Easy Knotting Between Beads?

Well, yes, there is an easy to knot between beads, especially the ones that aren’t pearls and so have rather large holes.

Are you ready? OK.

Pick a silk size that will go through the beads twice with just a little slidey room. You don’t want to have to shove hard to get the second pass through, but there shouldn’t be room for a third strand either. If you are making a fairly short necklace, you can use two passes of one long strand. If you are making a looooong swingy necklace, you might want to use two packets. We’re going to assume one strand of around 6 meters and a choker length for this. If the kinks in the silk bother you, wet the silk cord and drape it over a door with a folded towel on top. Hang weights on the ends (hair clippies do nicely) and let it dry overnight.

Give yourself a nice long tail on the strand, like 8 to 10 inches, depending on the length. (It doesn’t really have to be precise, you just DON’T want to have it too short.) Put on a bead stopper and start stringing beads. String enough to make the length you want, less one or two. This whole thing is kind of “fuzzy,” because the actual length of the finished piece depends on how large the silk is, how big the beads are, how big the knots are, and how many knots there are. This is why we’re not attaching the knot covers or french wire and clasp at first. To me, the ease of getting all the knots perfect and close makes up for the annoying part of attaching the clamshell afterward.

After you have strung what seems to be enough beads, making sure your tail is ample, slide on a clamshell/knot cover, tie a knot, and go back through the hole. Loop the thread and make a knot around the original stringing thread with the needle. Pay attention to how you do this, because it’s important to make all of the knots the same way. Go through the bead and knot around the thread for each space between beads. If it’s easier for you, use an awl or darning needle to move the knot close to the bead. Or slide the knot by shoving it with the next bead.

Keep a reasonable tension on the second thread, but don’t stress yourself worrying about it. Pull on the tail occasionally to shove the beads and knots close together. When you are close to the end, test the length and remove beads if necessary. Tie the last knot around, put both the needle end and the tail end through a clamshell and tie the two ends together. Drop a dot of glue and let dry, then cut the ends and close. Attach the clasp.


Cheating!!? What? You would rather use a knotting tool? That’s fine. But sometime when you realize you have one hour to finish a knotted necklace for your sister-in-law, you’ll thank us.

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