Here’s a quick guide to fringe-making. I don’t know how correct it is to say fringes are really “in” right now, after all, do fringes ever go away? But they definitely take a project from drab to chic. So…
You will need:
- a piece of card
- a crochet hook
The length of your fringe will really depend on what looks good to you, so I recommend you make a few “tassels”, attach them to your project, and step back to see if you think it looks the right length. Remember that the frequency of tassels will change the overall effect as well. Then cut your card to the right size, making sure you have an even width across (or some of your strands will end up shorter). Remember that if it’s a thick piece of card, this will add to the length of your strands when you wrap the yarn around it.
How Much Yarn?
Fringes take a LOT of yarn. It’s very difficult to estimate, but you could measure each of your strands, multiply it by the number of strands, then figure out how many “tassels” you have for every 10cm/4in of your edging and thereby figure out how many tassels you need in total and how many metres/yards of yarn that’s going to require. If you’re following a pattern, you might even be able to “guesstimate” how much extra yarn you need to purchase in advance in this way.
1. Place your yarn against the card, lining the end of the strand up with the bottom of the card.
2. Wrap the yarn around as many times as the number of strands you want. You can see that for this shawl I used 6 strands in every bundle.
3. Get your scissors and snip through the bottom of the strands, then snip the end of the yarn at the same length.
4. Keeping the strands all together, get a crochet hook, insert it through the edge of the piece where you want to attach the fringe, and pull all the strands through. To get the neat side of the fringe on the right side of your work, you need to insert your hook from the back.
5. Pull the ends through the loop, making sure to keep them at an even length.
6. Tighten the tassel. This is called a “lark’s head knot”, in case you want to look it up. Now repeat the process for however many more tassels you need.
- For thicker yarns one strand may be enough for a fringe, but for thinner yarns like the one I’m working with, I recommend you bundle up several strands together or you may find that your fringe looks rather thin and scraggly. A card helps even when you’re working with a single strand, though.
- Remember to always pull through the same side. Examine the back and front of your fringe and you’ll see what I mean.
- For a triangular shawl, it might help to attach the fringe to the point to begin with, to see how far down it will extend (you don’t want to be treading on it all the time).
By the way, in case you’re wondering, this is a KniTwit Shawl that I knit the summer before last in a lovely soft mohair blend. The “pattern” is less than 147 characters long, so I think it’s fair to say it’s one of the easiest shawls you can make. Add a fringe like this & it’s also very stylish. If you knit it in a thicker yarn (DK or maybe even worsted), I bet you could have it done in a weekend!