35 hrs, 50 stitches: Shanghai Grannies knit 'perfect' bouquets for Beijing Winter Olympics medalists

Around 150 pensioners have been working tirelessly for the past three months to create these one-of-a-kind woolen bouquets that will be presented to the winners of the 2022 Winter Games

FP Staff January 27, 2022 16:12:55 IST
This year, Olympic champions at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games will receive a bouquet unlike others in the past. The winners will receive a bouquet made out of wool, which have been knitted by female pensioners based in Shanghai. Around 150 of these women, known as Shanghai grannies, have spent the past three months crocheting the wool-yarn roses that will become the centrepieces of the medallists' posies. AFP
1/5
This year, Olympic champions at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games will receive a bouquet unlike others in the past. The winners will receive a bouquet made out of wool, which have been knitted by female pensioners based in Shanghai. Around 150 of these women, known as Shanghai grannies, have spent the past three months crocheting the wool-yarn roses that will become the centrepieces of the medallists' posies. AFP
The women have produced 4,400 roses — meant to symbolise the blossoming careers of the successful athletes — for more than 1,200 bunches of flowers. The pensioners are part of a crafting club at an activity centre for women and children that has become known nationally for its members' skills. Before the Olympics, the women spent much of their time making high quality sweaters, socks, scarfs, hats and even whole dresses for charitable associations, which were typically then donated to the needy to help them through China's chilly winter. A range of government organisations and businesses also routinely commission the club to create various items as gifts. AFP
2/5
The women have produced 4,400 roses — meant to symbolise the blossoming careers of the successful athletes — for more than 1,200 bunches of flowers. The pensioners are part of a crafting club at an activity centre for women and children that has become known nationally for its members' skills. Before the Olympics, the women spent much of their time making high quality sweaters, socks, scarfs, hats and even whole dresses for charitable associations, which were typically then donated to the needy to help them through China's chilly winter. A range of government organisations and businesses also routinely commission the club to create various items as gifts. AFP
The reasoning behind these new bouquets was that unlike a perishable real bouquet, it can serve as a lifelong keepsake. The skills of the women are evident in the finished product -- a long metal stem wrapped in green yarn sprouting leaves on the way up to exquisite, tightly clustered crimson rose petals. AFP
3/5
The reasoning behind these new bouquets was that unlike a perishable real bouquet, it can serve as a lifelong keepsake. The skills of the women are evident in the finished product -- a long metal stem wrapped in green yarn sprouting leaves on the way up to exquisite, tightly clustered crimson rose petals. AFP
The Olympic bouquet is truly a work of art. Each craftswoman uses a ball of yarn, two needles and more than 50 stitch types, taking several hours to make each rose. Around 35 hours of work goes into each full bouquet. And despite the hard work that is required, the Shanghai grannies say they are happy to put up with any discomfort. As one was quoted as saying, "It’s gratifying for someone my age to participate in this Olympic project. I'm very happy and feel quite lucky." AFP
4/5
The Olympic bouquet is truly a work of art. Each craftswoman uses a ball of yarn, two needles and more than 50 stitch types, taking several hours to make each rose. Around 35 hours of work goes into each full bouquet. And despite the hard work that is required, the Shanghai grannies say they are happy to put up with any discomfort. As one was quoted as saying, "It’s gratifying for someone my age to participate in this Olympic project. I'm very happy and feel quite lucky." AFP
The Shanghai grannies say that a fair amount of trial and error went into making the 'perfect' roses. They bought real flowers and peeled the petals off one by one to reveal nature's design secrets. And from what we can see, their hard work is paying off, as these flowers look beautiful! AFP
5/5
The Shanghai grannies say that a fair amount of trial and error went into making the 'perfect' roses. They bought real flowers and peeled the petals off one by one to reveal nature's design secrets. And from what we can see, their hard work is paying off, as these flowers look beautiful! AFP