Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fringe as you stitch? Corded Fringe


Here's a neat trick I first saw briefly in a pattern book for baby blankets, Leisure Arts #288, Fisherman Crochet for Babies, by Anne Rabunough, 1983, which is discontinued.

Useful on ends of scarves as well as on afghans. You make it in one row of single crochet. Get out a bit of yarn -- just some worsted weight is fine -- and a hook so you can try it yourself. Make an edge of 10 stitches or so that the fringe will go on. The piece will be easier to handle if your swatch has a few rows in it already.

In the next row, ch1 and turn. Sc1 in the next stitch. *Now, pull the loop on your hook out until it is twice as long as you want the fringe to be. About 12 inches is a nice length. Pull gently, pinching the single crochet so it doesn’t get all tightened up. Keeping the hook at the far end of the loop away from the row, and holding the loop taut, twist the loop many times -- about 20 or 30. As you carefully fold the twisted loop in half, back on itself, it makes a short cord. Insert hook back into the last single crochet, as if to work the last yarnover and pull through to finish the stitch (as shown in the picture). Yarn over and pull through to refinish the stitch. ** Sc1 in the next stitch, and repeat from * as desired.

This is great for fringe using smooth yarns. Of course, you can experiment with how it will work up with novelty or other yarns like mohair -- traditionalists may think such yarns are completely unsuitable for this technique. You don’t have to make the fringe with only one stitch between them; you can put them wherever you want. You can even make several in one stitch, repeating from * to **. Shorter corded fringe could be appropriate for a baby’s blanket because it is so sturdy.

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