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Spooling out a new product

This post is about how I developed a (new-to-me) product, purse charms using a thread spool.

Braids made using the 3-ply technique, which most people are acquainted with, requires three yarn lengths be measured and cut before braiding. Care must be taken not to measure it too short (making the braid too short), or too long (leaving wasted yarn).

I learned how to braid with a lucet a while ago. The simplest lucet braid only needs one strand of yarn. No premeasuring is required, just start braiding, and stop when it is long enough.

spool purse charm

I had seen the idea for a purse charm (without instructions) on Pinterest. I didn't think much of the cording they used, it looked like jute yarn, or something like it. I knew I could come up with something better. Braiding with cotton yarn seemed like the thing to do.

I found hardware that looked the right size for what I needed. (I ended up buying the next larger size the second time.) Once I had the hardware, I experimented with yarn size, and settled on #5 pearl cotton. When I tried the braid on for size, I found that the spool could slip off easily. It needed something to reduce the size of the hole. After rummaging through my stash, I found some white pony beads that were large enough to allow two strands of braid to pass through, but small enough that the final knot would not fall out.

I had several spools of yarn that I had emptied. My spools were from two different brands and were in two different sizes from each brand. I measured the spools carefully. There was a taper from the inside to the outside. I assume this was to strengthen the spool. I jotted down the final width of the spool, as well as the beginning width.

When cutting the fabric strips, I first cut them to the final spool width, then I added any tapering as needed. At first, I could only guess the length of the fabric strips. As time went by, I found out how long each fabric strip should be. Then I discovered that I really didn't need to measure the length extremely carefully. I could glue more fabric on if I needed to.

I debated whether I should use a different colored yarn to tie around the fabric. I chose to keep it the same as the cord. Since the fabric wasn't always the same color as the cord, that would be enough additional color interest.

Then I needed to figure out how I would list the purse charms in the store. I decided to make a separate listing for each spool size and brand (four in all). That allowed me to use the two variations to describe yarn color and fabric color.

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