1) It is hard to get exactly three times around within a chulya, so should I get closer to two or four? If I only have 2.5 times around is that kosher? 2) The shamashim (2 white and 2 blue) are a half foot longer than my other strings which are 2/3 of the length, can I cut the shamashim shorter halachically? Is it bad for for the strings to be cut? 3)How close should the 1st knot be to the beged?
1) The gemara says to “wrap once, wrap twice, wrap thrice” so the idea is to go around three times and not necessarily to see exactly three wraps.
2) You should cut all the strings so that the hanging section is 2/3 of the total tzitzit. The cuts should not damage the strings. If they become frayed over time you should tie a small knot to stop the fraying. I have heard of people putting a drop of clear nail polish to hold the ends from fraying, but I don’t think you need to do this.
3) The first knot should be tied such that there is a slight kink in the beged.
– Mois Navon