Feb 3, 2010

Pulling the Wool Over St. Brigid


I missed the first of February. It came and went while I was still in January. I used to love the first of February—St. Brigid's Day—when I was a kid, because we got to make St. Brigid's crosses at school. Mr. Hanley used to let us off up the back of the school to pick wild rushes which we then wove into crosses, as St. Brigid once did to explain the cross to a dying man (and score another soul for the Catholic team).

I used to be a dinger at weaving crosses. I haven't felt like I'm a dinger at anything in ages so I decided this morning to ignore the forty-seven other things I was supposed to be doing, and make a two-day-late tribute to St. Brigid. Small problem: No rushes in Brooklyn. If there are, they're under snow right now, and I can't be seen with a shovel or my neighbors will heckle me for not clearing my patch of sidewalk (not understanding that it's forty-eighth on my to-do list today).

No rushes and in-no-rush-to-shovel, I made a cross out of wool.

Your average cross and your average knitwit's attempt

I thought I'd experience a self-satisfied "I never lost it" moment upon completion, but as I cursed St. Jude (the patron saint of lost causes) for not helping my limp/lame St. Brigid's Cross stand up over my door to protect my house from fire and evil (as is the tradition), I realized I have in fact truly lost it.

As the blue-fairy might say "A little cross who won't be good, might just as well be made of wool"

Best go get that shovel ...

Note: I attempted to photograph each step of the process, but as I was using teeth, toes, and thighs to hold strings in place, my photos are a bit wobbly. If you'd like to make a cross of your own or you need an excuse to not shovel, check out these easy instructions on fisheeaters.com.

2 comments:

Jane G Meyer said...

You have not lost it! Your cross is ingenious--and beautiful. This year, a pregnant friend lost her five month old baby...What sadness. I headed to the beach with some pine needles and other plant material from my garden and sat there and wove St. Brigid's crosses and prayed for the baby, for my friend and her family. Then I noticed a line of washed up sea grass. I wove the sea grass, too, then let it float into the waves... All these efforts, of working with our hands hold so much hope and prayer. I hope you see your yarn cross that way.
Maybe you could glue it to a simple board or paper and then mount it above your door?

In any case, I bet Saint Brigid is smiling at you right now...

Jacinta said...

Jane, thank you for your encouragement and thank you for sharing your St. Brigid's cross story. What powerful crosses you made, weaving in the sea, sky, and earth with your thoughts and prayers for your poor friend. my heart goes out to her. xxj

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