Tell Tales, our blog from the rope locker.

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  1. Meanings and beliefs tied into knots.

    The simpliest knot can be a sacred symbol.

    From the time of the Ancient Greeks, and Egyptians, we know that knots had a lot of significance, like the Knot of Hercules, ( reef or square knot), which  they believed could promote healing when tied around a bandaged injury.

    In Egypt an Isis knot amulet was thought to be a powerful protective symbol in the afterlife, mentioned in the Book of the Dead, as being made from red stone, and representing a piece of knotted cloth.

    Knots are mentioned in most religions, wearing  tassels to remind them of their faith, to be aware of people wishing them harm through tied knots, and others have protective knots that are allowed to fall off in their own time. 

    Celtic Knots have no end or beginning, so they can represent the enduring spirit of nature, or an uninterupted life cycle, both for Pagans and early Celtic Christians. Here in Cornwall they are often carved on Celtic cross headstones. Leonardo Da Vinci and Albrecht Durer were both fascinated by very intricate knotwork working from one length of thread, in their drawings and woodcuts.

    Every culture must have some similar knowledge of knotting. 

    The Incas in Peru had a language and calculator created with knots called Quipus. The more I research, the more I am amazed at how inventive people have been with twine or thread. 

    Figure of eight knot website

    Going at a rate of knots

    Talking about calculating with knots, on a ship they can tell you how fast you are going.

    The nautical knot is named after the knots on a ship's log, which calculated the speed of the vessel. A weighted wooden drogue with a long line of cord with knots tied at known intervals is allowed to run out, through the hand and after a specified time (28 seconds), the line is stopped, and the amount of knots that have gone out is the speed you are travelling.

    In the days of sailing ships, when all global commerce depended on the wind, sailors used to buy wind in the form of knots from women. These witches promised that when  the first one was untied, they would get a gentle breeze, the second would bring a good wind, and the third would fetch up a gale. In 1350  Ranulph Higden, a Benedictine monk reported in his Polychronicon that women on the Isle of Man would sell wind to sailors with three knots of thread.

     Magical Knots

    Witches also used numbers and knots for other spells, some numbers were preferred, like three, nine, and thirteen. Knotted into rope, spells  were thought to have bound people's mouths closed, prevented them doing something or even stopped pain. Witches ladders are knot and charms woven together with whatever intention in mind along a rope.

    If a knot spell was thought to be harmful to you, you should find it, to undo the knots and burn it.

    I have no real interest in creating knot spells, I just like doodling with rope, with nothing more magical in mind than creating a new basket or mat!

  2.  Back to nature, and the country nuptials.

     

    Flower Girl Basket 2 

     

    Last week I was half listening to a BBC Radio 4 farming progamme, and it became more interesting to me when a couple spoke about diversifying from pig farming to hosting weddings. They spoke of how they had started to provide whole event packages. The old pig barn became a beautiful  setting for the marriage and dining with teepees as accommodation. Apparently one in eight UK weddings are now taking part on farms.

    There are a lot of advantages of a rural setting, it make a fabulous background for photographs. There is no need to move away from the venue, catering and accommodation are all on site, usually at a less expensive budget than at a hotel or stately home. Glamping or a log cabin are more memorable way to have family and friends together.

    Rustic weddings are on trend this year and colour themes are inspired by nature.

    Pale daffodil or primrose yellow are perfect for Spring. A soft pastel green matching new hedgerow growth would look beautiful with a bouquet of frothy blossom.

    Blue sea and sky are the inspiration for Summer's palette. Soft blues against a backdrop of hay coloured meadows would look amazing.

    For Autumn weddings a bold red theme would complement the russet leaves and bright berries as the cooler weather changes the landscape.

    Silver greys with accents of rose pink suit the Winter climate. Warmer colours of port wine could give a more hygge like feeling. 

    Our rustic flower girl baskets suit most of these country inspired colour themes. The neutral tone of natural plant based rope is perfect for a rural and rustic wedding. We have a selection of flower girl baskets created from rope and traditional sailor's knots, as pictured above.

    Have a look at our Flower Girl Baskets