Twisted fringe is probably not something that most knitters are familiar with making. It is much more common for weavers, who regularly end up with scarves sprouting a forest of loose threads from either end. And while I haven’t encountered a knitting pattern for any item other than the scarves I have been obsessively knitting that might require such a thing, nevertheless, I thought I would introduce you to a handy tool – the cord twister.
A cord twister is a smallish battery powered device that twists threads into tidy little units. While it is probably most commonly used for twisting fringe, it can also make twisted cords to be used as drawstrings or what have you. Since I was planning to make a lot of these scarves, I went ahead and ordered a cord twister manufactured for the fabled Berkeley shop, Lacis. While the Lacis website retails this item at $48, I ordered mine from Amazon and it cost around $30. The cord twister looks like a cross between a manly power drill and a vibrator for aliens. But maybe that’s just me. Here is my cord twister:
First off, it’s a good idea to trim the threads of your soon-to-be-fringe to a length somewhat longer than you want your finished fringe, but short enough to be manageable. I trimmed my yarn to a 6 inch length for an intended 3 inch finished fringe. I think it’s a good idea to mete out the yarn into bundles before you start so you don’t end up with a tiny cord or a gigantic one once you arrive at the end of the line, and bundling also keeps the threads not in use from becoming unruly. Thus, I divided the yarn into bundles with a slip knot.
Now it’s time to use this strange-looking gadget. Press on the bottom of one of the prongs to open up the clamp, and insert half of the bundle.
Repeat the same process with the other half of the bundle on an adjacent prong. Once the yarn ends are secured, push up on the power button, and each of those individual units of thread will twist round themselves.
When each half is a bit over-twisted, push the power button down, and the entire head of the device spins, twisting the two halves together:
Again, it’s a good idea to overtwist the fringe a bit, since once released from the clamps it will loosen up. Here is what you end up with:
Tie a knot in the bottom of the fringe, measuring to make sure the length stays consistent:
Perform the same procedure for each of the bundles, trim the fringe one final time, and voila. You have a fringed scarf:
Of course, you could twist fringe or cords by hand, but a fringe twister is so much faster and gives more consistent results. This is one tool I’m happy to have in my arsenal.