  3. Julie says:

    Dear Lyn,
    I would be very happy to correct any poppies that don’t exactly fit the bill so too speak of as in your newletter update to make them usable. I have been making poppies which are crocheted and knitted from the wordpress article patterns so I think you will be happy. However, I did do an experiment with a moss stitch design but they were too lose/floppy I think. I have left them in my bundle only two you can throw them out or use them for a broche. I will forward my bundle to you when it gets to 100. In the meantime, I am serious with my offer! If you want I will be happy to correct any ones that you guys don’t have time to sort out. Email me julie714@adam.com.au and send me some to sort out. Even if it’s just a few as a trial to see if I am worthy!

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Julie,
      Thank you so much for your very kind offer … most of our repairs and reworks are done by volunteers who come to our regular workshops … in that way we don’t have the expense of mailing backwards and forwards with no budget to speak of. We are slowly getting there.
      With love.
      Lynn Berry

  4. Marie Williams says:

    I am knitting poppies also

  5. Colleen Jackiw says:

    Hi Lynn, Thank you for this note, which must have been difficult to write. I have been with you since day 1 on this project, and I admire you for your commitment to this project, a project that began with a heartfelt dream, and continues today with the same spirit. Please be assured that it is okay to ask for donations of poppies to be in line with this vision. It is just a little ‘housekeeping’, so to speak, to ensure that you have a workable product. We are of course speaking about thousands of poppies, and if you can save a little double handling, that is fine. Looking forward to keeping in touch with this project, and getting the needles clicking when I have the time. God Bless you for your efforts to raise awareness of the poppy and all that it stands for in our history. I’m sure that the relatives for which this project was begun, would be incredibly proud of your efforts on their behalf. Well done! With thanks, Colleen.

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Thank you so much Colleen.
      Yes occasionally a realignment is required … but we seem to always find a way around our difficulties.
      Looking forward to next year.
      Kind regards,
      Lynn Berry

      • Marie Williams says:

        Good morning Lyn I have been knitting poppies since you started this project about 3 years or 4 years ago. I have knitted thousands sent them all over the world to friends and family. Also sold them to the locals in Mackay and district and raised thousands for local charities. Keep up your good work. I have enjoyed been part of it.
        Cheers from Marie Williams Mackay

  6. Anne McClelland says:

    Could you please tell me if the Fiona knitted poppy pattern is ok for the AWM 60000 poppies appeal, and how you need the back of your poppy done to be able to put a stem on them?
    I have sent an email but as yet don’t have an answer.

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Anne,
      Apologies for hte delay in responding … I have had many thousands of emails and wordpress comments to wade through.
      The Fiona knitted poppy is one of my favourites … a stunning poppy … you are welcome to make these if you wish and yes they are suitable for stems.
      Please sew in all your ends, we will use the thread from the stem covering to attach the poppy to the stem.
      Enjoy making.
      Kind regards,
      Lynn Berry


    Hello Lynn, A fellow resident showed me the article in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens about the Purple Poppies that are to be placed upon the horses, donkeys, mules, etc. who also served in WWI. Upon reading the Australian War Memorial website it seems that the War Memorial are actually selling purple poppies (hopefully they were not made in an overseas country!!). Despite trying to contact the AWM about people being interested in making purple poppies, I have had no response.

    Therefore if a group of us ladies knitted/crocheted some purple poppies would the RSL accept them? Or are we just wasting our time? We have already made about 40 red poppies to send to you, but we would also like to make the purple poppies.

    Many thanks for your favourable reply.
    kind regards,
    Lyndall (from Sydney)

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Lyndall,
      Unfortunately, for the purposes of our installation at the AWM we are not collecting purple poppies … the AWM have specifically requested only red poppies. We will, however, accept red poppies with purple centres. There are other groups around that are collecting purple poppies, but I do not have any contact details. If you have problems locating a project to take your purple poppies, you could make your own small dedication and perhaps place it at your local RSL for Remembrance Day 2018.
      Take care.
      Lynn Berry

  8. Gwen Lee says:

    Hi Lynn, I have been out of action for awhile and just caught up on the Spotlight poppies so I don’t know what they are about. I crochet the original pattern that was first put out. I stopped when you didn’t require any more. Now do you need the eight ply poppies or the five ply ones with a pin on them for a broach. Kind regards Gwen Lee

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