How to Make Fringe From Yarn for Knit or Crochet Projects

Striped woollen scarf on checked background

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Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Fringe is a fun addition to an array of knit and crochet projects. They are especially nice on scarves, belts, home decor items, and anything else you think might need that little extra embellishment. Fringe can help eliminate the curl of stockinette stitch at the bottom of a project. Or make a basic, straightforward knitting project a little more interesting, transforming that quick-knit simple scarf into something a bit more gift-worthy. Moreover, fringe is easy to add, with lots of creative possibilities, in color, length, thickness, and number!

Fringe: How Long, How Thick, How Many

If you've done macramé, you may have learned how to make a lark's head knot, and a lark's head knot is what you use to attach fringe groups to your project. Each fringe group is composed of multiple strands of yarn folded double, with the folded end pulled through the fabric you're fringing with a crochet hook. The cut tails of yarn are tucked through the fold and pulled to tighten the knot. 

Fringe can be any length you like, but you'll usually find them between six inches and one foot. For six-inch fringe, cut 12-inch strands of yarn; for one-foot fringe, cut two feet strands. If you decide the fringe is a little too long, you can always trim the strand ends, but if they are too short, you will have to start from scratch.

Fringe can also be made of as many or as few strands of yarn as you like. Three strands are a nice minimal number for general use because they will create six strands hanging from each fringe group. You'll also want to gauge this based on your yarn. Bulky yarns will create full tassels with just one or two strands.

Finally, you can have as many fringe groups as will fit along the edge of your project or just a few. Individual preferences on these matters vary, but most people find an odd number of groups look better —three, five, or seven are suitable for most projects.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Ruler, tape measure, or another measuring device
  • Crochet hook

Materials

  • Project or swatch to be fringed
  • Yarn for fringe

Instructions

  1. Plan the Length of Your Yarn

    First, figure out the length of yarn you will need, how many strands you want, and how many fringe groups you need. Cut a few exploratory lengths in your project yarn or in scrap yarn, fold them, and hold them up to the edge to get an idea of how the fringe will look.

    1. Decide how long to make your fringe. Double that number to get the fringe strand length.
    2. Decide how many strands will be in your fringe groups. Remember each strand of yarn adds two lengths to your fringe! For example, three strands of yarn will make a six-strand fringe group.
    3. Decide how many fringe groupings you want on the edge of your project.

    Tip

    If you intend to use all the yarn you have on a project, make sure you have enough for tassels by cutting the lengths needed before you start knitting.

  2. Space Out Fringe Groups

    Mark out placement of your fringe groups on your piece with stitch markers, safety pins, or a piece of scrap yarn to get a visual reference for attaching your fringe.

    Start in the middle of the work, and place a grouping on either end. Space the fringe groups evenly between the middle and end on both sides of the center.

    When you are happy with the number of groups, it's time to cut yarn!

  3. Cut Fringe Strands

    Multiply the number of fringe strands by the number of fringe groupings you will attach to your project. For example, if you will have seven fringe groups attached to the end of your project, and each group will have three strands of yarn, you will need to cut 7 x 3 = 21 lengths of yarn.

    • Use a ruler, tape measure, piece of cardboard, or another measuring device to cut all your fringe strands the same length.
  4. Prepare Fringe Groups

    Divide the strands into piles, one pile for each tassel that you need. Straighten each stack so the threads line up. Fold the stack in half, forming a loop.

  5. Attach the Fringe

    Place your fringe groups about a half-inch inside the project's edge, not right on the side of your knitting or crochet. Placing them here should make it easier to see what you are doing, and it will make the fringe hang more evenly.

    Choose a side, right side or wrong side, on which to work. Either is fine, just be consistent so all the knots look the same. As when placing the markers, begin by attaching your first fringe group in the middle, after removing the marker.

    1. Insert the crochet hook through the fabric, making sure you're going between stitches and not through the yarn itself.
    2. Holding one of the folded fringe groups, take the hook under the loop fold, making sure to catch every strand, and pull them partway through the fabric.
    3. Take the hook out; bring the tail ends of yarn over the edge of the fabric and tuck them through the loop. Pull the ends tight to complete. 

    Attach the fringe groups on either side, following the same steps. Repeat as many times as needed, replacing markers with fringe.