Making a handmade pattern using a knot as the foundation is referred to as macramé. Jewellery designers as well as home decor project makers use these decorative knotted patterns often made from cording, hemp, braid or rope. Certain macramé designs call for specific knots within pattern instructions. Beginners as well as skilled artists can practice basic knot techniques to formulate different knotting details from pattern instructions or create original designs for necklaces, bracelets and hanging plant holders.
Basic Square Knot
Recycling scrap cording or drawstring is one way to practice different knotting techniques including the basic square knot. Certain braids, ropes and cord are susceptible to fraying, as the patterns are not knotted. The square knot, often referred to as SK in pattern instructions, uses four cords as the basis. A dowel, clipboard or crafting ring holds the cords in place during knotting. Using two colours of cord allows you to distinguish which cords are the fillers, generally the two middle strands, or the working cords, generally on the outer strands. The left outer cord, crossed over the three remaining cords, looks similar to the number 4. As the outer right cord passes under and through the 4-like pattern, the half-knot forms the upper half of the square knot. Repeat in the opposite direction to form the lower half of the square knot. Pulling the ends forms the full square knot.
According to the craft site Free-Macrame-Patterns.com, "The Larks Head Knot is one of the most frequently used macrame knots in existence." This useful knot uses two cords. A horizontal cord rests over a loop. As the two ends of the loop pass through the loop opening, the lark head appears by pulling the ends closed. Use this knotting technique to create other larks-head inspired knots such as the vertical larks head and the larks head sennits, used for purse handles and plant holders. The term "sennits" refer to various chainlike knots.
Half-Hitch Knot Designs
Jewellery items like necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets often include the half-hitch knot, also known as a chain stitch. Pattern instructions refer to the half hitch as HH. This knot uses two cords folded in half. Select the working and filler cord prior to starting the chain. Writing on her website Handcrafted by Elaine, macrame expert Elaine Lieberman says, "When making a half hitch, or double half hitch, one of the cords is your knot bearer and you will hold that cord tightly and knot the other cord around it." The work cord crosses over and behind the filler to form a loop. Forming the knot in the opposite direction creates the alternating half hitch, or AHH.
Design and make original patterns with brightly coloured cords using basic knots as inspiration. Study patterns from Chinese macramé knotting patterns such as the cloverleaf, brocade or Chinese button as well as Celtic knots like the figure 8, the Celtic button and the Celtic square knot. Another option is to make decorative knot designs with complementary cord colours such as alternating square knots, snowflake designs or the lucky knot, which mixes small and large petal-like knots.