“Frank has got a very bad cough, for an Austen; but it does not disable him from making very nice fringe for the drawing-room curtains.”
Jane Austen to Cassandra
Southampton, February 20, 1807
The Frank mentioned here was Jane Austen’s sailor brother with whom she, her sister Cassandra, their mother and friend, Martha Lloyd lived for a time before settling in at Chawton cottage. When Naval officers were not at sea, they would be home receiving half-pay and no doubt longing to set sail again. From this letter dated 1807, we can see that Frank made the best of his enforced landing by using his knotting skills to improve the drawing-room curtains. Certainly not a bad way to employ oneself when laid up with a cough.
Knotted fringe is actually quite easy to make and can be a lovely addition to any number of projects.
The first thing you must decide is whether your project requires the addition of fringe or whether the fringe can be knotted from existing strands. The first technique is demonstrated below. Instructions can also be foundhere, courtesy of Fiber Images.
The second option, that of loosing warp (horizontal) threads leaving the remaining woof (veritcal) threads hanging. One crafter writes, “Measure out how long you want the fringe to be and mark that measurement with a line of stiching. Then draw out the threads up to that stitching line. Decide how many threads you want to bundle together to tie in a knot. Then tie the knots and you will be finished.”
Follow these instructions for knotted fringe to create a diamond pattern of knotting. This technique looks lovely on curtains, shawls and skirts, as well as many other projects. To purchase knotted fringe pre-tied, visit the Trims & Laces page of Austentation.com.
The right-hand strands are stretched the left, the crochet hook placed over them, and then the left-hand strand are draped to the right.
All the work is done with the left-hand strands. Here they are pulled under both the right-hand strand and the crochet hook, and then pulled to the left.
Then, the strands are draped to the upper right and caught by the crochet hook to be pulled back through the loop that has been formed.
Fringe instructions and photographs kindly provided by Steven Self. Reprinted with permission from the author’s website, Knitting Sweaters and Sitting Still.