st. brigid’s crosses (or “reedy jawns”)

Usually called “St. Brigid’s Crosses” for those who honor her — and something I’ve made for years, and for which I’ve even written a tutorial before, for a children’s craft column, in 2012.

I remember making them last year in the last hours of my birthday, using colored zipties — also a fun way to do it. I’ve seen very simple ones done with slips of paper with intentions or other important things written upon them.

This year we decided to have them available as an easy in-house craft for the Beautiful Data Potluck next Saturday. I wish we lived somewhere where I could have gathered reed, but I had to buy this on Amazon. It is about a quarter inch wide, and I cut it into ten-inch pieces to make each cross/jawn, which I thought was a visually aesthetic ratio.

We soaked our ten-inch reed pieces so they would not split, and folded them each in half. Tucker created a more stable beginning and end for this four-armed jawn by securing his first four pieces not just by slipping the folded reeds over one another — but on the “closing” one (the lower, horizontal reed), he’s slid it over the last vertical one as he has the others — but (the spot that creates the bottom-left corner of the internal “square), has slid both ends of that reed inside of that reed — which is a folded end, not two loose ends.


Have I lost you? Tightening it up makes it clearer.


You could continue to turn the piece counterclockwise and add one at “twelve o’clock” each turn, continuing to “lock” in the last one — but we did not continue locking them in. Just did so on the first round, and on the last one. We could have tied the edges — and aesthetically it might look nice to do so — but the piece wasn’t going anywhere.


(You can see above that that last reed is being snugly tucked into a folded corner.)


For the five-armed jawns, nothing different is being done other than the angle at which you add the pieces.


We should have enough for folks to make one or two on Saturday night, February 3d! If you have not received a Facebook invite for that night and wish to come, please just message me on FB and I will see that you get the info. Looking forward to seeing folks!