For those of you who are my age, just tell me you never wanted one of those groovy beaded door curtains from the 70s. I know I did. Something about the clickety clack of those shiny, plastic beads jangling against one another beguiled me. I never had one, of course. And, like most things like that, I outgrew the desire to have one festoon my door. But, when I think of it now, that internalized yearning for one remains. I believe that the love of things like that from when you were a girl (canopy beds, rhinestone tiaras, anything made of tulle) stay in your cells forever.
Recently, I got it in my head that it would be fun to make a door curtain made of finger-knitting, like the bead curtains of yore. But, what of the sound? That’s when I decided to add bells to the finger-knitting for a special little tinkling upon entrance and exit.
Allie and I made it together, which was a lovely experience. As soon as it was up, she took to it right away, running in her room and out her room just to hear the bells sound. She settled down with it after a while and played to her hearts content, feeling her room had just transformed to her own private getaway.
Like most things of these sort (think said rhinestone tiaras, canopy beds, mosquito netting, etc), I anticipate the sheen of it will wear off over time, but its certainly feels glamorous in the mean time.
I love the jingle jangle of the bells almost as much of the gentle clack of the beads . . . . almost.
Measure the door you intend to hang the curtain on. We used 15 strands of finger knitting, putting bells on five strands only, as Allie didn’t want it too jingly.
Finger knit (for a how to of finger knitting go here) the intended bell-less strands to approximately 3 inches short of the distance from where you intend to hang the curtain to the floor. You will use approximately 4 inches to secure the strand in the top, but the strands will stretch.
Adding Bells To Finger-Knitting
The bells should have a hole on top for stringing. Make sure to pick a needle that fits the yarn and can still go through the hole on the bell.
String approximately 7 to 10 of the bells onto your yarn.
Pull the bells a good way onto the yarn, as you will use a lot of the yarn in the finger knitted strand.
Finger knit approximately 8 rows (6 inches or so). If you run into the bells as you go, continue to push them down the strand of yarn towards the ball.
When you get to desired place for the bell, bring one bell across one of your middle fingers as part of the finger-knitting.
Bring the bell and the strand over your finger, as you normally would.
The bell should settle into the middle of your finger knitted strand. Then, continue another 16 rows or so before you place another bell. Continue to place another bell every 16 rows until the strand reaches your desired length.
For each of the other four strands of belled finger-knitting, alter the starting spot of the bells (for example on the next strand, add a bell after 16 rows, then add another every 16 thereafter) so the bells don’t line up once hung.
Make the Valance
For lack of a better word, I’m going to call this top part the valance. It is the panel that the finger-knitting will fit into and hang from. It is made of a finger-knitted strand of finger-knitting. Isn’t that fun?? The finger-knitted strand you start with needs to be fairly long (I think at least 12 to 15 times the width of the door). I just added more strands until it fit. This too will stretch some. You finger knit the finger-knitting as if it were a piece of yarn.
It should look like this at the end. Make sure it is long enough to stretch most of the way across your door frame.
Make the Curtain
Decide on the pattern of strands. Lay them out.
Weave each strand of finger-knitting under and over a row of finger knitting in the valance.
Turn the strand at the top, and come back down the next row, weaving in the same manner.
Here is the back and top of the valance. Tie the tails of each strand of finger knitting to the bottom and back of the valance.
Weave the ends of the valance into the back of itself.
Trim off all ends.
The back should look like this:
The front should look like this:
We hung it with super sticky backed plastic hooks. It has been up now for over three weeks, no damage or falling.
I hope your kiddos love the curtain as much as Allie does.
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