Sorry about the delay, I really have been poorly.
I tend to assume that everyone knows how to make a simple tassel, cos, you know, primary school, but anyway…
The normal way to make a tassel is to wrap thread round and round a card, but I find this laborious. And anyway it wont work with the cut threads some of you have for kits. Instead take your leftover thread and cut them to about four inches in length – you can use any colour you like, the intention is to make multi-coloured tassels and use up the leftover threads.
pull one thread from the bundle and use it to tie tightly around the middle of the bundle. don’t cut the ends but leave them to blend in with the rest
Next take a long thread and double it over. Twist this as tightly as you can. The easiest way to do this is to hold one end in your teeth, hence the slightly dodgy pic. You need to twist it very very tight
Place the centre of the tassel bundle over the centre of the twist.
Bring the end of the twist together, centre the tassel bundle, and let the twist twist around itself.
If you’ve got a lot of twist on it, as I have here, it will twist up all lumpy, but don’t worry. Give it a couple of firm tugs and it will straighten out
Put a simple overhand knot in the end to prevent the twist from unravelling.
Next take a long thread, either the same or a contrasting colour, and tie it a little way down the bundle.
Wrap the long ends of that thread around the tassel, nice and tight, as many times as you find aesthetically pleasing, and tie it again.
Take a needle and use it to conceal the ends of the knot inside the tassel
finally trim the ends.
ANd you have a simple tassel, which you can trim with beads if you wish.
I feel as if I’ve just taught my grandmother to suck eggs.
You will need a minimum of two tassels – one for each corner of the purse, and a maximum of…erm…well a dozen isn’t unreasonable for a medieval purse, but you can double up small tassels.
Whilst I was taking these pics I remembered that my favourite thing at primary school was making tassel people. I figure you all already know how to make tassel people, but then if anyone doesn’t know how to make a tassel they really shouldn’t miss out on the important skill of tassel person making, so here goes…
Start in the same way as with a normal tassel, but make the bundle longer and chunkier. Once you’ve tied the top (this will be the head) separate out a few strands to each side.
Use these to make a simple three strand plait, for about as long as a tassel person’s arm ought to be.
Knot the ends of the arms to make hands.
Next tie more threads around the waist.
If you trim the ends at this stage you have a tassle lady. Female emancipation has not yet reached the world of tassle people, and they all dress rather demurely in skirts – no tassel lady has ever yet been daring enough to cross-dress. Anyway, you can tell this one was meant to be a boy because he’s blue.
If you want a tassle man, bifurcate the skirt and make two plaited legs with little knotty feet.
Finally embroider a simple face
There is a further refinement you can do at the very start to give tassel ladies plaited hair.
Also if you are very clever, you can give tassel men little plaited willies (But only if the teacher isn’t looking, or you get telt off)
Tassel octopi are also possible.
I should point out that tassel people are in no way authentic for the medeival period.
However, I have this sneaking feeling that my purse is going to have little tassel people dangling from it, because I enjoyed that waaaaay to much…