Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fringe Flusters

Don't worry, I haven't gone and put the fringe back in. I'm just recycling a picture from a week or two ago as I waited too long to set up a shot of last night's work for this post.

The gist of it is that, having removed the fringe seen in that pic Sunday night, last night I began experimenting with three different fringe concepts that didn't involve those half knots the slippery bamboo won't hold. One was a twist similar to what you might see on one of those old Chenille bedspreads like my Grandma and great-aunt had. I did kinda like that one but it wasn't hanging straight. Not its fault but because I was so eager to experiment with the fringe I thought I could not crochet on an edge first and was trying to work in the same spaces where the previous fringe had been removed. That probably would not have worked even if I hadn't stretched those space out with all the putting in and taking out and tacking stitches I'd tried.

Without a foundation stitch border those twisted fringes were poking out every which way. Also it seemed it was going to take three to fill each spot the old fringe pieces had held. I was also trying to preserve the alternating color scheme. Partly because I am still attached to the idea and partly to hide the tails from the row work which are now too short to tuck into the rows having already been hidden in the original fringe and trimmed to match its under one inch length.

So then I tried another concept involving crocheting a two inch chain and then slip stitching its end back into its beginning forming a loop. That was kinda cool too. But again, sticking out all over the place. but at least it was filling the spot.

Still tho, keeping the alternating color scheme was creating a hassle. It meant, eventually, having all six balls of thread attached to the work and controlling five off the hook threads while working the sixth and making sure to tack down all those threads in waiting with each stitch until it was their turn again. I think its doable but I was becoming less and less hooked on the alternating color scheme.

I also tried a fringe concept where you chain the length you want--in this case I needed an inch or so, and then slipstitch back up it. Also a nice fringe. Also sticking out all over because of the sloppy spaces I was working in.

There was a forth fringe concept I had lined up to try in which you crochet back up a chain in such a way as to turn it into a corkscrew. But I was fairly sure I didn't want it for the afghan so I was eager to move on.

My favorite for the afghan was the first one. The twisty loop one. But if any of the others had worked without the foundation row I might have gone with them. But now I was resigned to needing to crochet on an edge first.

When I first put the white on the hook I was planning a simple single crochet and looking at those spaces trying to judge how many stitches I should plan for each one. I wasn't going to try to put the stitch into the end stitches of each row though as that is where the color switch is joined and some are double crochet and some turning chains and both somewhat reluctant to hold their shape. So I was going to crochet into the space between the row end/beginning and the next stitch in, wrapping the thread around the stitch.

That's when it crossed my mind that the most recent new stitch I'd learned this week--the bobble--would work well in this situation. By working three to four stitches into each space and attaching them at the top I would fill the sloppy edge space, firm up the edge to take the fringe and create an interesting texture all at once.

And while I was at it I gave up the alternating color scheme for the fringe as well. I wasn't going to preserve it for the edge anyway. I considered both blue and white as the color and went with white. It took me about an hour to crochet on that edge and about half way through I was liking it so well that I began to wonder why it needed a fringe at all. I decided to sleep on it before deciding.

I showed Ed when he woke up and he had the same thought immediately even before I said anything about it. I am seriously tempted. I could have it in the mail to my grand-nephew by this weekend if I forgo the fringe.

I still have the pesky problem of what to do with those tails. I tied knots in each start/stop pair before working the bobble edge and tried to catch them in the stitches but not all of them caught and those that did are not completely hidden, poking out everywhere. I'm going to have to go through and tuck and trim 150 odd tiny tails and hope that those that are hidden stay hidden after a wash. On the other side they are still two or so inches and will be easier to control as I stitch the bobbles until they are under an inch at which point it would probably be safe to trim them. Here's hoping. I'll be tying the knots in them as well of course.

I may not be putting the fringe on the baby afghan but I'm not sorry I learned how to do them. I now have four more adornments to add to the bookmark's wardrobe.

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