This episode is subtitled: ‘Put your sunglasses on…’
I was flicking through my recent posts and was startled by the fact that they’ve been a bit lilac lately. And not only that, my photography skills being what they are, it is a very murky lilac. So this week you have yellow. Get your sunglasses on and prepare to be dazzled by today’s fun tassel key ring.
I was inspired by the lovely Guus, our Dutchman who brings us his truck packed with flowers every week. I can’t believe I’m 50 and my heart skips a beat whenever I see him climbing down from the cab, his long lean legs making short work of the distance to the ground. Jaz gives me a knowing nudge and I have to really focus on being nonchalant.
There were no emergency flower requirements this week, we just needed a bit of a top up to tide us through to our next main delivery. While Guus played with Blue I chose a few items including some beautiful white roses, some gerberas and a big bunch of craspedia. Craspedia is such a useful little flower – it adds a touch of the unusual to a bouquet and it’s obviously very trendy at the moment because it pops up a lot in magazine photographs, its small but bold structure seemingly ideal in a modern house setting. I have some on my Yellow Pinterest board.
I noticed Guus was wearing a colourful plaited bracelet and he told me his wife had made it for him from old embroidery threads. She’d spent the weeks before the birth of their son embroidering a picture for his nursery and she’d used the left over threads to make something for Guus to remind him of home when he was touring the UK with his flowers. With a wife and a six month old son at home I’m sure he didn’t need to be reminded but it was a lovely idea.
I had made a similar picture for Jake, my nephew, when he was born (14 years ago!) and it’s rare that I consider using any of the leftover threads so I thought it would be a great idea to make something useful out of them. So I made some tassels.
I tipped out my box of threads to see what I had.
Then sorted out three bundles of complimentary colours so I could make three tassels. For each one you will need virtually a whole skein of one colour then about 20cm each of another five colours.
Tie the first colour on (just a single knot) about one third of the way up then wind it tightly round as many times as you like (about seven to 10).
Secure the first colour with a knot (again, just a single one) and add the second colour in the same way, making sure that all of the loose strands are lying upwards so they get trapped in as you wind your colours on.
Continue to add colours three and four (tying them off each time) then start again with the third, second and first in that order, to ensure you have symmetry when you bend it over. Secure the last one with a double (or triple) knot and trim all of the ends off.
Bend it in half so your middle colour is in the middle of the loop. Don’t worry if your legs aren’t quite the same length, you can even them up when you trim the bottom loops off later.
Tie your final colour on in the same way (single knot to start and double or triple to finish) only this time you are binding the two legs together.
Trim the ends of the final thread and push them through to the middle with a pair of small scissors.
I used some large dressmaking shears to cut the loops off the bottom of the legs to form the tassel.
And there you have one tassel.
To make it into a key ring add a jump ring by opening it up, feeding it through a few stands on the top and closing it up again.
Then add a binding ring. Remember when I used these for the bag charm in episode 14? (Prepare yourself for murky lilac if you click through.) Anyway, I said I wanted to use the binding rings for key rings, so here we are!
[Update: having used this with the binding ring for my main set of keys for a few months, I’ve discovered that it does come open from time to time so a split ring would be better for heavy duty use!]
There’s nothing to stop you using these for bag charms as well!
- As I was adding colours I tried to keep all of my ends on one side so they could be tucked away in the middle when the whole thing was folded in half.
- For one of my tassels I knotted and cut the threads off each time I changed colour, rather than leaving each one in place until after the second leg was completed. This worked equally well.
- Old embroidery threads
Thank you to Commonthread by DMC whose tutorial I used as the basis for my tassels. Here’s how they made their tassels which they also used for zip pulls – great idea.
I hope you enjoyed this colourful creativity. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing next week but I’ll definitely have my salvage box open again.