Step By Step Guide

Mastering a uniform knotting technique takes practice and repetition. I strongly suggest that you work through the following steps and do some sampler pieces before attempting any of the jewelry projects. You may use any of the "micro" cords or slightly thicker macramé cord for your practice pieces. In addition to the cord, you will need a macramé board and a few other general supplies (see the Materials chapter for a complete list).

Once you fully understand how to make each knot and have achieved a smooth and even knotting technique, you will have the essential skills needed to move on to the jewelry projects.

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I. Cut 4 lengths of 18 gauge nylon cord approximately 40" long. Cut I cord in a contrasting color approx. 36" long. Make a SLK (Slip Knot) about 2" - 3" from the end of the 36" cord . A SLK (Figure I) is like an OVK (OverhandKnot) (Figure 2) except that the cord is pulled only partially through the

overhand Ki^ot (ovfc)

step 2

step 2

loop and then tightened. The advantage is that the end can be pulled loose and :he knot can be easily removed later if desired. Tighten the SLK well. Pin the cord onto your knotting board by putting a sewing pin directly through the center of the knot. This cord will serve as your AC (Anchor Cord) for the next few rows. The longer tail of the AC will come out to the right and serve as the holding cord to which you will attach the remaining 4 cords. It may be helpful to make another SLK 3" or 4" from the first SLK and pin it to the board also, creating temporary bar between the two knots on which you can attach the cords (See Figure 3).

step 3
step 3

Illustrations jrv not to scûlo.

Illustrations jrv not to scûlo.

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2. Mounting the Cords. Knots commonly used for mounting cord onto an "anchor are the Mounting Hitch, the Mounting Knot, and the Lark's Head Knot (see Figures 1 and 5). I hev are all variations on the same basic knot. To attach (or mount) the cords to an anchor, be it another cord or a Ivr of some kind, you will double the length of coal in halt so that the ends meet up. I his creates a horseshoe-shaped loop at the center of the cord. The loop is then passed behind the anchor and the ends are pulled through the loop.

MO LMtLlAsQ Hitch (MH-) Steps. 1 ^ 2. M0t/CIA/tllA,g K,lA/£)t (MTK,) steps 1 -

MO LMtLlAsQ Hitch (MH-) Steps. 1 ^ 2. M0t/CIA/tllA,g K,lA/£)t (MTK,) steps 1 -

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.steps;

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You will be using the MTK (Mounting Knot) to attach the 4 cords to the AC (see Figure 6). A MTK (Figure 4. steps 1 - 4) is a MH (Mounting Hitch, Figure 4, steps 1 2) with an additional I lalf I litch added onto each side. Mounting Knots look identical to Double I lalf Hitches. A LHK (Lark's I lead Knot) is the flip side of «1 MH.

•Tips for Mounting Cord - Make each knot .is tight and neat .is possible It is often necessary to retighten knots as you go along as some will tend to loosen up.

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3. Unpin the second SLK and push all of the MTKs to the left, snug against the first pinned SLK and as close together as possible. Ketighten if necessary I'in this first row of knots horizontally to the board with sewing pins, angling them upward so they won't interfere with your knotting of the next row (see Figure 7). I he best place to pin the cord is through the "loop" on the back of each MTK. "What loop?", you may ask There's a closed loop on the top/back of every MTK To position the knots properly tor pinning, hold the vertical cords taut with one hand. Ismg the tip of your fingernail push the cord in toward the board, just under the MTK This will cause the knot to rotate so that the loop is more accessible for pinning. I will refer to the mounted vertical cords (or warp cords) as #1 - 8 going from left to right.

4. The Double Half Hitch - The DHH is probably the most versatile and important knot of all (see Figure 8). It is comprised of two single side by side HHs (Half f I itches). Together they make a secure knot, whereas a HH b\ itself will tend to come loose DHHs are frequently used to make horizontal rows of knots, but can also be used to make diagonal rows and other variations. Refer to the top half of the diagram for rows going right to left. Refer to the bottom half of the diagram for rows going from left to right.

Right to L«ft

Left, to Right
Cavandoli Knot Jewelry Step Step

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5. The next step in your practice piece is to make several horizontal rows of DHHs (see Figured). Yon will start by bringing the AC back to the left beneath the first row of MTKs so that it rests on top of the S vertical cords. Start with vertical cord #8 (see I igure 7) and make a DHH around the horizontal AC. Working from right to left, complete the row with DHHs. After you have completed a row of DHH-working from right to left, bring the AC back around to the right and make a row ol DHHs working from left to right, starting with vertical Cord "1 Continue making horizontal rows of DHHs until they become easy for you. Ideally, they will begin to look neater and more uniform the more you do. When you feel that you are ready, go on to the next step.

•Tips for horizontal rows of Double Half Hitches -

Sometimes when making a row of DHHs, the line of knots tends to stray from the previous row and an unwanted gap is created. To avoid this you have to pull the AC in an upward diagonal direction as you pull the KC in the opposite downward diagonal direction keeping an equal tension on both cords simultaneously as you tighten the knot (see Figure 10). When you are knotting i row from right to left, the AC will be pulled upward and to the left as you pull the KC downward and to the right. When you arc knotting a run from left to right, the AC will be pulled upward and to the right as you pull the KC downward and to the left.

