In the previous post, I offered a tutorial on duplicate stitch, which will come in handy for many knitters, not just for the Woodland Critters Scarf, but for any stranded knitting project with more than two colors in a given row or round. Hopefully, this tutorial will help you through the Woodland Critters Scarf project, and you are now ready to add the finishing touches!
The pattern offers directions for two different finishing techniques: tassels and pompoms. In this post, I will walk you through, step by step, the process for making tassels.
The first step is to cut all the strands of yarn needed for the tassels. You will want to cut strands 12″ (31cm) in length. You may choose any four colors you like; I recommend the Semolina, Masala, Bluebell, and Edamame – this gives a nice selection of bright, contrasting colors.
Each tassels will contain 5 strands of one color; you will need 10 tassels (or 50 strands) for all but the tassels at the outer edges. Cut enough for 12 tassels (60 strands) of this color.
I like to make a quick slip knot to divide the strands evenly, 5 in a grouping, so they are easier to cut and keep organized.
For the next step, you will need a Size D (3.25mm) crochet hook. You’ll use the hook to pull the tassel strands through the edge stitches of the scarf.
Fold the scarf tube in half, so that the sides align neatly. You will want the beginning of the round at one side, so that any jog in the pattern will be less visible.
Now work your crochet hook through the front and back stitches closest to a side edge. Be sure the hook goes through both front and back.
Now you will take one of the tassels meant for the outer edges (remember, you cut more strands of that color, enough to create two extra tassels), undo the slip knot keeping them together and organized, and fold the bunch in half, keeping the ends of the strands aligned as much as possible. Wrap the center loop part of this bunch over your crochet hook.
Holding the strands tightly so that they won’t slip off the hook, pull your hook through the back and front stitches of the scarf.
Pull the loop of the tassel through just far enough that you can work with it, but not far enough that the ends of the strands come through!
Now wrap the ends of all the tassel strands around your hook a second time.
Pull the hook and the tassel strands through the loop you created.
Keep pulling until all the ends of the strands come through the loop. Grab the ends of the tassel and pull the knot snug.
You’ve now created your first tassel!
Now you can choose how you want to proceed with the rest of the tassels. You will have 21 tassels along each edge of the scarf, with the same tassel color on the outer edges, and alternating the four colors in between these outer edges. The tassels will be spaced slightly apart on the adult scarf, and closer together on the child scarf. You might want to mark with pins where you will place each tassel so that they are spaced evenly. Another option is to start at the outer edges and work toward the center. In either method, it is best to plan ahead – line the tassels up in the color order you have chosen so you know what comes next each time you create a new tassel.
Here are some important tips:
- Pulling the tassel through front and back edges of the scarf will help the scarf to lay flat.
- Make sure to keep those tassel ends aligned as much as possible.
- Always pull the hook through the scarf in the same direction so that your knots all look alike on one side of the scarf.
- When you are ready to start the second end of the scarf, lay the scarf out on a long flat surface to make sure it is completely flat, not twisted.
- When you are ready to start the second end of the scarf, do one practice tassel without pulling the knot tight. Be sure the knot is facing the same way as the knots you’ve made on the first end of the scarf, and adjust if necessary.
Now you should have all your tassels knotted along both ends of the scarf. You have one last step to complete: cutting the tassels ends so that they are nice and even! I recommend making the tassels approximately 4″ (10cm) in length. This should give you enough leeway to even out any strands that might be too long or short. You may want to measure with a ruler, or simply eyeball it. Cut across in a straight line with scissors to even out the strands.
And now your scarf is complete and ready to wear!
In next week’s post, I will offer another tutorial on the second finishing option: pompoms!