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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Wearing of the Green

When St. Patrick's Day arrives this year, I'll be ready with a special touch of green to wear: I've made a shamrock pin using the Shamrock Coaster free project in the March issue of our Yarn Link enewsletter. The original pattern calls for working with two strands of worsted weight cotton yarn, but I thought it would be fun to see if it could be worked with two strands of size 10 cotton thread instead. I love miniature designs that can be worn as jewelry. So one night while watching TV with my husband, I whipped it up using a size C hook during an episode of NCIS. To turn it into a pin, I used an angel tack pin, but you also could just sew a safety pin onto the back.

Wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is something I've done since childhood, to protect myself from some playful (but still painful) pinching. Sources on the Internet list all kinds of stories for how the pinching came to be a tradition. Some blame it on mischievous, invisible leprechauns. Others say it symbolizes a mild form of the violence that used to take place between the Irish rebels (whose color was green) and the English, particularly when the two factions participated in St. Patrick's Day parades.

The shamrock itself has been linked to the Irish since Saint Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity. I love these Irish blessings that mention the shamrock:

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way--
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

One of my very favorite Irish blessings is one that we adapted for cross stitch many years ago and now offer as a free project. It's illustrated with a flowering shamrock design by Terrie Lee Steinmeyer that is so graceful. It says:

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels pro
tect you,
And Heaven accept you

To get the download for An Irish Blessing, see our March 2007 Leisure Arts Link enewsletter or go directly to the cross stitch free projects page at LeisureArts.com.

To leave you with a smile, here's another popular saying that shows the Irish sense of humor:

May those who love us, love us
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts
And if he can't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping!

Have a happy St. Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

  1. Very clever of you to adapt a pattern for pin size. I like your fastening it with an angel. Top O'the Morning To You...


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