Friday, 18 February 2011

Double knotting a necklace

If you want to knot a beaded necklace with semi precious stones, but the holes in the stones are quite large, what's the solution?

I'd got these lovely S-shaped 'slab' beads in dyed turquoise agate (that's an agate dyed a turquoise colour, not huge turquoise beads, BTW!) and was keen to use them.  My favourite thing to make is always a knotted necklace. However, a single knot in the beading thread would just disappear into the rather large bead hole. Thicker beading cord might have been an option, but I wanted to use 6mm howlite beads with a smaller drill hole in between the large slabs - any larger round beads and the slabs might spin or pivot when worn and that's always annoying - so I was a bit stuck.

 I have some pearls which are double knotted, but the knots lie side by side, adding to the length of the necklace.  It looks great with those organic freeform pearls, but wouldn't have been right for this more structured design.

My solution was double knotting.  First, doing a normal single knot close to the bead.  I always use knotting tweezers, as this gets the knot exactly where I want it...

Next, I knotted over the knot I'd just made.  It took a little practice to get the result neat.  The best way seems to be to position the tweezers so that they are at the cross over point in the first knot, and very gently roll the second knot into place, not pulling as tightly as you would for a normal single knot.  Then the second knot was more inclined to sit neatly with a little overlap ...

 I liked the results.  There is still some movement between the bead hole and the double knot around the dyed turquoise agate stones, which adds to the fluidity of the necklace.  A big necklace that it too rigid can be uncomfortable to wear, in my humble opinion.  Also, there is very little pivoting of the larger stone, as the little howlite bead is very securely in place.  And because the knots look like little spacer beads, there's another shade of blue in the design. 

What do you think?

The finished design is in my Etsy shop.


  1. Excellent post - very informative, not that I do jewellery, but I found it interesting

  2. Lovely unusual beads. I must try knotting a necklace sometime.

  3. You make it look & sound easy - bet it's more complicated then that!! Lush bracelet.... x


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