Friday, 28 August 2015

Two Rakhi Bracelet Patterns

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YES, I wanted to share a rakhi/bracelet pattern for Raksha Bandhan.
One adapted pattern was ready during the Curled Rings phase in May (just didn’t get around to posting it). 2nd pattern was made during the Cluny Tatting phase (the GeomaTATic bracelet). (But haven’t been able to diagram & write it out properly).
Then one evening, while sorting out my tinies, putting them in another compartmentalized box, I began playing around with them. And thus was hatched another quick pattern which could work so well as a rakhi.

NO, I did not think of ‘bonding’ per se. But it was serendipity !!! Both patterns are a bonding of 2 very different patterns . 

Raksha Bandhan is celebrated traditionally by sister tying a rakhi on a brother’s wrist – a symbolic bond/undertaking. Literally, it can translate to ‘protection bond/binding’. Since we didn’t have a brother & Mom didn’t want us to feel ‘left out’, we tied it on our Dad’s wrist – he was, after all, the protector of our family! There are a lot of interesting historical episodes where non-relative bonding was resorted to, as a means of keeping the peace, seeking protection, joining of families/clans, etc. In recent years, the symbolism has extended to tying the band on wrists of soldiers & other protectors of law & order.
I wonder if feminists have a gender perspective on this ? Hmm ….


Bonding a Snowflake with 2 Hearts (click for pattern)

A snowflake medallion in centre & a heart on the side looked good & the colours worked too. Quickly tatted up another heart & added the strings. Loved the symbolism of the hearts. And a good way to use up some of the motifs lying around.

Together, the 3 measure 3½” in length & about 1½” in width.
Anchor Mercer Cotton size 20 : Black, Blue – 0131, Variegated Blue – 4054-1210
Techniques Used : Thrown rings (rings on chain), reverse stitch (rs) (unflipped double stitch), Josephine Knot, Long Picot (LP).

Hexagonal Snowflake : a 2-shuttle pattern with thrown rings & 2 colours.
Magic Heart : 1 shuttle & ball, or 2-shuttles with only one small Josephine Knot on chain.
Strings : 2-shuttles [1ds, 1rs] repeat to desired length .
Tassels : optional
ds – double stitch ; rs – reverse stitch or unflipped ds or 2nd half of split ring stitch.

Depending on the colours one uses, it can be tatted in either 2 or 3 segments, joining as you go.
Version 1 : Make snowflake. Cut & hide ends. Start a heart at the base, climb up left side, join to snowflake at center, continue down right side. End with string to desired length. Repeat for 2nd heart at opposite end of snowflake.
Version 2 : Make 2 hearts along with the strings. Then start snowflake & join to hearts at opposite ends. Cut & hide ends.
Version 3 : Make one heart with string. Start snowflake & midways join to heart. Complete the snowflake, climbing out with a split thrown ring & mock picot & start the 2nd heart.

Since 2 of the 3 medallions were already in my stash, I did not add any beads. But beads & pearls would enhance the look, especially if used for Jewelery, either as a bracelet or a choker.
As you can see, it is a versatile combo -- use any motifs that one has lying around.
If one adds the string to only one side, it can be used as a Bookmark.
Choker ?!
Download Pattern here : “ Bonds of Love ”
I have inked the stitch counts on the diagram ;
for written pattern : Hexagonal Snowflake   and   Magic Heart


“Blossoming Bonds” Rakhi / Bracelet
Bonding a layered flower with a leafy braid ; 
also 2D – 3D bonding & freefrom with regular/symmetry bonding

Flower is >1” across. Length of bracelet/rakhi : 7” (12-13 repeats)
Red Heart Perle Cotton size 20 : Yellow – 0307 ; Rust Brown – 0341
Anchor Mercer Cotton size 20 : Green – 4054-0241
Techniques Used : Split Ring, Floating Chain/Curlicue, Auxiliary Thread tatting, Josephine Ring (optional), Curled Ring (optional)
Bead(s) as required. Findings as required.

Center Flower : I started out by making Jennifer Williams’ “Flower using Two Layered Tatting” here. But didn’t notice that the joining picots were to be very small ! Hence, decided to stop & do some course-correction to limit my losses. 
Instead of 7 repeats for each layer, I made 4 for inner & 5 for outer layers, keeping the original stitch-count .
Add a bead in centre (& wherever required)  (I had to add the bead later)
Thus it was converted into a rakhi or a bracelet.

