I have a copy of Elizabeth Glasier Foster’s book – Embroidery and Design in the New Stitchery, published in 1926.  Included in this volume is a chapter on making the most interesting cords.

Her colourful encouragement lights up the black and white pages with expressions like:
“Cord constitutes a very effective, artistic and most inexpensive form of trimming for dresses, hats and all sorts of household articles.”
“The twisting and the twining of the bright-coloured threads into rainbow-tinted coils…”
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I think it would have given Elizabeth great pleasure to know that almost 100 years later – cords are still being hand crafted.

I have been trying out this simple and satisfying technique to make some necklaces.  I like the fact that the cords are washable and gentle on your skin.  The Kanzashi necklaces that went into the Freshly Found store a while ago have twisted cord strings.

Now This new limited edition series of necklaces have vintage needle gauge bells as their pendants!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Do it Yourself:

Choose 5-10 strands of crochet cotton.  Experiment with different colours and thicknesses.
The strands should be about 3 times as long as you would like the finished necklace to be.
Knot the strands together on both ends.
Secure one end onto something solid – a hook, a door knob, a chair leg, etc. Use a pencil to help you twist the cords from the other end.
Keep on until the cord is tightly twisted.   
Take hold of the centre with one hand and the 2 ends with the other, and let the cord double back on itself and twist together.
Knot the ends together and trim and comb them out to form a tassel. 
Attach onto your Granny’s Bell Needle Gauge 🙂

 
Or Buy a ready-made one online: 

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*Random Fact*
Visit Pat Ashworth and Steve Plummer of Wooly Thoughts to see their personal collection of vintage needle gauges – with loads of interesting info.
Like this interesting fact about needle sizing “The sizes were based on the measurement of industrial wires. It may seem contrary that the finest needles had the highest numbers but this is because it relates to how long a piece of wire was stretched out to be. A size 2 needle means that the wire was stretched twice as far as for a size 1 needle. A size 28 means the wire was stretched 28 times as far. 28 needles could be made from the same piece of wire, making a very fine needle.”