Sunday, August 22, 2010

Twisted Cord tutorial

These are some cords that the chicks made when I demo'd it at our quiltin' chicks group meeting.
The ones above are made with 2 skeins of DMC embroidery floss (are STYLE 2).  What I am going to show you as my tutorial was made from 2 pcs- one of each color of 6-strand floss, approx 25" long.  Makes one long enough for an ornament hanger. approx 9-10 ")
Living out in the middle of rural america and 30 or miles from any city with more than a quick mart or mini grocery, you don't always have what you need on hand.  You do learn to have things on hand but this comes in handy when you need a specialty cord and may not have one.  My aunt showed me this years (decades, lol!) ago so it's nothing new, but many of you may not be aware of how easy it is difficult to photograph by yourself so hopefully I can muddle through.  Where is GD#1 when you need her?  (today she is at her other grandma's)

You can make them all one color or multi colored, I'll show you examples later of mixing colors and the results in cord style.  It's a small version of how some types of rope are made.  You can do this with most anything..........what I learned on was knitting worsted to make a drawstring for baby sweater I made.  Yes, I can knit and crochet too but rarely do it anymore.  
This is what you will end up with.  For those who need to know, colors are DMC 598 and 3768.
Ignore my poor cut and press board...........its my 3rd one and has been loved to death.  The center is about gone, good thing I usually don't need the ruler marks.  My first one got so soft in the center I thought I was going to cut through it.  But I love that I can flip it over to the pressing side and back.  Don't know what I would do if they quit making them.

this is where it starts.

tie and overhand knot tying the two ends together, do this with both pieces.

Then lay them with knots at opposite ends, loops towards each other.  You ane going to put one loop inside the other, then bring the loop up and over the knotted end of the opposite color.  Pull slowly so that knot ends up semi taight in the middle not off to one side.  Theses 3 steps are necessary for what I am going to call STYLE 1. Later I will discuss other color syle options. 

Now if I am making small ones I put the knotted end of one over my finger then slip the other end over a pencil, pen, crochet hook. anything long snd smooth.

Grab threads between your fingers and twist the pen like a propellor.  Twist a lot, gently distributing twists by running your fingers down the twists along the whole lentgh. Be careful not to let the twisty part to not get in knots.  Twist until the the thread is fairly tight on your finger (I usually move it up to the top of my finger as it gets taut, it will be taut on the pen too. If you think it's tight,  it may not be twisted ehough, to test.......

carefully grab the knotted center and let the 2 ends twist around themselves..holding the two ends   If it won't make a nice twist the full length after distrubuting,  let go of the center knot, and open up your hands with the two ends and twist some more.

eventually it will look like this.  i put the end on my finger on the pen

  If it looks like a nice twist tie an overhand knot over all strands working it to end,
sew it on to ornament.

Started with 25" pieces, my cord ended up being a litle over 9" long.

Below are other color options and ideas,  I think in general( in general, don't hold me to it) that whatever length you start with, you end up with a twisted cord about 1/3 -1/2 of original length.  depends on how tight your twist is and the diameter of string, floss, yarn, etc.

Top is STYLE 1 Using 2 strands 25" ea knotted in middle ends up about 9"
Center is also STYLE 1 - 2 color 2 skeins folded in 4ths(4 strands 72"knotted in middle like above) ends up being about 30 "  Colors are DMC 333 purple and 996 blue.
Bottom is STYLE 2-gives a more tie dye effect and can be made with more than 2 colors or use this version if you only want to use one color. Is also fatter because I folded the skeins into 8ths (8pc -36" tied side by side) done =about 15".  Colors are DMC 550 reddish purple and 996 blue.'
You start out differently making one of STYLE 2.  All strands are tied side by and not knotted opposite from each other in the middle. 

 So after you twist this style there's not the center knot, so you have to bring your two hands together carefully keep things taut sliding your finger down till you find the fold in center. I used my knee to hold it while I took a picture.
On longer versions, it's real easy to under twist or over twist.  Just play with more or less twists until you get it right, you'll get a feel for it and adjusting the twists up and down the length.  For longer versions too I use a helping hand to hold the other end, or my board and scissors if no one else is around. 

Just don't forget to tie the ends you had over the pen or your fingers together with an over hand knot.


  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I've always wanted to know how to do this! I'm going to give it a try tomorrow! :0)

  2. Cyndi, I made one with you at Chicks, but I want you to know that you created a really good tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

  3. I have mine on my little scissors. love it!


Thanks for leaving me a message. I always read them and hopefully answer as many as possible. Cyndi