Tie a Knot in Your Friendship

The other day, bored, I stumbled across a website about friendship bracelets. Inspired, I began investigating patterns of all sorts. Such an array! The craft began in Central America  and then became popular in the US during the 1970s. These bracelets consist of a lot of weaving and knotting which is a form of macramé. In keeping with tradition, the person who has been given the bracelet must wear it until the warps fray and drop naturally to praise the effort and love for the friend who made it, thus the bracelet is a symbol of friendship.

Bracelets I’ve made!

I’m hoping to integrate this type of knotting and weaving into some of my work as you can use such beautiful colours and pattern. I could maybe use recycled materials such as plastic bags, cut-up t-shirts, increase the scale etc. Just some suggestions.

Oh and if you are wanting to learn some basic knotting here is something to get you on your way 🙂

All friendship bracelets are made using two basic knots: forward knots and backward knots:

Forward Knot

1. Strands side by side.

2. Pass the left strand over the right to create a 4 shape with the threads like below.

3. Then take the left strand under the right and pull upwards to the left to tighten the loop. Do this same process one time more to finish your forward knot.

Backward Knot

1. Strands side by side.

2. Take the right strand over the left strand just as below.

3. Then take the right strand under the left and pull upwards to the right to tighten the loop. Again every knot consists of two of these loops to prevent the bracelet from curling. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Bracelet Patterns:

TAISHA

This simple bracelet should start you off nicely.

You need 4 different coloured threads (1.5m/60 inches long) to create this chevron pattern.

I have used: Sap Green (S1 and S8), Cyan (C2 and C7), Olive Green (O3 and O6), and Jungle Green (J4 and J5).

1a. (Row 1)

Forward Knots

Fold the 1.5m/60 inch long threads in half and tie a knot. Pass a safety pin through the loop or any other device that will keep the end secure whilst you work. Separate the threads into order, mirroring the colours on each side like above.

1b.

Begin at the left-hand side and forward knot thread S1 around C2 like above.

1c.

Forward knot thread S1 around O3 like above. Pull tight so the knot sits against the first knot. [REMEMBER EVERY KNOT CONSISTS OF TWO LOOPS!]

1d.

Forward knot S1 around J4 and tighten. Well done your half way finishing this row! You will see that S1 has moved to the middle:

1e.

Now move to the right-hand side and make a backward knot with S8 around C7 like above.

1f.

Backward knot S8 around O6 like above.

1e.

Backward knot S8 around J5 and tighten against the others to form the second half of the row. After tightening it should look something like this:

1f.

Finally to finish the row make a backward knot with S8 around S1.

2a. (Row 2)

Backward Knots

Start the second row at the left-hand side, making forward knots with C2 around O3, C2 around J4, and finally C2 around S8. Make sure you pull each knot tight up against the first row.

2b.

Shift to the right-hand side and begin backward knotting C7 around O6, C7 around J5, and finally C7 around S1. Tightening each knot up against the first row.

2c.

Make a backward knot with C7 around C2 as below and pull tight. Well done you have now finished your second row!

Adjust the knots to create even V-shapes in your bracelet , so it looks something like below.

Follow this exact same principles to complete your bracelet. Starting on the left-hand side thread into the middle, then move to the right-hand thread into the middle again and knot in centre. When finishing each row you should have each side mirroring colours.

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5 thoughts on “Tie a Knot in Your Friendship

  1. Nancey Hisel says:

    Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, particularly because I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last Friday.

  2. brittanydomo says:

    Awesome! I’m using this as a template for a guitar strap I will be making later tonight. It’s so hard to find clear instructions/patterns online, but this is exactly what I needed.
    Thank you!

  3. irris says:

    Hi just wanna ask, what kind of thread is that? I know it is an embroidery thread but i used monaco balls, but it doesnt look that nice as what you and others did. 😦 pls just respond to my email add. You can also check out my page http://www.facebook.com/armlovin thank you so much 🙂

    • Zoe says:

      Hello there! Yes, I used Anchor embroidery thread as the colours are amazing and the thread is strong. You just have to make sure the each thread doesn’t get all twisted or else you could have problems and it can look ‘untidy’. Thanks for the interest.

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