Cavandoli Tapestry Knotting

Knotting Cord behind

Knotting Cord behind

• A word about tension It is important to have the correct tension setting on a sewing machine to make a sminith stitch, and it is equally as important to keep the correct tension on your cords when knotting. This is tricky at first because it may seem like you need an extra hand or two to manipulate the cords while also holding them taut, lust remember that at that crucial moment when you are tightening the knot, keep an equal amount of tension on the KC and the AC. If you let the AC become slack, the knot may "flip". You will have done all the movements correctly but the knot won't look right and you'll wonder where you went wrong. The key is to keep the tension of the cords equally taut as you tighten each knot.

•Position of the Cords - An important rule to remember when making a DHH be it horizontal, diagonal, or vertical, is that the AC (AnchorCord) rests on TOP of the KC (Knotting

Anchor Cord

Knotting Cord Flg. lO

Anchor Cord

Knotting Cord Flg. lO

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Cord) when you begin the knot. Therefore, the KC is always positioned BEHIND the AC before you start the knot (see Figure 9). When you arc making rows of horizontal DHHs, this is not a problem because the cords naturally end up in the proper positions after you finish each knot. The Vertical DHH is a little trickier, as 1 will explain in the next step.

vertical v>ou.ble H-alf Hitch (VD>f-tH-) rig. ±±

Right to Lcfl

.Step 2

Step 3

step 4

Step 1 Lift to Right.

.Step 2

Step 3

step 4

Step 1 Lift to Right.

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step w-

6. The Vertical Double Half Hitch - The VDHH is a DHH turned up on it's side (see Figure 11).. Up until this point the contrasting 36" cord has served as your Anchor Cord and the vertical cords 1-8 have served as your Knotting Cords. For VDHHs the opposite will be true. Now the horizontal cord will serve as the KC and each of the vertical cords in turn will serve as ACs. And just like with the DHH, the most important first step to remember when making a VDHH is to gel the KC (horizontal cord) and the AC (vertical cord) into their correct positions before starting to make the knot As I mentioned before, this occurs naturally when making horizontal rows of DHHs. But when you are making rows of VDHHs, the cords will not be in the correct position so you have to take the extra step at the beginning of each knot to put them into their correct position, bringing the vertical AC in front of the horizontal KC (see Figure 12). Make back and forth rows of VDHHs until they become easy for you.

Fig.

Anchor rord giio*«m lop.

Knotting cord is behind Ihc AC

Anchor rord giio*«m lop.

Knotting cord is behind Ihc AC

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Fig. 13

Right

Fig. 14

Right

Fig. 14

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•Tips for making Vertical Double Half Hitches When tightening each of the two loops of a YOHH remember to pull the KC in the same direction that the row is going (see Figure 13). In other words, it your row starts on the left and you are knotting towards the right, you will bring the KC back out to the right after looping it around the AC. Continue to pull the KC out to the right and tighten. By the same token, if your row starts on the* right and you are knotting towards the left, you will bring the KC back out to thi' left after looping it around the AC Continue to pull the KC out to the left and tighten. I'he vertical AC should always be held taut as you simultaneously tighten the KC. If the AC is not held taut you will run into problems. Also, VDHHs have a tendency to separate in the middle and elongate. You may notice a space in the middle of your VDHHs where you can see the vertical AC showing through (see Figure 14). Use your thumbnail to push the bottom part of the knot upward so that the knots look neat and pulled together

After you have completed several rows of VDHHs and feel comfortable with making them (don't worry, this doesn't always come easily or quickly) I suggest that you make a few rows in which you switch back and forth from DHHs to VDHHv in the same row. Alternating these two knots in vary ing patterns is the basis of Cavandoli Knotting. You don't need to worry about making pretty patterns right now, just practice, practice, practice so that mak ng the knots and moving easilv from one knot to the other becomes second nature to you.

7. The Square Knot - The SQK (Square Knot) is usually made with 4 cords, 2 outer knotting cords and 2 inner anchor cords. I lowever, you can use just one or several inner cords depending on your design. For practice I suggest that you divide the K cords of your sampler into 2 groups ot 1 cords Tape one group of cords off to the side with masking tape or just drape them over a pin to get them out of the way for now. Make a Square Knot Chain with the group of 4 cords, one Square Knot under the other (see Figure 15). See Figure 17 for SQK directions.

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Study the diagram until you understand the knot well. Untepe the other group of cords and make a chain of SQKs of equal length as the first chain. Now, join both chains together using the 4 center-most cords (2 from each chain) with a SQK You will be omitting the 2 outer cords from each chain. Now switch back and make two side by side SQKs, one with each group of 4 cords. Repeating this pattern creates a lacy net that is very attractive and useful in designs (see Hgure 16).

•Tips for making Square Knots - Notice that the SQK has 2

equal parts, in the first part (or top half) of the knot you will start from the left and bring the outer cord to the right (Step 1 - 2), and in the second or bottom half of the knot you will start from the right and bring the outer cord to the left (Step 3 - 5). Both steps are exactly the same, they just start from opposite sides. (You could just as easily reverse the steps and start the knot from the right side, also).

SQK nolting

SQK nolting

.sttp 2

Stip 1

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•Stfp 3

.Step 5

.Step 5

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