A. Machine Stitched Cords
I did acquire a cord making foot for my newish Bernina machine (the Husqvarna is now my Sydney machine), and it works well. The samples in images 1 and 2 were made using various thread combinations top and bottom, with a variety of cores.
From left to right: (first two) black double knitting as core with two variegated machine threads top and bobbin; yellow silk roving and black lurex knitting yarn as core, with machine thread (on top) and purl cotton (on bobbin); pink chenille and pearl cotton with metallic machine threads; gold lurex tubular ribbon stuffed with knitting yarn with magenta pearl cotton; strips of navy tights with variegated pearl cotton; enamelled copper wire with pearl cotton and machine thread.
From right to left (first row): Strips of dark blue plastic shopping bag with variegated machine threads (very springy); black paper raffia with lurex machine threads (very stiff); strips of purple felt with variegated and lurex machine threads; lurex knitting yarn with metallic machine threads; (second row) torn fabric strips with variegated machine threads; yellow silk roving with metallic purpose machine thread; random-dyed silk string with variegated machine thread; mixed thread core (pearl cotton, gimp, metallic thread) with variegated machine thread.
Image 2 isn’t a very good photograph – image 3 gives a better impression of the variety of machine stitched cords, all coiled together.
B. Twisted Cords
It was easier to introduce variety into the twisted cords, given the possibilities of making them in different weights. Images 4 and 5 show a selection.
From left to right: pearl cotton and metallic rayon in a lime green monochrome; a thicker cord with gimp and tubular ribbon twisted together; silk string, silk roving and silk bouclé; random dyed silk ribbon and gimp; all the stranded cottons in my colour scheme; textured yarns from a random pack from The Thread Studio; stranded cotton, lurex knitting yarn and silver thread.
From left to right: torn dyed cotton fabric strips with machine cord; paper raffia, pearl cotton and silver thread; a continuous strip of felt (complete with corners) with metallic rayon thread.
C. Knotted, Plaited and Wrapped Methods
The first set of samples in this section, shown in image 6, are my attempts at the various knotted cord methods shown on page 22 of the learning materials.
From left to right: simple knotted cord; two examples of looped braid edge or Pawnee braid; three examples of a continuous twist chain (the black sample is repeated half-knots, the lime and purple samples are square knots with different cores); double ridge hitching or alternate chaining using two contrasting cords. Images 7 and 8 show some close-up detail.
The Turk’s Head Knot was a challenge but eventually I got the hang of it. Image 9 shows a handful of samples.
From left to right: random-dyed silk string; rat-tail braid; a tiny one from cotton cooking twine; a large, flat one in rat-tail braid; another tiny one in gimp; and a rather odd one made from a twisted cord itself made from silk string. It’s a skill I’m very glad to have acquired.
A selection of plaited cords appears in image 10.
Left to right: simple three-cord plaits made from some of my machine cords; one machine cord with two lengths of rat-tail, three different dyed silk strings; rat-tail with two much finer threads; a three-cord plait in gimp with one of the cords pulled up tightly; two gimp cords with one of threaded seed-beads (my favourite),a six-cord plait of rat-tail braids in different colours; and paper raffia with two thin lurex threads. Image 11 shows details of some of the more interesting samples..
My wrapped cords are in image 12. These were fun to do – it’s amazing the variety of effects available.
Here we have: furry cord with a felt core with thin lurex thread tightly twisted through it; a twisted cord made of fabric strips with contrasting silk thread unevenly wrapped around it; machine-made cord with a tights core wrapped in both directions in gimp; a twisted cord in lurex knitting yarn wrapped unevenly with shiny rayon thread; and a wrapped cord using a method Effie Mitrofanis taught me – threads emerge from the core in turn, wrap the core tightly for a short distance, then return to a core when a different thread is removed to do the wrapping. The threads used in this sample were gimp, stranded cotton, variegated pearl cotton, and Nymo with seed beads threaded on it. Image 13 shows further detail of the ‘Effie’ cord, which I think is rather fun.