Tutorial 3: The Backward Knot

The Second Knot

I’ve told the story a hundred times at least, about how at 4 a.m. one night while feeling quite exhausted, I had an epiphany. That if I were to tie the same knot I’d been doing for months, backward, then the row would move diagonally in the other direction. In my mind, I imagined a chevron with knots starting in the center and going out in either direction. The next day I was up earlier than normal, about 7 a.m. and before coffee or food, I was grabbing the string and proving my theory to be correct. Mind you, this was back long before there was the internet. So it wasn’t like I could go watch some video or Google up a website to learn about this craft.

At this point, I’ve had to make a choice on how to show this step. I’m going to presume you did in fact master the previous step, can make the basic knot evenly and are ready to make a bracelet just how I did once I figured this out.

The setup

We want an even count of strings for this one. So that once the loop is made the strings can be divided into two equal sets.

Here we are going to start in the middle and work to the right using the knot we made the previous bracelet with. When we get to the end of that row we start back at the top and match the color sequence we did on the right and now go to the left using a knot that’s basically the same except tied backward like this:

Now if you got your tension issues worked out with the previous straight lines design, there shouldn’t be much of an issue keeping it the same with this new knot. You just work it down the row just like before.

Starting the next row, it doesn’t matter what direction you choose to go in. Just make sure your knot reflects the choice you’ve made and you’re on your way. Notice I have the colors on both sides set up the same. That’s kind of important if you’re looking for symmetry. Down the road, however, experiment and see what you come up with! For this example, I need them even to be able to show you some things you can do with these knots. So basically we now have what are called chevrons. I didn’t make up that name; it’s just what they are called. So now I’ll show you a bit of what you can do with these two knots, but I’d recommend you practice a bit more on the chevrons before you begin getting too wild.

Now we are going to halt before we get to the last string (the blue one). Note that each row gets a little smaller till there is just one knot.

Now here’s where things change a bit. The right side requires the backward knot to go left and the left side will get the first knot to go right so they will meet in the middle.

Ok, now that you get this knot I guess my best advice is to remember to always start at the top and work your way down. All the works in this image were made by me and with only these two knots, so don’t get yourself in a rush for the next tutorial. With a little practice, you would be able to make anyone of these without the need for a pattern. Don’t forget that the sequence of the strings in the very first row will set the colors in order. Mess that up and you’re off on an adventure of making something you didn’t intend on. That is unless you like untying knots. I didn’t so I got some works that surprised me when I was getting started.

If you take the time to really master this step and can make many if not all of the examples I did you should have no trouble making up something new and truly be excited to learn the last two knots.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions of what you’d like me to cover next, please add your thoughts in the section below. I’d love to hear from you and it could help make this site more useful for other knotters too!

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