This beaded thread counter is the last accessory that I need to make as part of the set of sewing accessories that will go inside the box designed by Carolyn Pearce, and described in her book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’.
It is an unusual accessory, and not one that I have come across before. I debated whether to bother making it or not, but for the sake of completeness, I thought I’d have a go, as it doesn’t take long.
It consists of two small tapestry needles, attached to fine cords, with a tassel on the end. It is used to work out the fabric count of an evenweave fabric, by inserting one needle in the fabric, and then counting the threads for an inch (which then tells you the tpi – or threads per inch). Or, if you need to count across a large gap of fabric from one area of stitching to another when you’re working from a chart, you can use the two needles to mark your place before actually starting to stitch.
I started by making a fine cord from two lengths of two strands of Anchor stranded cotton, and sliding a size 28 tapestry needle up to the centre of the length before I starting twisting it, so that the needle, when the cord was doubled back on itself, would be held at the end of the cord. Then I made a second one in the same way. These two cords were then knotted together, about 8 inches away from the needles.
I made the tassel by winding three metres of Anchor stranded cotton in the same shade as the cord around a piece of thick cardboard two inches high, and cut the threads along the bottom edge of card, giving me lots of pieces all the same length.
Then I laid the knotted cords along the cut lengths, with the knot just to the left of the centre…..
….and tied strong quilting thread around the centre of the bundle of short lengths and the cords, just to the right of the knots, to trap them inside the tassel.
Then I folded the lengths over in the middle, enclosing the knots of the cords, spreading out the threads to make a nice round head for the tassel. I used a bag tie to hold the tassel threads down while I tied the head of the tassel with more of the quilting thread.
Lastly, I trimmed the ends of the tassel with large cutting out shears, to get a nice tidy end to the tassel.
In her book, Carolyn suggests that you then work detached buttonhole stitch in fine gold thread over the head of the tassel, but I couldn’t be bothered with that bit. I just wound Kreinik very fine gold braid around the neck of the tassel, sinking the ends down into the centre to hide them, and hiding the green quilting thread as I did so.
Then I threaded some beads onto both of the needles, so that they slid down to the head of the tassel. To keep them in place, after the final bead had been threaded on, I knotted the two cords tight up against the final bead.
It might not end up being the most used piece of equipment in my sewing box, but I like how it’s come out. The beads finish if off nicely, I think.
That’s the last accessory completed!