Flowers for Memories

Now that Summer is here, preparations for Yarndale 2015 are in full woolly swing.

The team are busy working on all manner of things in preparation for this year’s event, but today we would like to introduce the Creative Community Display that we are organising.

If you’ve been following Yarndale’s journey since the beginning, then you will be very familiar with our love of social creativity and exuberant displays of yarny goodness. You will no doubt know the story of the now famous crochet bunting (all 1.5km of it) as well as having very good recall of the 1,182 beautiful crochet mandalas which caused such a stir at last years festival.

This year we are delighted to be working with local artist Sheila Metcalfe (affectionately known as The Crochet Queen), who approached us for help with her ongoing fund raising on behalf of the Alzheimers Society. Sheila has crocheted all of the gorgeous flowers in the above photo, and the amazing thing is that these have all been made using her own designs and patterns. Aren’t they stunning?

Last year, you may remember seeing Sheila’s beautiful display of crochet flaura in the entrance hall (there’s the lovely Sheila with her display in the picture above). Through generous donations from the public as well as proceeds from the sale of some of her beautiful crocheted flowers, Sheila raised an admirable £209.50 during the Yarndale weekend.

Earlier this year we put our creative heads together (imagine lots of brain waves passing back and forth like colourful yarny threads) and wondered if we might be able to help Sheila do things bigger and better this year. More yarn, more flowers, more colour and more WOW factor. We realised what a great opportunity this would be to create a visually stunning display at Yarndale whilst at the same time doing something good for a charity that is close to our hearts.

We loved Sheila’s creative ideas so much that we decided to retain her original idea of “Flowers for Memories“, whilst attempting to make the display a whole lot bigger and brighter. And this is where you come in!

We know from previous years that many of you relished the idea of taking part in a large scale creative project, and via the wonderful world wide web we are in a fabulous position to make this a truly global undertaking. Isn’t that just something incredible?!

So we would like to invite you to join Sheila and the Yarndale team in making a whole garden of  F L O W E R S. Yes, we need as many glorious, colourful, happy woolly blooms as we can get our hands on. We would love to receive flowers of any variety, knitted or crocheted.

You can use any type of yarn that tickles your fancy (this is a great stash buster project) – the only thing we ask is that your blooms are C O L O U F U L ! I confess we are slightly rainbow obsessed here, and we have this fantasy of being able to create a rainbow-themed wall of floral colour – just imagine the impact! It’ll look amazing!

So we would like to ask all you potential yarn-gardeners out there to dig out your hooks and sticks, find some bright oddments of yarn and crochet/knit us a flower (or two or three).

If you are interested in taking part, here are some more specific details…..

Flowers can be any size, but as we are aiming for Maximum Impact we would prefer single flowers or groups of smaller flowers to be of a size that fits in the palm of your hand (approx. 8 – 10 cm).

Flowers can be either knit or crocheted. Feel free to add beads, buttons, embroidery. Flowers can be either with or without leaves attached.

Groups of two or three smaller flowers can be stitched together (with or without leaves) to make small posies. Aim for the finished size to be 8 -10cm (bigger rather than smaller!)

If you are able to stitch a safety pin or brooch pin onto the back of your flower(s) that would help us enormously with creating the display. It’s not essential, so don’t worry if it’s too much, but it would be of great help.

We would prefer to have flowers made using single colours or similar colours used together (ie all red, or red with orange, all purple, or purple with pink etc). We are aiming to “colour-wash” the display as follows :

red : red/orange : orange/yellow : yellows : blues : blue/purple : purple : purple/pink : pink : pink/red

Q :: How many flowers would you like me to make?

A :: As many as you feel like – one or dozens, it’s up to you. But please make them colourful!

Q :: What type of yarn would you like me to use?

A :: Any yarn you like! We’ve found that cotton yarn gives great results, but any smooth yarn works well.

Q :: Where can I find patterns for crochet and knitted flowers?

A :: There are masses of free flower patterns available online. During the next few days, we will be sharing links to our favourite patterns.

Q :: What hook size shall I use?

A :: Use whatever hook suits the yarn you are using.

Q :: What size should my finished flower(s) measure?

A :: Please aim for approximately 8 – 10 cm. Small flowers should be stitched together to make posies. You can include leaves if you wish.

Q :: When do you need them?

A :: We are keeping this project open until two weeks before Yarndale – closing date for flowers to arrive is FRIDAY 11th SEPTEMBER (that’s NINE WEEKS!)

