The Braid Society awarded a rosette and prize to a braid item in the exhibition. Anne Dyer from the Braid Society made the beautiful rosette which I am very proud to have won.
|The Braid Society Rosette|
Celtic Handfasting or the binding of hands, is an old wedding custom that has become more popular since the ceremony featured in the film ‘Braveheart’ starring Mel Gibson. Handfasting is probably the origin of the term ‘tying the knot’ for getting married.
A special cord or band is wrapped around the joined hands of the couple. After the first wrap, each person answers a question and makes a promise to their partner. There are five more wraps and after each one, a question and promises are made. After the final sixth wrap, the band or cord is tied, usually by the best man. In some versions only a single long cord or band is used and is wrapped after each promise. These promises can be devised by the couple themselves although many web sites offer a set list of promises for the handfasting.
When I first heard of this delightful addition to the wedding ceremony, I designed a long band. It has a pattern of two hearts facing each other along its length and has two joined hearts in the centre. It is made of unbleached singles linen for the background threads, red wool for the edges of the band and silk yarn for the pattern threads. Natural yarns, each with their own very different nature are blended into a beautiful whole.
|Starting to weave the band using a standard heddle.|
|The joined hearts in the centre of the band.|
Linen cloth is long lasting and grows more lustrous with time.
Silk adds a touch of luxury – we all hope for some luxury in our lives!
The completed band is 422 cm in length and 1.1 cm in width. I finished the band with a short double plait and tassel wrapped in red wool with a small bead heart sewn at the end. It took a long time to weave!