I woke up this morning and looked out the window and realized, “Hey, it’s Saturday. I should make something today.”
There were no cartoon birds present to open my blinds, nor a gaggle of geese to make my bed. But in a way, it was kind of a Disney Princess moment.
I actually bought the supplies for this project a little over two weeks ago. Thanks to Pinterest, I found an article called “The History of Infertility’s Common Thread.” I’d been searching for infertility awareness jewelry, and intrigued, I clicked over and read it. If you suffer with infertility, or know someone who does, I strongly suggest that you read the article. It’s…amazing.
But for those who don’t want to read it, the short and sweet version is this: a group of woman in the UK decided that they wanted to start a movement to unify those who suffer from infertility, no matter the cause. They needed a symbol; something inexpensive but poignant, to serve as a beacon to start conversations so they could spread the word about infertility.
Any woman who suffers with infertility, whether it’s because she has PCOS or endometriosis or a partner with low sperm count, shares a common thread with every other infertile woman: the deep-seeded desire to be a mother. So they chose to start their movement with friendship bracelets made from thread. Like “Live Strong” and other such movements before them, they wanted to select a color with meaning, so they went with the deep burgundy of a pomegranate. (They are also longstanding symbols of fertility. I guess it’s because of all the seeds and stuff.)
As I read the article, I found myself feeling a little less alone than I had since our devastating diagnosis. There were others out there like me, other women who dreamed of nothing but holding their child in their arms. So I grabbed my purse and headed to the craft store to buy my #814 embroidery thread (the specific color chosen by the Common Thread movement to most closely resemble the color of a pomegranate.)
Here’s the thing: I’m not crafty by nature. I get these amazing ideas and buy all the stuff I need to follow through, but rarely am I successful on the first try. In fact, it took me a little over four hours to make ONE bracelet just to share with you guys. (The first one was too short. The second one was too long. The third one was lopsided. The fourth one started fraying when I tried to tie it…Are you seeing a trend here?)
I could have done this a thousand different ways…there are so many DIY tutorials on friendship bracelets on Pinterest, it’s a little mind-boggling. After reading the instructions to a few of them, my brain started to hurt, so I just went with my gut and decided to try it my way.
This may be why it took me fourteen tries to create a wearable bracelet.
Anyway, here are the supplies I used:
Per all the instructions I’d managed to read, I used the tape and mouse pad to secure the bracelet while I was braiding it. They also suggested I pin it to my pants, but that’s asking a little too much from someone who doesn’t sew. (Who has safety pins if they don’t sew? Not this girl.) So I went the tape route. It became obvious to me very early on that the tape method wasn’t going to work, so I switched to a clipboard instead. Why? Because I’m a genius, that’s why.
I had this nifty little bracelet that I wasn’t going to use, so I disassembled it so I could use the brass infinity symbol as party of my design. I took 3 long-ish pieces of thread, folded them in half, and tied them to one side of the symbol. I did the same on the other side and wound up with this:
Now, at this point I could have twisted or knotted or swirled or some other fancy thing, but I went old school and just braided it. I had 6 strings, so I used 2 in each of the 3 braid sections. That part was easy.
The hard part? Creating that ding-danged knot on the end of the bracelet so you can tie it on your arm later. It’s hard enough with one string. With six??? Hulk mad. But…I managed it somehow. (I’m still not sure how many tries it took.)
Once I got the complicated knot tied, the rest of the bracelet came together pretty quickly. I just braided the other side, tied a knot in the end and left myself a couple of inches worth of thread so I could tie it on.
Now. Let’s rewind for a second. Remember how I said the hardest part in making this bracelet was tying the knot? I SO lied to your face. The hardest part is tying the damned thing on your arm when you’re finished. Let the record show that it is IMPOSSIBLE to tie a knot with one hand. I don’t care if you’re Popeye the Sailor Man, a professional bracelet maker, or a friggin’ Eagle Scout—it just doesn’t work.
I really wish I’d gotten some photos of myself trying to put the finished bracelet on. It involved a lot of swearing, deep concentration, fumbling fat fingers, and my teeth. But, eventually, I won.
Don’t ask me how I’m going to take it off later. Maybe I’ll just wear it all the time, like a single maroon dreadlock on my wrist. Or maybe I’ll actually read some of those tutorials and figure out another way to secure this type of bracelet onto one’s arm. Because I certainly don’t remember using my teeth and a pair of pliers when I was 8.
At any rate, I finished. I’m proud of my little bracelet. Now I can go out into the world and wait until someone says, “Hey, nice bracelet.”
Then I can cry on them and leave little rings of mascara on their clean white shirts.
But at least I’ll be a member of the movement. And that’s all I really wanted, anyway.
If you are interested in making a bracelet of your own, and my tutorial leaves you scratching your head and wondering why in the hell I wrote a tutorial post about something I suck at, may I suggest one of the following ones instead? There’s a cute knotted one over at The Red Kitchen which I’m still going to try, and for one that looks like it has hearts woven in, check out this one at Honestly WTF. (Side bar. Honestly? I wish I’d thought of that blog name first.)