Nautical Knot Necklace

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I was trying to come up with some last-minute present ideas back in December when I came across this one on the internets. Everyone likes necklaces, right? And nautically-themed things? Yes. Yes, they do.

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So there’s some things you’re gonna need: a couple metres braided nylon cord (you can pick this up in craft and fabric stores; small pieces of felt in colours that match the cord; some tiny pliers; hot glue gun and glue; small split rings or jump rings; ribbon ends (or pinch crimps or whatever they’re called); and spring rings or lobster clasps.

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You might also need a little bit of tape if your cord comes unbraided when you cut it. The coiled stuff will come undone, whereas the braided stuff will probably stay put.

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Next, decide if you want your necklace to be four or six strands wide. The version I saw on tuts+ had six strands, but with the amount of cording I bought (6 metres each), I ended up having only enough to make two necklaces of four strands each. So cut your cord into four (or six) equal pieces, and make them a little longer than you would like your finished necklace to be. Divide your strands into two groups.

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To create the basic nautical knot, start by making a wee fishie out of one set of strands: create a loop where the strands cross over themselves, as shown below.

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Do the same thing with the other set of strands, in the opposite direction. Lay the second loop over the first loop such that the top loop part is over the crossed strands of the loop below, and the crossed part of the top loop is over the loop part of the strands below.

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Now things get a bit complicated to explain, but once you do it you’ll totally get it. The idea behind tying these knots is that the top strands will alternate going over and under the bottom strands. So in this picture you can see that all the top strands are currently above the lower strands, and that’s not going to work.

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Here’s where we pull out the loops and start alternating the over/under part. So to the right you see the part where the bottom loop strand crosses under itself. That means the next one, in the bottom centre, has to go under. You can see that the far left one goes over, and the one in the middle goes over. So the one that I haven’t done yet therefore will have to go under. Yeah so that’s not easy to talk about.

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Basically make sure that each time your strands cross over each other, that they alternate going under and over.

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Then you do the same with the other side. Under. Over. Under. Over …

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So when your cording looks like this, with all the appropriate unders and overs, then you’re ready to pull.

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Grab the ends of your cording and gently pull them away from each other and tighten your knot.

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Keep pulling, and then you have an honest-to-goodness nautical knot!

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You can tug on the individual cords to make the knot even.

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So that’s cool and all, but I figured once I had that basic knot down, I should go a little bit bigger, and better. So I doubled the number of loops!

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This takes a little bit more finesse.

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And certainly a longer time to weave all the under/overs.

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Then you can carefully pull it tight.

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And adjust the individual cords.

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AND THEN YOU HAVE THIS AMAZING THING.

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This is the version I did with the larger coiled cord.

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So then you arrange your necklace how you’d like it to look.

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This red one is going to be off-centre. Because asymmetry is cool.

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Trim the ends of the cording straight across but at a slight angle.

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Then cut a tiny square of felt and glue your cord ends to half of it.

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Fold it over and glue it down. Trim off excess felt.

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Then you take one of those ribbon end/pinch crimp things and use your pliers to crimp onto the piece of felt.

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Do it to the other one as well.

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Add a jump ring to each side.

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DO NOT EAT THESE THINGS. I like how in the warnings it’s only the Spanish version that uses exclamation points.

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Next you’ve got the spring rings to deal with. Lobster clasps are easier, but I couldn’t find any at the time.

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Add those suckers on.

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NECKLACE COMPLETE.

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And it didn’t take long!

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Fast-Tip Friday: Storing Jewelry

(Sorry for the glitch with the photographs there, folks. Seems Flickr is subtly changing the addresses of my photos after I’ve already posted them …)

Next week is jammed packed chock full of fantastically amazing recipes, so I’m going to leave you hanging with a handy tip to tide you over for the weekend.

Get ready for a shock: this is my jewelry box.

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I know it looks totally chaotic, but I swear it’s organized.

The thing is, I own a huge amount of jewelry.  Most of it is just costume stuff, but some of it is inherited.  I’m also horribly allergic to metal, so I can’t wear most of it.  At least, not until my body chemistry changes in the future.  So I keep it all stored very carefully.

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I save tiny and odd-sized plastic bags, with the Ziploc-like seals, whenever I find them.

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Then I keep my rings together.

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And my necklaces separate, which keeps their chains from tangling together and also protects them from exposure to air that will cause them to tarnish.

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And the finer chains I also take the clasp part and seal it on the other side of the closure.  I find this ensures that the fine links won’t tangle with themselves or with the heavier clasp.

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Whenever I go home I usually spend an hour or so with my mother’s jewelry collection, doing the same thing.  For stuff that you don’t wear all that often, it really works.

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