Pin It
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Imbolc Craft: St. Brigid’s Cross

By

Originally a pagan holiday, Imbolc evolved from a celebration of the goddess Brigid (later Christianized as St. Brigid) in the Middle ages. Brigid is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. Today it is celebrated across Ireland and Scotland and in some pagan communities globally.

One common craft for St. Brigid’s Day/Imbolc is to make St. Brigid’s crosses. But these are not your everyday crosses! These ornaments are often created with straw, corn husk or other organic materials. I used wired chenille (pipe cleaner) because it is more uniform, and it’s what I had at home. (I think the iridescent chenille looks snowy, and the green ribbons are the herald of spring, but I am sure all color combinations are acceptable.)

This is one of those crafts where, once you “get it”, you can’t un-get it, and it looks harder than it is. You will be performing two movements over and over: turning the piece ninety degrees, and sliding a folded-in-half pipe cleaner onto the work to make the square in the center “grow”.

Materials:
Wired chenille (pipe cleaners) in any color; or pieces of natural straw (about twelve inches long each). Use at least sixteen of whatever you choose.

Ribbon or yarn for tying the ends of the cross

Instructions:
1. Begin with one straight, unfolded pipe cleaner. Take a second pipe cleaner and bend it in half. Slide this onto the straight pipe cleaner, at right about that straight pipe cleaner’s center, and so that the open ends of the folded one face the right.

2. Now turn the piece ninety degrees, so that the folded pipe cleaner’s two ends face upward. You will still have to pinch it at the center to keep it aligned with the straight pipe cleaner.

3. Take another folded pipe cleaner, and fit it over the section that is facing skyward. This new folded pipe cleaner, like the first one, will have its open ends facing your right.

4. This is all you will be doing; taking a folded pipe cleaner, sliding it horizontally onto the most northerly, “vertical” part of the work, and then turning it ninety degrees so that it–the piece you just added–is the new “vertical”.

5. Add pieces so that the bend in the pipe cleaner is snug to the center of the work, but do not smoosh it down so it is overlapping any of the previous work. Lay it “next to” the last piece added, and the tightly woven square in the center of the cross will soon begin to appear.

6. Use no fewer than sixteen pipe cleaners to get a nice cross. Twist the four long “tails” together–trim them to a desired length–and fasten them with ribbons.

Suggested Links:

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolccrafts/Imbolc_Crafts.htm
http://fisheaters.com/stbrigidscross.html
http://www.pookapages.com/wcImbolc.htm
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolccrafts/ss/Brighid_Dolly.htm

© 2012, Amber Dorko Stopper. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids

The most comprehensive list of language learning resources

An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline

Does Islam's reputation for severity and harshness apply to how Muslims raise children?

Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?

Should spanking be part of your parenting toolkit to have well behaved kids?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Amber Dorko Stopper is a writer, knitter and mother in Philadelphia. She blogs at www.voluptuousstoicism.com.

Leave us a comment!

3 Comments
  1. Commentsthe holidaymaker | voluptuous stoicism   |  Wednesday, 01 February 2012 at 11:23 am

    […] IMBOLC (feb 2) […]

  2. Commentsthe holidaymaker (updated for mid 2012) | voluptuous stoicism   |  Thursday, 03 May 2012 at 4:54 pm

    […] IMBOLC (feb 2) […]

  3. CommentsNew Year, New Dates | Walk The Wheel   |  Tuesday, 07 January 2014 at 9:00 am

    […] (credit) […]









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

More Crafts