Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Simple Task ... but Hard to Master ...

Making Twisted Cord: I have seen it done just about every time I have attended a stitching retreat. People make it look so easy. I bought one of those drills in which you insert a hook you make out of a broken paper clip. I've read the 11 step directions over and over. I've measured and re-measured floss. I have recruited my husband, who has far more spatial intelligence and just plain old mechanical instincts than I, to help in the manufacturing process. And I have wasted skeins and skeins of floss making loads of really crappy, uneven cording. I have used language rarely used since my college days in '67-'71. I've reminded myself that I am intelligent, competent, creative ... dammit, I have an MA degree and more in-service certifications than you can shake a stick at [though why you'd want to shake a stick at anything eludes me]. I still make crappy cord.

But last night, I think I finally climbed my personal stitching Everest ... as I suspected, I was missing one simple but necessary step [in this case: weighting the cord in it's final stage of twisting back on itself] ... you know how, when you finally figure something out, you think "How could I have been such an idiot ... it was so obvious?!?"

At last, the door knob hanger for my daughter has a proper finish ... cording that picks up colors of both

the angelic cat [Guardian Chessie from 2005 JCS Christmas Ornament issue]

and the piratical cat [Jolly Roger Cat, free chart]

And for a close-up of the cord, here is the final result: a three color [medium & medium dark grey with black] cord. I made cord twelve strands [of 6 ply floss] thick for the cording around the door knob hanger and six strands [of 6 ply floss] for the hanger at the top ...

If I didn't feel like such a moron for taking so long to figure this out ... and if I didn't secretly fear my success was one of those happy flukes, not to be duplicated ever again ... I'd be celebrating all over the place and breaking open the champagne.

Balancing the scales and bringing me back down to reality, I managed to back and fringe another mini wall-hanging: Primitive Needle's Salem 1692. But as luck would have it, when I ordered my new stock of bell pulls, I was at work and relying on my memory. Everything I ordered is at least an inch or two too wide ... and the novelty bell pull I ordered, a Mill Hill Metal Pumpkin with a 4 1/2" opening, does not have the slitted opening as pictured on the site. Anything hung on this pull will have to be sewn on to it. So between false advertising and personal miscalculations, I have a whole lot of mini wall hangings with no matching hardware and a whole lot of lovely hardware but no matching mini-hangings. I did mention I have virtually no spatial intelligence, didn't I? As I sit here muttering curses under my breath, I am calculating how long it will take to re-order and receive the proper size hangers and bell pull hardware. I'll be able to use the "too wide" hardware on future projects, to be sure ... but it is aggravating not to be able to put the finishing touches on my latest round of sewing finishes.


Erica said...

WOW! Good job with the twisted cord! That is truly one of the things I dread doing! I will look in 100 shops for cording before I will even attempt it. The times I did manage to accomplish it, it only turned out so-so after all the work and frustration!
You seem to have gotten the knack for it though!

Rachel S said...

I hate making that stuff. Somehow it's much easier when SO helps and holds it. He must have a calming influence on me.

Imagine my delight when I found out they sell cord at the craft store.

mainely stitching said...

The cording and fringing both look great - congratulations!! I've never ordered bellpull hardware because I just know I will order the wrong size. LOL.

Dani - tkdchick said...

Congrats on getting that cording down pat! Yup weighting it down in the middle before you let it twist together is the most important step!