Knotty necklaces: Working with fibers

Knotty necklace

I learned about pre-threaded bead cord from my favorite local bead store, and I’ve become obsessed with it. The great thing about buying it pre-threaded is that it comes on a needle thin enough to get through even your little beads without breaking them. Then you can buy it in a bunch of different colors and sizes to get the look that you want.

Knot closeup
Here you can see closer that I just tied a knot at the top and bottom of each bead, and then left about 1/2 an inch between each bead.

Crimp closeup
When you use fibers instead of chain, there are a couple of different findings you can use to attach it to a clasp. Here’s a bead tip finding where you thread the fiber and then close the metal down around it. Or a cord coil where you smush the coils down tight on a cord. Or as I did here, a cord cap where you use pliers to close those tabs down.

Big knotty necklace
I used this same technique on a larger scale with these great big chunky beads. Since they were so much bigger I could use a ribbon and thread it right through.

big knot closeup
Since I was making this a tiered necklace, I wanted to vary the look. Look at how different each strand looks just by changing the space between knots.

Closure closeup
Since I was going with several strands of ribbon, and I had all kinds of those triangle jump rings left over, I skipped a traditional finding and just tied the ribbons around the ring. To make it secure, and keep the ribbon from fraying, I melted the ends together.

Knot tutorial Step 1
If this is totally rudimentary for you, just skip all the rest. But I thought I’d add it because when I have taught classes I’ve been continuously surprised by how many people – particularly the teenagers – don’t know how to tie a knot in the end of a thread. So here you go. Start by bringing the end around and crossing it over the thread.

Knot tutorial Step 2
Bring that end under the thread, and through the loop you’ve made.

Knot tutorial Step 3
Start to pull it tight, and use your thumbnail to scoot the knot along to where you want it to end up. This part can take a little practice, but you can always loosen the knot and take a second run at it.

I’ve seen some amazing things made with some really out there fibers. You bring in some of those specialty yarns with the sparkles and the fringe and you can add a whole new dimension to your jewelry.

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