Braid : The Leaf Braid, here, as modernized by Jane McLellan was on my to-tat list as well & thought it would make a nice foliage-y addition to the flower, instead of the usual strings.

1. Start the braid with a Josephine Ring (or a finding): 30 hs at one end
2. Midway through the braid, attach it to one end of a petal & also add an auxiliary thread to make the buds. Made one bud, with picoted calyx and add a dead-end curlicue.
3. Bud #1 : (3 vsp 4 p 4 vsp 3 ) x 3 . Join to adjacent picot & top picot *.
4. Calyx : A short chain with picots, curled around the base of each bud & joined to base.
5. Tendril : 1 dead-end curlicue till desired curl is obtained.

Using Curled Ring for Bracelet Clasp
6. Continue across & under the main flower, anchoring at a couple more points.
7. Make another bud at the other end, diagonally from the first bud.
Bud #2 : (4 vsp 3 p 3 vsp 4 ) x 3 . Join to adjacent picot & top picot *.
8. Tat over auxiliary thread to hide tail, continuing with the braid till desired length.
9. End with a Curled Ring (Option 2) at end (or a finding/clasp) : Ring 12 vsp 12, curl.
10. Cut & hide ends.

 NOTE : When making the buds, it is easier to make & join the ‘petals’ at the side picot of  previous ring. When making the last ring, pass thread through top picots of earlier rings at same time.

Since this is an adapted pattern, I have not shared the stitchcount here. Please visit the respective sites/blogs for free pattern :
Two Layer Tatting by Jennifer Williams
Leaf Braid by Jane McLellan


Happy tatting :-)

Motif #3/III for 25 Motif Challenge


  1. I like the symbolism of the bracelets and I love your examples. Thanks for sharing the patterns.

    1. Thanks, Jane ! Glad you liked them :-) ♡

  2. What a wonderful tradition to have, and I love the heart shape goes along with this very nice holiday. We have something like that here in the US, called friendship bracelet ( you are not supposed to take it off till it falls off), and it can be made of a single string or anything and after a while I noticed dad's wearing them from there children. It seemed sweet and even though they were colorful the dads didn't seem to mind. I like that your country made it a holiday and that is a very cute and nice thing to do.
    have a great day hugs from Carollyn

    1. Friendship Day is now being celebrated here, too, for the last 10-12 years or so & catching up rapidly. But I was not aware of Dads wearing them - that is so cute !! So my Mom was a visionary, lol !
      I think this rakhi symbol, through it's ritualistic celebration, was a way to ensure that filial bonds remained intact even when parents were no more. They made sure that the son (brother), when taking over, also continued in his duty towards his sister(s) who may be married ....
      Now (along with some historical antecedents), of course, it has become more secular than purely religious.
      Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts, Carollyn. :-)

    2. I think that is very nice for parents to see siblings staying close and caring for each other after they pass. Brothers should learn this responsibility, I am old fashion this way :) I was thinking and wondering if this holiday may have started the friendship day :)

  3. I enjoy reading about traditions. Thank you for a delightful post!

    1. Thanks, Diane :-) Rakhi is one festival that lends itself very easily to tatting & I hope tatted rakhis catch on. My attempt here was more universal & secular - the actual rakhis can be quite colourful, whimsical, elegant, sparkly, blingy, .... one is spoiled for choices :-)
      I hope to do a better job next time & not be stingy with my time/effort/ideas ;-P

  4. What lovely bracelets and great story. Such talent. I will be giving these a try!

    1. Oh, Bernice, I will look forward to your working. I so wish I had made the effort to use better colours, especially for the hearts & snowflake one & not been too practical-minded ;-/
      Really appreciate your comment :-)

  5. Lovely bracelets, I am going to try and make one. Thanks for sharing and the story that goes with them

    1. Thanks, Margaret :-) Looking forward to your working - I enjoy the beauty you create :-)

  6. Both are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing :). Think I need to give up sleep so I can try everything you're shared :).

    1. Oh, Jenn, I can't stop grinning :-D Don't we All want more hours in our day to tackle our creative endeavors within this lifetime .
      But, you can simply lift the idea to use up some of your own gorgeous motifs to create unique little bracelets ! Then I will have to take time out to try them :-)