Q :: Where shall I send them?

A :: To the following address…….





BD23 9EN

** Please can you be mindful of your packaging and use paper/cardboard that can be recycled (no plastic bubble wrap or padded plastic envelopes please)

Q :: What information should I include with my flower(s)?

A :: Please could you supply your name, along with your town/county/state/province and country. We’d like to compile a list of contributors, along with their origin.

Q :: What will happen to the flowers after Yarndale?

A :: All donated flowers will become the property of Sheila Metcalfe.  After Yarndale, Sheila has made a heartfelt pledge to create a huge collection of brooches, corsages and floral wreaths which will be raffled/sold, with all proceeds going directly to Alzheime’rs Society. Yarndale is very proud to support the ongoing charity work that Sheila is doing and we wish her every success. We will of course keep you updated with news about this creative charity project, both before and after the Big Display at Yarndale.


We can’t wait to start growing this beautiful flower garden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


25 thoughts on “Flowers for Memories

  1. Carla says:

    Love Love Love this idea. The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity close to my heart. Can’t wait to get started!

  2. Caz Latham says:

    Hi, I would love to be involved with this flower project. Please count me in.

    Thanks heaps,

    Caz Latham

  3. Shaesta Rafique says:

    Hi Sheila,

    What a lovely idea for your chosen charity. I am sure the Mandela’s willhelp create a beautiful garden of blooms for Yarndale.

    I can’t wait to get started!!

    All the best


  4. Shaesta Rafique says:

    “Flower’s For Memories”: With every bloom that I see your sweet memory will re-awaken. I will never forget and will always remember the joy of your love and smile so tender!

    Your idea has inspired me.


  5. Pamela says:

    This is an excellent cause. I hope the money will be used by The Alzheimer’s society to educate the professionals who work with people with Alzheimer’s. With proper care and attention, people with this illness can live enjoyably for longer than most currently do. One of the last memories I have of a dear friend with this illness is looking through a gardening magazine at the many beautiful and richly colourful pictures of flowers. Her garden was a source of great joy throughout her life, and never more so than when living with Alzheimer’s, so I feel beautiful yarn flowers are a lovely and fitting way to raise awareness and money and hopefully better understanding, to enable people to live more comfortably with the disease. I am sure it will look wonderful.

    Thank you in advance Sheila for all the work this will entail.

  6. janet says:

    Lovely idea. I especially like that it’s supporting a charity as well as yarn busting and how beautiful the end garden will look. Good work. I’ll be looking up a pattern and will get working.

  7. Lynn Hall says:

    Sounds wonderful. A great cause. Have you seen Prudence Mapstone’s facebook page.. In Australia we have just done the celebration of the 50th year of Flower Power people from all over the world contributed. And it ended up nearly 11 metres long and it is now travelling Aust as much as i know. It may be worth a look to for added inspiration. Maybe, forwarding the information to to Freeformers and other craft groups.

  8. Marion McIntyre says:

    I can’t wait to get started. It is a pleasure to be able to contribute to an event such as this.

  9. Mandy Maddick says:

    A wonderful idea looking forward to starting my first flower today . Good luck and happy hooking
    Mandy 🙂

  10. Sara says:

    I’d really like to enquire about a commission. I’d like to buy 3 specific flowers making for a gift. I was wondering if you might consider this please?

  11. Arlene McGinness says:

    Hi. I was wondering if any of these (or previous years’ works) will be for sale online?

    • lucy says:

      Hello Arlene
      Some of the floral makes will eventually be for sale online in early 2016, we’ll keep you posted x

  12. Sharon says:

    What an amazing idea. I will definitely be trying to find time to make a few flowers. My Uncle has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers so it will mean a lot to me to be able to join in.

  13. Angel Jem says:

    Excellent idea! And I love the idea of selling them afterwards for Alzheimers. I’m off to make a few now!

  14. Marylin O. says:

    I’m so excited to be able to contribute to Yarndale again, and contribute to Sheila’s cause (Alzheimer’s). Happy Crochet Everyone, MO

  15. Crochet Addict says:

    This is a wonderful idea, which I will definitely be contributing too. I always wanted to learn how to crochet and by following Lucy at Attic24 blog and wonderful tutorials I was able to make my first flower in February 2014. I have been a crochet addict ever since and think that as flowers provoke memories for everyone, this is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to support this amazing charity!

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