A clever blog pal noted that there seemed to be a “fringe element” infiltrating these posts lately! But I have the perfect tool to tame the fringe element, to get it to conform. When a weaver cuts cloth off a loom, there are lots of long warp pieces, just hanging there and waiting to be finished somehow. The fabric can be hemmed, so the ends are tucked under and secured. Or the ends can be knotted and left as loose, flowing fringe, which, as we know, has a tendency to make trouble.
But there is a tool, one perfect tool, designed for this specific problem. The tool is simple in design, a perfect fit in the hand. It does its one job to perfection. It makes this maker’s life easier. The tool is a fringe twister, something I never knew existed until last year. It offers another option to hemming or to leaving the fringe as individual threads waiting to fray and tangle. I learned about the fringe twister (or twinge frister, as I’m apt to say) as a specialized tool for weavers but it might be useful to anyone who works with fibers and likes the idea of long, sexy, swaying fringe or who wants to create a custom cord for sewing or other crafting. The tool is so simple, such an elegant design. It consists of two (or more) alligator clips attached to a bar that rotates and moves the alligator clips. You clamp the clips onto two bunches of threads, keep tension on the twister tool, and wind clockwise.
Then, when they start to kink, the two bunches of tightly-wound threads are removed from the clips and you knot them together at the end.
When you let go, the two will twist back around each other, counter- or anti-clockwise. This produces a lovely corded effect.
So, when I finish a scarf I put weight on the scarf so I can pull back against it. I decide (pretty arbitrarily) how many threads will be in each bundle and clamp two bundles into the clips. I’m careful because the grip on these little clips is very tight. (Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do). Then I wind and count. If I like the way it all looks twisted together after 20 clockwise wraps, I make sure I wind all my bundles that often as I work my way across the width of the scarf. I clamp and wind and twist and knot, and obsess about getting all the twists the same length. And then I enjoy the appearance of bouncy, sleek, controlled, corded fringe.
Is it possible to twist fringe without this tool? Of course it is. But when faced with holding one clump of threads in my left hand and one in my right and twisting them each clockwise at the same time, then transferring the two bundles to one hand to tie the knot . . . let’s just say I don’t want to live in a world without a twinge frister! What’s your equivalent tool to the fringe twister? Do you have a special paintbrush or pair of knitting needles? Is there a whisk that whips your egg whites to meringue like no other? Or is it an obscure gardening tool? What makes your making easier?