Using the Diva Cord Maker
The cordmaker includes complete, easy to follow instructions so this tutorial will focus on the effects you can get when using various types of threads and fibers.
You can use just about anything to make cords, from the thinnest thread to thicker yarns. So long as the cord you're creating will fit through the center hole of the disc the sky pretty much is the limit.
Each cord requires 7 individual fibers that you'll braid using the Diva Cordmaker. You can use two strands of very thin fiber too - just treat them as a single strand as you braid the cord. Using a dark or strongly contrasting fiber will create an interesting secondary pattern in the cord, similar to the second cord from the left in the photo below. If your fibers all are of similar value then your cord will look more like the two on the right. You can make a monochromatic cord by using varying shades within the same color family - all blue, red, etc.
I created 5 different cords using a variety of fibers; textured, thick, thin, space dyed, flat ribbon, and more. Each cord was made using 2 yard cuts of the various fibers. For the most part the resultant cord was about 1 yard long.
This cord was the first one I made and is comprised of fibers from the Oliver Twists #49 Aegean assortment. I think the most notable feature is the cotton chenille thread. It provides visual interest because of the thickness and texture as well as the way the color changes along the length. When you stand back and view the cord you can really see the color change from pink to purple.
This cord was created from one of the Diva fiber assortments and is interesting because it combines a number of types of fibers, including one that has small sequins, plus a black edged ribbon. You can see the black edging on the ribbon as it travels the length of the cord which I think adds interest. The fiber with the circle sequins is subtle in this picture, but is more lively when you see the cord in person. It's a nice size cord that can be used in a variety of applications.
I selected a number of Stef Francis space dyed fibers for this cord. While it is not one of my favorites, what I do like is the texture and dimension added by the Tuscot thread. It's the one at the top of the image that is pink/purple and has white spiraling along the length. The Tuscot really stands up off the body of the cord and creates a secondary pattern as it winds along the length.
If I were to name this cord, it would be An Exercise in Patience. Because it's made exclusively from fine fibers it took a fairly long time to make. The end result certainly was worth the effort however. This is a fine, dense cord that I really like. I used two different colorways of Caron Rachelette fiber in this one. Because Rachelette is comprised of a flat tube with a shiny metallic fiber running through it, it flattens when you create the cord, but you still see the shimmer of the metallic fiber. The other fibers in this cord are from a couple of Oliver Twist assortments.
This is my favorite cord of the five I've made so far. I love the texture the fuzzy yarn adds and especially like the way the colors change along the length. If you're careful how you cut your fibers you can take advantage of the color changes and coordinate them among all of the fibers. This too is a reasonably chunky cord since it uses thicker fibers including Caron Watercolors. (used as it without separating the strands) The other fibers came from a Diva Hand Sampler #91.
June 16, 2007 Update...
Judy Skeel has been busy making cords and I wanted to share them... You'll notice Judy favors cool colors where I lean toward warmer ones. Here are Judy's cords - stay tuned for something new and way cool from Judy in the next month or so...
Judy was careful when she braided these fibers, making sure to fold the wider ribbon yarn to keep it neat and orderly. Which only goes to prove that you can utilize wide fibers without creating a messy cord!
This cord has more colors and even some fuzzy yarn in it for a totally different look than the more tailored one above.
If I remember correctly, this was the first cord that Judy made, and like the one I call 'An Exercise in Patience', it too is made from fine threads and fibers which produces a dense, slender cord. Notice how the one sparkly thread shows here and there, adding interest?
I had time to make three cords over the last week and as usual leaned toward warm colors. I was determined to break out of that mold to make at least one that wasn't all warm colors. It took a lot of careful selection of fibers, but I did manage to create a cord that was cool colors!
This was the first one I made last week and it was here that I figured out if I use the Caron Rachelette fiber doubled it was more evident in the finished cord. There are two colors of Rachelette in this cord, both of them doubled. This cord also features a strand of curly black edge ribbon from a Tussie Mussie as well as some strands from an Oliver Twist fiber assortment.
Here is my 'cool colors' cord. I kept on the doubling Caron Rachelette thread in this one, plus I added some Stef Francis 7200 fiber, some leftover lengths from an Oliver Twist, and some QR Marabout fiber. That's the fuzzy one that adds the spiky look as well as changing color as it travels the length of the cord.
This cord was made entirely from fibers I took from an Ancient Earth Echoes fiber assortment. The ones I selected were fuzzy and somewhat bulky. This cord is soft, plush, and very supple. It's a different look and feel than the others I've made to date.
If this has whetted your appetite and you want to make your own fabulous cords you'll need a Diva Cordmaker and a nice assortment fibers. The cords pictured here used the following fibers and threads: (clicking on the name to be taken to that particular cord in the store)
Ancient Earth Echoes Fiber Assortments
Consider using Tussie Mussies, DMC Pearl Cotton, Ribbon Fripperies or other fibers.
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