A nice, bright and crisp morning - it certainly makes a change from all of the horrible wet weather and mud galore...
Well, as promised, here's the first attempt at the 'netted' tassel top with metal thread - gold, as I didn't have quite enough silver. The gold was quite difficult to work, although as with anything it did get easier as I progressed, and the finished tassel does reflect this! So overall, I think the experiment worked well.
And another picture - a way of working a number of tassels that need to match in size. I'm afraid I can't claim credit for coming up with this idea - it's from Anna Crutchley's Tassel book, showing how to make a number of pom-poms - but it works so well with small tassels that it's worth showing!
Essentially, you need to have two fixed points at a distance apart for the number of tassels you'd like to produce. In the case, I've just used two clamps. Simply wind your thread the number of times that you require for your tassels, and tie off at intervals. You can then cut the warp and you have your first part of your tassel. (The photo shows the clamps far enough apart for 2 tassels - cut the warp between the ties).
Some extra tips that I've found helpful using this method - the warp can be difficult to 'gather' together when you tie it. It helps to dampen your thread - and, in some cases, your warp (use a spray bottle with clean water) before you tie. Dampening your tie thread ensures that it doesn't slip while you are tieing your knot, which is always helpful, and dampening the actual warp also helps to create friction to enable you to bring the threads together more closely. Dampening the warp also comes in very handy when working with very fine silk - it just helps it to be less fly-away.
Well, off to do some paperwork now, lucky me!