Fringe Benefits: Tips for Finishing the Lokken Kerchief
Fringe is the perfect edge finish for lots of projects, including scarves, shawls, and even bags. But when a pattern’s instructions tell you to cut hundreds of strands of yarn to a specified length, the task can seem daunting. Rest assured that there’s an easy way to accomplish this! Read on for a list of easy-to-source materials and get ready to finish the Lokken Kerchief with a flourish of fringe!
All you need is …
– a piece of scrap cardboard
– a rotary cutter
– a ruler, and
– a surface on which to cut (a quilter’s cutting mat works well, but you can just use another piece of scrap cardboard)
1. Cut a piece of cardboard half as wide as the length of the strands you need to cut for your fringe. The length of your cardboard will vary depending on the project; for the Lokken Kerchief’s fringe, about 8 to 10 inches is good. My cardboard was a little shorter, which meant I just had to go through all the steps twice to cut enough strands.
2. Cut a small slit near one corner of the cardboard. Secure the yarn end in this slit and begin wrapping the yarn around the cardboard. Make each wrap as straight as possible, and keep the wraps close together without overlapping the strands. Wrap tightly enough to keep the yarn secure but not so much that you stretch the yarn—stretched yarn will leave you with too-short fringe. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard a few times more than the number of fringe strands you need. Cut a small slit near the corner of the opposite end of the cardboard and secure the yarn end in the slit. (Fig. 1 shows the yarn wrapped around the cardboard.)
3. Place the wrapped cardboard flat on your cutting surface with a ruler on top of it, positioned close to the edge, and cut along the edge of the ruler using a rotary cutter. Make sure all the strands have been cut before moving the ruler; you can flick them with your finger while holding the ruler in place to check for any uncut strands. When all strands have been cut, remove the cardboard. (Fig. 2 shows the fringe strands just before and just after cutting.) You may also wish to remove the “tail” strands at each end of the cardboard, since those are slightly longer and would require additional trimming.
4. Attach the fringe strands to your project, following the pattern instructions.
A little finishing work after attaching your fringe will help give your project a professional look. After attaching the fringe to my Lokken Kerchief, I laid each fringed edge on an ironing board, combed out the fringe with my fingers to straighten it as much as possible, then laid a damp cotton cloth on top of it and gently pressed with a warm iron on the wool setting to steam the fringe. This allows the yarn to bloom and eliminates any kinks.
If your fringe is a little uneven, place it on a cutting surface, comb the fringe straight with your fingers, place a long ruler on top of the fringe (sliding it outward toward the edge to further straighten the fringe), and trim to the desired length with a rotary cutter. A clear quilting ruler works well for this: you can easily see if your fringe is straight underneath it, and the grid will help you square up the fringe with the edge of your project.
I hope you enjoy making your own Lokken Kerchief and find these tips helpful as you finish off your fringe!