Tuesday, November 30, 2010
When I was down at Stitching Jubilee this past October, I got introduced to the neatest, handiest tool for making cording:
I have one of the cording drill things from Kreinik and it works really well. However, I personally have always struggled to make a cord with more than 2 colours with it and I was always rounding up volunteers (a.k.a. my kids) to help me make cords. They don’t mind, but there are times when they’re not around (darn it all, they do have to go to school!)….
I’ve had a few requests from people about how to use this handy-dandy tool, so since I was working at finishing some ornaments today, I thought I’d take some time to photograph the process. It’s a wet and dreary day here and the forecast isn’t any better for the next week, so we’ll all just have to deal with the dark photos. I did my best…..
I wanted to make a cord with 3 colours in it. So, the first thing I did, was cut bundles of the 3 colours of fibre I wanted. If you’re curious, I’m using crochet cotton for my cording. It’s cheap and comes in great colours. So, here are my three bundles of cotton:
I have one bundle of green, one bundle of red and one bundle of gold cotton. If you’re wondering how long I cut my fibres, I cut each length to be 3 times the perimeter of my ornament. Once my lengths were cut, I tied a knot in one end of each bundle:
I prefer to trim the ends after the knot as it looks neater. It’s my anal-retentive side showing. I trimmed the gold bundle end right after I took this photo.
Now I grabbed the other end of each bundle, put them all together into one big bundle and tied a big honkin’ knot:
Again, my anal-retentive side demands that the loose end be trimmed neatly. it’s not a requirement though.
I’m ready to hook my fibre bundles up to the corder! The corder has these fabulous little hooks on each of its spokes and you just push the hook upwards to reveal the hook, loop the fibre onto the hook and you’re ready to rock ‘n roll….
Here are all three fibre bundles all hooked up and ready to spin…..
Now here’s the part where you either need really long arms or an accomplice or a cup hook. I went with an accomplice today (DS#2) since he wasn’t busy. He held the electric corder while I held the other end of the fibre bundles (the end with the big honkin’ knot). We were aiming to have the lengths of cording held fairly taut. At my end, I put my fingers in between the three fibres to keep them separate:
Sorry there’s no picture of the two of us working together, but with only two of us working on this project, we didn’t have a third available to take a picture of us.
Now we’re ready to get spinning! The electric corder has a switch that slides in two directions – forwards is 1, backwards is 2. To start making the cording, DS#2 pushed the button forwards to 1 and off things went. After a minute or less, the three cords started looking like this:
Note that I continued to hold my fingers in between the three bundles because I find they tend to tangle a bit if I don’t hold them separate.
They’re twisting up nicely and even kinking a bit. They might be a little bit over-twisted in this picture, but I find with this tool it doesn’t cause problems like I’ve had with the Kreinik corder when I’ve used it.
So, now what? Well since things have twisted nicely, I told my DS#2 to slide the switch on the corder backwards to the ‘2’ position. In just a few seconds, we had this:
A perfect, even 3 colour cord! After I finish the cord, I unhook the 3 bundles from the corder and tie another big honkin’ knot in that end to keep everything together.
If my cord is small enough, I can do the whole operation by myself. This particular cord was just long enough to make it easier to do with DS#2.
Here’s a picture of the finished cord:
It’s the most even cord I’ve ever made. I always tend to have trouble getting my cord to be consistent from one end to the other. I often end up cutting off a couple of inches off each end because it looks awful. I no longer have that problem. Isn’t it fun?