Monday, March 30, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Now I am twisting the fringe.  I am using the directions Susan gave in her blog.  Go to her post, “A Good Twist to the Yarn,” to read about and see the process in detail.  I was so impressed by her post, and I had so much trouble with the fringe twister that I have been using, that I ordered the fringe twister she uses.  It is made by Forsyth (where it is called a cord twister).  More information is available here.

Susan hemstitched her scarves.  I did not hemstitch this shawl.  I had found in some of my earlier things where I braided rather than twisted the fringe, that hemstitching was not needed.

Fringe Making Overview I set up my work station similar to Susan’s.  But for my board I used a sewing board that is used for cutting out fabric.  It is already marked in inches and is generally available in stores like Hancock’s and JoAnn’s.

Susan used long pins for blocking knitted lace.  Having none of those, I used the ordinary pins knitters use to pin seams before they sew them. 

Because the woven fabric is so loose and fluid at this stage, I also added the weight of two books.  This helps keep the woven weft from pulling forward, but does not prevent it. 

Also, because I did not hemstitch, I keep the woven warp protector (the white weft shots at the bottom of the shawl) in for as long as I can.  I remove it only from the area where I am actually working.

Fringe Making Detail Here is a detail of the working area with the fringe twister on view at the right side of the photo.

I am twisting two ends in each clip, resulting in a twisted braid of four ends.  I am twisting the groups of two ends 20 times to the right.  Then, when I join them to make the group of four, I twist the 40-end group to the left 20 times.

To place the overhand knot I tried using a very thin crochet hook, inserting it into the untightened knot, placing it where I wanted it to be, and then tightening it, as Susan instructed.  Then I stopped using it because it didn’t seem to guarantee all that much accuracy.  That, however, is not the fault of Susan’s instructions.  It is because I had not yet figured out how to deal with the flimsiness of the fabric.

Related Post:  Hemstitching

Twisting the Fringe” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on March 30, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Susan said...

Thank you Peg for trying my method... that's the nicest compliment of all!

Instead of the of the crochet hook, perhaps try a long slim darning needle? As for accuracy: it depends on duplicating the steps each time. Same tension, exact counts as you turn and place the needle on the same line. It should be darn close each time! The knot should be left 'soft' to make minor adjustments up or down as necessary.

Congrats on your new Forsyth twister! Mine is a few years old and didn't come with the cord separator. Nice bonus feature! Forsyth also make some nice wool combs as well and a friend who has a pair loves them.


Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Susan, I did get more accurate as I continued (practice and all that---grin!). But an issue is that this handspun is very stretchy. The way that worked best for me was to get to the point where the knot was still soft and remove the crochet hook to see where the knot landed when all tension was released and then adjust, but even that leaves an element of chance because of the stretchiness. The crochet hook was very fine and it worked perfectly. But for fine silk, I would need, well,something finer!

Leigh said...

I've always wondered about twisting fringe like that. I do it by hand but it is sooooooo slow. I've heard hair twisters work too, but I've yet to find one of thse.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Leigh, what I used to do was to braid my fringes. Braiding can become very decorative and frankly, I really like braiding better, even though my braiding is not as controlled as my twisting is. I probably would not attempt to braid my 60/2 silk, but I definitely could have braided the fringe on the shawl. Also, if you like to work with your hands, braiding is a wonderful way to go.