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Hone Your Craft

Knot a Whole Rainbow of Grown-Up Friendship Bracelets with Sofia Ramsay

Hone Your Craft BY jane gauger 02/09/2016

 

Who knew buying thread could be a transcendent experience? For Sofia Ramsay, choosing the right colors of silk thread to adorn her silver and gold necklaces and bracelets transports her to a zen-like place. “The room goes quiet when I’m surrounded by all these colors,” she explains. You can mimic her hue high with her guide to turning a length of string into a super simple knotted bracelet that allll your friends will be clamoring for.

MATERIALS

  • Nylon cord like this—1 mm cord is pictured here.

  • Charm or pendant, optional

  • Sharp scissors

  • Lighter

 

STEP ONE

 

“Cut two lengths of knotting cord: one 20 inches long and another 8 to 12 inches long.”

 

STEP TWO

 

“Pick up the longer piece of cord. If you’re using a charm, slide it on halfway so it sits at the center of the cord. The charm shown here has a hole at the top just big enough for this cord, 1 millimeter wide. Knot the cord as close as possible to the charm so it's clean and secure.”

 

STEP THREE

 

“Pick up the longer cord (the one with the charm if using) and fold it in half. Loop the string around the finger of one hand and pull the ends through your fingers, so the two sides are parallel to each other. Hold your parallel cords nice and tight between your middle and ring fingers to create tension.”

 

STEP FOUR

 

“Pick up the shorter length of cord and pass it through, so it is between the parallel cords and your middle finger. Make sure your two strands are even and the parallel cords are taut. Now you're ready to start the macrame. Create a number ‘4’ by crossing the left strand of the shorter cord over the parallel cords and under the right strand.”

 

STEP FIVE

 

“Tuck the right strand under the parallel cords and pass it through the loop created by the left strand. You've created a knot around the parallel cords. Pull the strands tight to secure your first knot.”

 

STEP SIX

 

“Maintaining tension—especially in the parallel cords and where the center of the macrame cord is wedged between your finger and the parallel cords—is key here. Keep going back and forth, alternating the sides where you begin your knot, until you have enough knots to satisfy your design. For this bracelet, I always do eight.”

 

STEP SEVEN

 

“Once you have enough knots, it's time to trim and melt the ends. Hold the lighter close to the trimmed edge, being careful not to melt it to the parallel cords. Blow on the ends and give it a pinch so it doesn’t harden into a blob. This part takes practice and also stinks a little. Try to wear a mask or at least open a window. A tiny dot of superglue is a good alternative if the lighter is not your jam or if you're substituting the synthetic nylon cord for a natural material such as hemp or cotton.”

 

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STEP EIGHT

 

“Now carefully slide the loose strands of your bracelet open to fit your hand at the widest point and tie a knot at each end. Melt the loose ends with a lighter too. To make a neat-looking end, quickly blow on the melted ends and pinch with your fingers. If you've gotten your tension right, the bracelet cord should slide through the macrame when tugged on, allowing an adjustable fit.”

 

STEP NINE

 

“Congratulations, it’s a bracelet! Take her out into the world and revel in your DIY success.”

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