Monday, 13 November 2017

Festiwool Poppy Appeal

Thanks to everyone who knitted poppies - for the display and for sale. 

Thanks to JP Asher for this report in The Comet 24, today.

Some of the Hitchin Stitchin' members who contributed poppies to the Armistice Day display at Festiwool (L-R) Philippa Gregory, Patricia Harris, Pam Coxon, Alicia Hammond and Hillary Ide. Picture: Mia Beskeen

The display at Festiwool, held this year at The Priory School, comprised 99 poppies, each representing one of the 99 Hitchin troopers killed in 1917.

The Hitchin Stitchin' Remembrance Day display of 99 red poppies at Festiwool. Picture: Mia Beskeen
The exhibit was particularly apt, as the festival for lovers of textile art, sewing, knitting and crochet, was held on Armistice Day.

Patricia Harris, one of the Hitchin Stitchin’ team behind the display, told the Comet: “We have a museum that hasn’t been open for four years, so people haven’t had a chance to pay their respects – and 1917 is the year of Passchendaele.We decided to make poppies for them, and because this was on Armistice Day, we made it into a display.”

Festiwool chief Philippa Gregory said the new venue at the school had been a great success, with 850 people in – and that she hoped it would be even bigger next year.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A Poppy is to Remember

During the First World War (1914–1918) much of the fighting took place in Western Europe. Previously beautiful countryside was blasted, bombed and fought over, again and again. The landscape swiftly turned to fields of mud: bleak and barren scenes where little or nothing could grow.

Bright red Flanders poppies (Papaver rhoeas) however, were delicate but resilient flowers, and grew in their thousands, flourishing even in the middle of chaos and destruction.

In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called 'In Flanders Fields'.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.

In Hitchin.members of Hitchin Stitchin’, and pupils from HitchinGirls’ School, and Biggleswade Academy, have been hand crafting poppies in remembrance of the Hitchin men who were killed in WW1.

At Festiwool, 20017, there will be an exhibit containing poppies for each of the men who were killed in 1917, almost 1/3 of those killed between 1914 – 1919.

Friday, 22 September 2017

September Poppy Appeal Knit-Along

What a splendid turnout today.

By the end of the morning, I had received 50 small poppies (for sale at Festiwool) and 32 large poppies (for the display)

Laying them all out on a bed, with the list of names from the Hitchin War Memorial, gives just some idea of the scale of the project. There are 82 poppies in this picture, and 376 names on the sheets.

A big, big, thank you to all the members of the group who have joined this project so enthusiastically (a special shout-out to Colin).  We are certainly on target to complete poppies for the 100 men who were killed in 1917 (almost 1/3 of the total for the whole war). We have 62 completed poppies, and more than 40 already promised.

There will be one more knit-along, on 20th October, to complete the poppies for the 1917 tribute hanging. In the meantime, continue to knit large poppies as long as your energy and purse allow. When we reach our final target of 376, we will use any extras as memorials to those who are not named on any memorial and have no living descendents to remember them.

Anyone who feels able to help mount the wall hanging and display on 10th November, please let me know.


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Poppy Appeal Knit-along

Hitchin Stitchin is producing a display for the Festiwool Poppy appeal, in remembrance of the men of Hitchin who were killed in 1917. The Royal British Legion will be supplying posters and collection boxes for the event. A larger project is planned, in conjunction with the British Schools Museum, for 1918.
If you would like to help with this large project, you could knit a poppy or two and bring it to Festiwool on 11th November, or to the Friday morning group at the Sun Hotel. Each poppy will be named in remembrance of the 400 or so Hitchin men who were killed in the service of their country in WWI.

Thanks to everyone who attended the knit-along in August. There are 17 volunteer poppy-makers. If we each knit 20 poppies, there would be enough for all the names on the Hitchin War Memorial.

The poppy pattern chosen is a very simple one. Worked in chunky (or two strands of DK), it measures about 4” .

Poppy Pattern - large.

The next knitalong morning is 22nd September.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

In the news again

but for all the wrong reasons

Clare's Tea Party was not the only exhibit that was damaged, though nothing else ended up in the river.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Great Easter Bunny Hunt

Hitchin Stitchin', was asked to provide knitted rabbits for the Great Easter Bunny Hunt, on the first weekend of the school holidays.

With the help of Festiwool, and Woolly Chic (who designed a kit in time for the competition), we provided ten Easter Bunnies, who took part in the event. 

Each Bunny was named after a rabbit from children's stories, and was hidden in a shop window display. 

The event proved very popular. Many of those taking part asked if they could purchase their favourite rabbit. The Hunt took place on Saturday 1st April, and the winner was announced on 4th April.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas Secret Santa

at The Sun Hotel.

A small, select, group had a luverly time.

Thanks to Sue for this great compilation. It really caught the mood.

Saturday, 12 November 2016


I popped in to Festiwool for an hour or so this afternoon.

The weaving workshop looked

I was sorry to have to opt-out of the sewing workshop, as I wasn't feeling well.

The tutor is arranging a private lesson for me when I'm feeling better.

I was impressed by the variety on offer from the stall holders this year.

Love these caps. I'd like to make one and would have liked to stop and ask what is used inside the peak.

Aren't these crocheted wraps lovely?

Such delicate lace-work.

It was  nice to see such a variety of techniques for creating fabric on offer,

and such lovely, sustainable yarn on offer from all over the world.

North Herts Spinners, Weavers, and Dyers, displayed some of their work. Hilary's log cabin weave was worked on our recent away-weekend.

I was sorry to miss the fashion show(s) which were staged throughout the day. I would like to have seen our group's work showcased.

I made a couple of purchases, including some cotton yarn from Unique Yarns Co. that I will be trying out on my loom. It's 100% cotton, dyed to resemble leather. It's a ribbon yarn, and, although fine, has the same wraps per inch as an aran weight.

The turnout was a little down on last year by the time I left at 2pm but there were another 3 hours to go, and people were still arriving. Those who were early birds were taking a rest in the Food Hub and on the Atrium steps.

Friday, 2 September 2016


to our newest, and youngest group member,

Orla brought her Mum, Britta, to the meeting this morning and showed us what concentrating on the knitting really meant.

She showed a great interest in what was happening with the rest of the group too.

The group did not disapppoint.

There was a variety of knitting work in evidence, and some first attempts at Patchwork from Pam.

Sue impressed us with some recent art work that she had just collected from the framer's.

Group members have a great diversity of talents, not just knitting and crochet. It's lovely when members share their finished projects, whatever the medium.