(I'm editing this post, because I had a revelation! Because I didn't bother cleaning up the mess until the day after, I discovered how to tie the knots....read on....)
It's that time of the year again. There's a great demo on how to make a St. Brigid's Cross, and a some blurb on Brigid Of Faughart and the Celtic Festival of Imbolc the original celebration to mark the coming of spring on http://newgrange.com/imbolc.htm
There is something that always bugged me though, knotting the arms. I just can't bring myself to use an elastic band. And I find making the knots fiddly and annoying if you havent got a great range of supple, knotable, reeds. So, after 24 hours of a messy kitchen table, I discovered the secret... This is probably a very silly revelation to an experienced cross maker, or anyone that has worked with reeds before, but for me, years of annoyance has finally been solved....The trick is to use day old cut reeds!
Here is the difference between a cross made with fresh reeds and day old reeds.
Day old ReedsI prefer the cross made with fresh reeds, I find the day old one a bit flat. So, the choice is yours, you can use fresh or day old. BUT for the knots use day old reeds, the thin tips. Dont use if theres any brown bits, they are too brittle. So, here is how I tied the knots:
If you dont have day old reeds and you want to make your cross, tie up like this, and then the following day, tie your knot.
Then, the night of Lá le Brid, burn your cross from last year, and hang your new one up in the kitchen. And dont forget to leave your red rag out! (More info about the tradition on The Woolly Way here)
New and Old St. Brigids Crosses
and because you know I like patterns, and mess, I had to take a pic of the floor.