Harakeke Anzac poppies
As the countdown to Anzac Day quickens, Palmerston North City Library has two community craft projects based around poppies that are approaching completion.
Friday workshops have seen knitters turning up to make handcrafted poppies for a community wreath, as well weaving poppies out of harakeke or flax. The final workshops to complete the projects are this Friday April 8 from 10am to midday.
City Library’s Janet Ellery says the hand-knitted poppies making up the wreath reflect the ethos of an age where many things were hand-made or crafted.
‘‘Being made by members of our community really will add to the depth of the meaning and feeling behind the wreath – it truly will be a community wreath in every sense of the word,’’ Janet says.
All library branches have poppy packs that contain instructions, wool and a button. Expert knitters don’t have to follow the pattern and can create poppies as elaborate as they like.
The harakeke, or flax poppy project had its origins in last year’s placement of crosses in The Square for Anzac Day. Response to the crosses suggested another such community project would be appropriate.
The library’s Laureen Ruwhiu says the target is to weave 2000 flax poppies with stems of various lengths, dip the flower head into red dye, add a black centre, allow them to dry, and have them placed around the cenotaph on April 22 in time for Anzac Day services. The weaving process is simple, and no experience is necessary.
‘‘We’re living and breathing Anzac Day at the moment,’’ Laureen laughs. ‘‘And Friday is the last chance for people to contribute.’’
City Library is co-ordinating the Anzac Day dawn and civil services in conjunction with the NZ Defence Force.
‘‘The Square will look a lot different,’’ she says. ‘‘People can register to lay a wreath through the library’s Window on WWI website, and there’s been a good response to that.’’
Library staff are encouraging as many people as possible to be involved this Friday so the 2000 flax poppy target can be reached, and the knitted poppies finished off so the wreath can be completed.
Atareta Akuhata shows off a bouquet of flax poppies she has woven during the Friday morning flax weaving workshops at City Library.