Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends ,
I decided to put together a few steps and instructions on how to make tassels and attach them to any type of shawl in a separate article rather then write them down in a pattern that can get lost in the dozens that I dream to write in the future . This is for a better management of this website . Also I believe that you will find my tips a lot easier while browsing around the instructions , articles and patterns . So let’s see how this is going to go .
Making the tassels and attaching them to a shawl or blanket is no longer my job now that I no longer see . Now it falls into my sister’s or mother’s attributions, who are of great help when it comes to such delicate issues , such as measuring , cutting , sewing and so on . I remember that making the tassels for a shawl wasn’t my favorite part in the crochet business even before the stroke . This is mostly because I was never able to get the tassels completely right . They were always too short and thick or far too long and thin . But crocheting over 50 shawls and 5 blankets in the last 2 years gave me , my sister and my mother the opportunity to find a formula to make these tassels to suit our taste . Please be advised that our taste may not be your taste at all . However , I am still writing a few tips if you wish to follow and learn from our experience .
1. The most common issue you will face when making tassels is related to the amount of yarn you are going to use to finish them . Of course , this depends greatly on the type of shawl you would like to crochet . Is it long and large ? Is it smaller , similar to a scarf ? Here is where personal preferences take action . I absolutely love extra large shawls that you can wrap all around yourself , especially during chilly , cold evenings in spring or fall . Which is why I changed my taste to long and thick tassels as well , which require a lot more yarn and a bit of extra work too . Sure , I understand the purpose of small shawls and scarves as well, which I believe should have shorter tassels . Decide right at this instant whether you are going to crochet a small shawl or a large one .
2. With first step in mind , teach yourself to always buy an extra skein of yarn or even two when you decide to begin a large project . This was nearly always a fatal mistake I made when I wanted to crochet shawls . I often got stingy over a few extra bucks that could have gotten me the right amount of yarn to complete the shawl as I would have liked it in the first place . So don’t get stingy either and buy that extra skein just to be on the safe side . Don’t worry over the leftover yarn . You are going to use it in future projects , such as granny square blankets , baby items and so on .
3. In time , I discovered that I prefer making the tassels using a different type of yarn than the one I used to crochet the main part of the shawl , especially if the main yarn is thick , chunky or bulky . Which is why I got into the habit of buying a few skeins of extra-fine or fine yarn that I can use to make extra thick tassels as well . However , this method requires a lot of patience since you are going to handle thin yarn .
Look at me , so much talking . Let’s get down to business . Besides the yarn you are going to need a pair of scissors , a centimeter and a larger crochet hook , around 7mm European size and above , depending on the type of yarn you are using .
1. To make tassels that are 15-17 cm long , use your centimeter to measure 130-140 cm of the loose end of your skein . Cut using the pair of scissors . Continue cutting from the loose end until you have the necessary number of threads of yarn to complete the tassels . Don’t forget that a 50-raws shawl will require a double amount of tassels , in this case 100+1 in the tip of the shawl . Please be advised that this thread alone is not going to be enough . It will turn into a long and thin tassel . If you prefer them this way , then you should stop cutting more threads . Otherwise , please continue cutting . I even used 3 such threads to complete one tassel . There were 100 tassels in total . That means that I had to cut 300 threads in total, with one being 140 cm, that means that you will need 420m to complete the tassels, if you choose to make them this thick.
2. There were times when my mom used 1+1/2 threads , 2 or 3 threads to make a tassel . Once again , you need to have a lot of patience to do this work .
3. Now let’s combine 2 threads together . Fold them once . You will have 4 long loose ends . Fold them again . You will have 8 loose ends . Fold the tassel once more . Now you have 16 loose ends . Bellow you will see a list of other ways to get the thickness of the tassels .
A. If you use one thread , you will get 8 loose ends .
B. If you use one thread and a half , you will get 12 loose ends . My mom even used one thread and a quarter to get 10 loose ends , especially when the yarn was limited . this is the reason why I suggested that you got plenty of yarn to avoid all this extra work of cutting small bits of thread .
C. If you use 2 threads you will get 16 loose ends .
D. If you use 3 threads , you will get 24 loose ends . This point is one of my favorite , but mostly when using thin yarn . Otherwise , I choose to combine 2 threads .
E. My sister alternated the number the threads to complete the shawls in the imagine bellow. She combined a tassel with two threads with a tassel with three threads, resulting in a combination of thinner and thicker tassels, just to try a new method.
F. For the next colorful shawl, my mom used a crazy combination of threads. She was so brave to cut 30cm long threads from 5-7 colors and mixed all of them together to make multicolored tassels.
The choice is up to you.
4. With the 2 threads equally folded 3 times , giving you 16 loose ends , make sure you make the middle of the tassel as visible as possible . This space in the middle should look like one giant loop .
5. Insert the recommended crochet hook earlier in the chain space where you need to attach the tassel ( the chain 1 space between the shells in the case of a granny shawl , or the chain 1 space right in the middle of a crocodile scale , as seen in the case bellow ) Make sure your shawl is facing the front side and that you are inserting the hook from bottom to up .
6. Insert the hook in the middle of the tassel , right in the giant loop . Be careful when grabbing this loop . Make sure you don’t lose any loose ends . Pull the loop through the chain space .
7. This is the hardest part . Even though what you are doing is nothing else but a knot , it is a bit awkward to handle because of the large size . Which is why I recommended that you use a big hook as well .
8. Now you have a giant loop on your hook . Don’t make this loop too tight . There is one last step that needs completed . Yarn over hook once , wrapping the whole threads together around the hook in one go . Now you have a new loop on your hook . Pull this secondary loop through the first loop on your hook which , once again , should not be too tight . Continue pulling until all loose ends went through the loop and the tassel is attached to the shawl in the space recommended in the instructions .
9. You can adjust the loose ends to look equal between them . Use the pair of scissors to cut the ends of the tassels .
Well , that is all . I sort of scared you , didn’t I ? I did not mean to . It is just that making these tassels was simply not my favorite part in the past . But to be honest , I absolutely love a shawl with tassels . So do you know what ? I think I got over the unpleasantry . My advice to you is to practice making these tassels until you master them .
If you prefer the video instructions, you can watch the video tutorial bellow.
Of course , there are more methods of making tassels , some easier , some more difficult . However , this is currently my preferred method . However I will add other methods in this article in the future , when time and imagination allow me to . I hope my instructions are of help . You can also contribute with other tips and techniques in the comment section bellow .
Happy cutting and tasseling , everyone .
Cătălina (from The Coolorburbians)