Examiner in Dressmaking, Tailoring, French Pattern Modelling, Plain Needlework and Millinery, of the Teachers in Training at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, the London Technical Examination Centre, etc. Author of " Up-to-date Dresscutting and Drafting," also "The Practical Work of Dressmaking and Tailoring."
To make the rope for a twisted girdle, a long room or passage is necessary, as space is required in which to twist it more than double the length it is to be when finished, and three people should assist in the making - e.g., if a girdle is to be three yards long, two people should stand about seven yards apart, and a third person should walk backwards and forwards from one to the other, handing the wool to each, until a long, straight line (half the thickness the girdle is to be) is formed between them.
Several strands of silk added to the wool are an improvement.
A knot must next be made at each end of the wool by those who are holding it.
The wool must be held very firmly at each end, and stretched out tight and straight, whilst it is being twisted from each end, in opposite directions. An easy way of twisting it is to slip a thick bone crochet-hook, or a pencil, through each end against the knot. Hold the wool tightly with the finger and thumb of the left hand, close up to the pencil to prevent its slipping out; and with the right hand turn the pencil round and round-, like the spokes of a windmill, until the whole length of the wool is tightly twisted.
Hold the wool very firmly at each end, and twist from each end in opposite directions. To do this slip a thick bone crochet-hook through the end against the knot, hold the wool with the left hand, and turn the hook round and round with the right
The third person should now take hold of the twisted wool, exactly in the centre, and hold it firmly whilst the one at each end walks towards the other until they meet.
Care must be taken to keep the wool stretched out tightly the whole time.
One of them should then take hold of both ends, and tie them firmly together with a single strand of wool.
As soon as this is done, the one who is holding the wool in the centre should drop it. It will instantly twist itself up, but cannot come untwisted, as the two ends are tied together. All that is then necessary is to draw the twist through the hand again and again, until it is perfectly regular and even.
Finish off the knotted end of the "rope" as neatly and securely as possible.
Two rounds of cardboard, with a hole in the centre of each, are required for each ball. The circumference of each card should be the same as the ball is to be when finished. Measure, with a compass, one-sixth of the circumference, and draw a circle, and then draw a smaller circle in the centre - e.g., if the ball is to measure six inches in circumference, open the compass to one inch, and draw the outer circle; close it to about half an inch (one-twelfth), and draw the inner circle (seeDiagram 1). Cut round the inner and outer circles, and cut three more rounds exactly to correspond. Place two of these rounds together, and cover them closely with wool and occasional strands of silk, if silk has been mixed with the wool in making the rope - working through the hole and over the edge of the cards, as shown in Diagram 2. Work round and round until the hole is tightly and completely filled in, and the needle can no longer be passed through.
Diagram 1. Draw a circle with a smaller inner circle. Cut round both circles, in double card, and place the two rounds together
Diagram 2. Cover the rounds with silk, or wool, working through the hole and over the edge till the hole is completely filled in
Insert the scissors and cut through the wool all round the outer edge, between the two circles of card, as shown in Diagram 3.
Pass a piece of linen thread or some strands of the silk (as wool alone is not strong enough) between the two cards, and tie it tightly and securely round the wool in the centre; then tie a strand of wool or silk over the thread, leaving long ends by which to fasten the ball, when finished, to the girdle. Cut the card-board across to the centre, and pull out both pieces; then, with a large, sharp pair of scissors, snip and shave the wool all over until it is shaped into a perfectly round, smooth ball. The long ends of wool, or silk, must not, of course, be cut off.
If preferred, two or three balls, of graduated size, can be made in the same way; and put on each end of the girdle, instead of one large one.
In either case, the balls must be firmly attached to each end of the rope, and the superfluous length of silk or wool cut off.
If tassels are preferred to balls, these can be made by cutting a piece of card to the length the tassel is to be made, and winding the wool and silk over it.
When sufficient has been wound round to make it the desired thickness for the tassel, thread a needle with silk or wool, pass it under the wool at one end of the card, and tie it tightly and firmly across the top, leaving ends long enough to attach the tassel to the girdle. Take a large, sharp pair of scissors, cut through the wool at the opposite end, and remove the card.
To form the tassel, twist a strand of silk at the outer edge, between the two circles or wool tightly round and round, a little below the top, and tie it tightly and firmly. The tie will be stronger if the ends are not cut off short, but threaded through a wool needle, which should then be passed, above the tie, into the middle of the tassel, brought out at the bottom end, and cut off to the length of the tassel. Snip off all the ends evenly and to shape, at the bottom, and sew the tassel on to the girdle.
Diagram 3. Enlarged to show rounds completely filled in with the wool and silk, and the scissors in position for cutting the woo)