Lest we forget...wear your knitted (or crocheted!) poppy to show your support!
Knitting played a huge part in supporting our men and boys during the First and Second World Wars.
During WWI relatives were asked to knit for the war effort as shortages made it more difficult to get hold of clothing. Women were asked to knit specific items for troops, using regulation patterns and only khaki wool, to be sent out to soldiers in the trenches.
Trench foot was a huge problem during the first world war and it wasn't helped by the seams on soldiers' socks rubbing against their already raw feet. Lord Kitchener sent a plea to women to knit socks using a new stitch, which became known as the Kitchener Stitch (also now known as grafting or weaving) where stitches were sewn together directly from the needle without being cast off to create an invisible seam.
Knitters would also create hand knits for their men to take with them - they became known as 'comforts' - they provided a comforting reminder of home to the husbands, fathers and sons giving their lives for the war effort.
Knitting became even more important during WWII with the whole 'make do and mend culture' of the rationing on the home front. Knitters continued to make garments for their men at war too. There is a fabulous collection available to view at the V&A Museum.
Also, did you know that a purple poppy is worn to represent all of the animals who have fallen in combat? Dogs and pigeons were often used to carry messages during the World Wars and horses and donkeys were used to carry soldiers and were taken into battle. To this day, animals are still being used to sniff out explosives and chemical weapons, so knit yourself a purple poppy to show they are not forgotten.
To show your support to our soldiers - from days gone by and those still out there risking their lives to keep our country safe, wear your poppy with pride and make sure you pop a pound in the box when you see a collection for the Royal British Legion!
I have scoured the internet for my favourite poppy patterns and this comes out on top!