This knotting pattern is the first one I learnt and as well as being fairly easy to get to grips with, looks great too. The knotting pattern is easier to get a hang of once you realise you’re only working on one half of the bracelet at a time. Hopefully this will become clearer as we go.
What you need:
• Embroidery thread/floss in 4 different colours
• Ruler and scissors
• Sewing needle & thread, and 8-12 3mm clear crystal rhinestones
• Clipboard or sturdy book and clip
Cut 140cm length of each colour thread and fold them all together in half. Tie a knot to form a loop at the top leaving you with 8 dangling threads. Clip the loop to somewhere secure and arrange the threads symmetrically in colour, as shown.
Focus on the first four threads of the left side.
Take the outermost thread (in this case silver), and loop over then under the adjacent orange thread, and back over itself – it’ll look like the number four, as shown in the image.
Pull tightly upwards on the silver thread, keeping the orange thread taut. Repeat this ‘four-loop’ on the orange thread again. This is one forward knot.
Remember – one forward knot always needs two ‘four-shaped-loops’ pulled tightly upwards.
Continue using the silver thread to form one forward knot on the blue thread, and lastly again on the pink innermost thread. The first row always looks a little messy, so don’t worry too much about it at this point.
Put the threads on the left side you’ve just knotted to one side.
We’ll focus on the right side now. You’ll be doing exactly the same as in steps two and three, continue knotting until the innermost pink thread, but this time you’ll do a backwards knot (still keeping the idea of two ‘four-shaped-loops’), just working in the other direction.
You’ll see the silver threads are now the innermost and the thread colour pattern has moved along. To finish the first row, knot the silver threads together using a backwards knot. The hard bit’s done!
Repeat Steps two – five with the next outermost thread. The outermost thread will continue to change as you continue knotting but should always follow the same pattern (in this case: silver, orange, blue, pink).
Second row complete and chevrons starting to take shape.
This is what your friendship bracelet should hopefully start to look like as you continue to knot. Remember to pull fairly tightly on the knotting thread and keep the other pulled taut downwards.
When you reach a length that works, braid the two halves at the end to form ties. To secure the bracelet, pass one tie through the loop you made at the beginning and tie them together.
Part 2 – Rhinestones
The bracelet alone is definitely a piece in itself but if you’re feeling a bit craftier, sewing on rhinestones to the final product will make it that bit more special.
Loop 90cm of cotton thread (preferably a colour that matches one on the bracelet), doubled up through the needle. Poke the needle through the underside of the bracelet at the lower point of a chevron to make attachment as subtle as possible.
Thread through one side of the rhinestone and out the other, feeding the thread back into the bracelet on the upper point of the chevron you started on. The slight gaps in between rows should make pushing the needle through fairly easy. Go through the gem one more time to secure it.
Starting from the underside again, poke the needle through the next white chevron in the bracelet to attach the next gem as in step two.
Continue on the length of the bracelet, or for however many gems you’d like on there (there will be a trail of thread running along the underside of the bracelet).
To secure the last gem, thread the needle through three or four times. Sew the remaining thread through the existing stitches on the underside of the bracelet as many times as comfortably possible. Tie a knot as close to the surface of the bracelet as you can and cut off any excess sewing thread.
And there you have it. One finished bracelet.
Words and Images: Amrit Santos