Basic Square Knot Hemp Necklace
Here’s what you’ll need-
- Hemp Cord or Twine (Cord is more finely polished and more tightly spun than twine. It will give you a much smoother finish for jewelry. Twine is fine, too-especially if it’s polished-it just may have a few imperfections you’ll have to work with. 20# test is the most commonly used for jewelry. This is about 1 mm in size and works great for adding beads. It is available in its natural tan color or dyed in a variety of colors.)
- Beads and fetishes (These are optional depending on your design. Wooden beads, bone, and gemstones are great for a natural look. Glass, plastic, metal, or fimo beads offer more of a contrast. You will need beads with at least a 2mm hole.) Something to secure your project (I prefer to use a clipboard. You can place one knotted end under the clip and your project will lie relatively flat. It’s also portable, so you can take your projects with you.)
Measuring for your hemp necklace:
When measuring the length of the strands for a necklace, bracelet, or anklet- wrap a strand of hemp around your neck, wrist, or ankle to the length you would like. Then add several inches to allow for making your clasp and just to be safe. This is the length you will need for your non-working (middle) strands. For your working (outside) strands, you will need to add several feet to allow for all the knots you will be tying. If your design consists of a lot of beads, you won’t need quite as much hemp, because you will be tying fewer knots.
The square knot is one of the most basic knots and is used often in making hemp jewelry. For the necklace pictured above, I used four strands of hemp. Two strands stay stationary in the middle, while the other two strands are knotted around those middle strands. To get started, join your four strands in an overhand knot, allowing room to make your clasp at the end. Now you’re ready to make your first square knot.
Start with strand B on the right. Bring this behind strands C and over strand A, forming a small loop to the right side. Pick up strand A making sure to keep it behind strand B. Take it over strands C and then through the loop to the right. Pull your knot tight. This completes half of the square knot (and is appropriately called a half knot).
To finish your square knot, you will need to make another half knot- this time in the opposite direction. So, you will start on the left this time. Pull strand A behind strands C and over strand B, leaving a small loop to the left. Take strand B over strands C and through the loop to the left. Pull the knot tight. There-your square knot is done To form the necklace, simply make a chain of square knots. Be sure to pull your knots tight. If you lose your place or are confused which side to start on next, you will always start with the strand that is facing forward, not the one facing the back.
To add a bead to your necklace, slide it over the middle two strands. Get it as close to the previous knot as possible. Go around the bead with the outside strands and tie your square knot as usual. Continue knotting and adding beads until you achieve the look and the length you want. To finish, tie another overhand knot. Leave enough of a tail to tie your necklace on. Cut off any excess length of hemp. Good job, you have done it!
Enjoy your new hemp necklace!