Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Starfish garland, finished

I recently received from my finisher the 4 pattern-stitch starfish that I blog-stitched this summer.  Here they are already strung on my custom twisted cording.  The starfish are finished in a method called "carved" with upholstery gymp on the edges. 

If you look closely at the top left and right "fingers" of this starfish, you can see that I had my finisher attach small loops made from perle cotton in a coordinating color.  These loops allow me to slide the starfish along the custom twisted cording I am using for the garland.
To produce a custom twisted cord like that pictured on the left, you need uncut skeins of the desired colors (or one color).  I used uncut spools of Balger metallic (10 meters or about 10 1/2 yards).  Then I cut the same length strands from the desired colors of perle cotton #3.  To determine how thick the finished cord will be, double the assembled threads and twist them--is that thick enough?  If not, add more strands.  If too thick, take away a strand or two.  You want the cut strands to be 2.5 times the finished length of cording desired.

Knot both ends of the assembled strands.  Tape one end to a surface, like a table or counter.  Then, stand back to the full extension of the strands.  Start twisting and continue twisting until the fibers tighten and seem to want to twist on their own.  Then have someone stand in the middle of the strand and stand back, so you can take your end and walk to the counter and join the ends.  That will join the cording in an equidistant manner.  If the twist is uneven, you can move the twist once you have finished tying the ends together (like you can see I did in the photograph).  Don't worry about the beauty of the knot--you'll deal with that later!

I use this same method to twist cording for finishing needlepoint rugs.  I send the cording (made of Paternayan Persian yarn) with the stitched canvas to the finisher so it can be attached to the rug's edge in the final stage of the finishing process.  Here are photographs showing the chairs I set up outside Needle Nicely that enable me to do the twisting.  I use pencils to fasten each end into the "keyhole" opening of the chairs.
With a cording long enough to go around a 4'x6' rug, you need to twist a while from one end, then move to the other end.  We do this outside because there isn't enough space to stretch the strand out and then double it back on itself inside.  We gather lots of curious onlookers when we do this outside.

This is the finished wool cording sent recently for finishing a rug.  It provides such a perfect finished edging.


  1. Love the finished garland- it came out beautifully!

  2. You're one tricky lady with that cording, Mary Agnes! The garland is terrific.