Fruit of the Vine by Maria Rita Faleri
20th September 2019
Tassels have a long history as embellishments in the world of textiles. Italy has a tradition of highly textured tassels for household decoration made from linen threads knotted into astonishing confections that appear intriguingly complex.
The dimensional nature and strong textures of these knotted tassels, such as Maria Rita Faleri’s onion, capuchin and Turk’s head knot tassels in Inspirations issue #103, evoke the variety of structures in a coral reef.
In a modern take on knotted tassels, Maria Rita has also created delightful clusters of grapes that hang just like the real fruit from the vine.
In her new project ‘Fruit of the Vine’ from our Handpicked series, the tassels feature Turk’s head knots, worked in red or yellow linen thread, assembled into clusters for the grapes. You might have seen larger versions of these knots made using larger cords, particularly with the revived popularity of macramé. A common practical use of this woven knot is as a woggle for a neck scarf such as for scouts.
It can take a little time to master the Turk’s head knot, so practise first with a thick, firm thread to get the hang of it. Included in our instructions are photos Maria supplied of a knot in progress as a guide, showing how to hold the dowel and the placement of the needle.
For some extra help, there are several videos on the internet showing how to make a Turk’s head knot, usually using paracord. The use of a 5mm (3/16”) dowel as a foundation for working the knots for the tassels means that a spherical shape is created, rather than a ring, perfect for the grapes. If you don’t have a dowel readily available, try a pencil, pen or even a large knitting needle to create knots of a similar size.
For the tassel, the knots are worked in pairs and attached along a looped cord using Venetian double half-hitch knots, creating the realistic shape of a cluster of grapes.
Clusters of onion knots, made with green linen thread, are linked together to create the leaves at the top of each tassel. Onion knots are straight forward knots, consisting of a series of overhand knots tied into a ring. For the leaves, clusters of onion knots are worked in units, with the process shown step-by step.
Each tassel is finished with a loop formed with a half-hitch spiral cord. We show you how to make this type of cord, along with Venetian double half-hitch knots, with step-by-step instructions.
‘Fruit of the Vine’ is an ideal project to try for something a little different. Preparing the knots for assembly will become a rhythmic process and you will end up with fabulous knotted tassels that are enchanting decorations and a textural delight.
Make Your Own Fruit of the Vine
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Fruit of the Vine by Maria Rita Faleri is two bunches of luscious grapes, formed with clever knots, to create these fun tassels.
Fruit of the Vine – HP Print
Fruit of the Vine – HP Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kits
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kits for Fruit of the Vine include everything you need to re-create these charming tassels: Threads and needles.
Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step details to create this project, please refer to the digital/printed pattern.