As part of officiating my first Wedding, I had the joy of creating a Handfasting Cord to help the couple tie the knot, so to speak. Their colors were Harvest tones with an emphasis on Orange, and they wanted to use elements of Astrology in their ceremony. Armed with those guidelines, I designed a hand-tied, hand-dyed cord using Korean Maedeup and Celtic Knotwork using Orange and Deep Red to match the brides’ astrology.
It took several samples to get the orange right. I wanted a slightly reddish orange that was bright but not neon or hazard-tape orange. The key turned out to be using extra dye and letting the cording soak longer. With the red, I had to be careful not to let the color get too dark.
The bag is green with an orange-red-yellow lining. I used Susan Briscoe’s CHimchua Bag design sized down a little so the cord wasn’t lost in it. I chose Kikko, or Tortoise Shell pattern, for the Sashiko design as a wish for long life together. I braided four strands of the extra cording I’d dyed to create the drawstring for the bag. That was one of the benefits of overestimating the amount of cording I’d need.
The little booklet of cards I included talks about the symbolism in the cord and in various elements of its design. My honey used laser printer business cards and our printer to create it for me. I wove the last of the extra cording I had from the Handfasting Cord into a little strap using Dorae Maedeup and a Reef Knot to secure the cards together into a simple booklet that fits neatly into the bag.
Handmade and specially chosen charms add an extra layer of meaning to the cord. These were purchased in Florence (pewter charms) and hand-cut from Responsibly Wildcrafted Madrone from the Willamette Valley (wooden charms).