Knot On My Coasters

coasters in use

This series of posts began with a tutorial on the two ways to tie overhand knots, and how to tie the double and triple overhand knot variations: tie these knots in an I-cord or cast on/bind off cord, and you have an easy necklace or bracelet. The next post showed you some of my experiments with making these knots on knit fabric. And this post shows you how to use the knots on a project, a set of drink-ring-preventing coasters.

Design Decisions

I have quite a bit of odd balls of cotton in my stash, a good choice for coasters that will have cold and hot mugs and glasses on them. These are almost all worsted and sport weight, and there’s a nice variety of colors too: background yarn choice made.

For the embellishment, I wanted something close in weight to the background. The knots might stand out more in a heavier weight, but the resulting raised surface might be too irregular for some of my mugs to sit flat. I decided that the contrast for this project would come not from a difference in weight but in color. To mark the embellishing rows, I decided to use needle elongation to make those rows taller— I would work them with a needle 4-5 sizes larger.

Stitch pattern: stockinette makes a nice smooth surface for both coasters and embellishments. Since I wanted the coasters to be flat, that meant I needed to experiment with border patterns that would counter the curl of stockinette at both bottom and sides. What about dropping stitches at the sides to form fringe, which would be tied with oh, overhand knots?! Thumb’s up—choice made. What to do at top and bottom, thought—Garter? Seed? Reverse stockinette?

My first swatch was an experiment with all these elements, gauge and coaster size, and embellishing spacing. The coaster depth was ok, but it wasn’t quite wide enough. I liked the fringed edges, but decided I wanted a little more spacing at the side edge, so if I added a couple more border stitches what would also fix the width issue. The embellishing spacing was ok, I did NOT like the garter stitch at top and bottom.

In my next swatch I added the width stitches at the sides, used reverse stockinette stitch as a bottom and top border, and tried spacing embellishments farther apart. This swatch was closer to my vision, but ended up being taller than I wanted—I wanted coaster, not mug mat.

My final swatch gave me exactly what I wanted. I had my pattern, and could begin with “project yarn” and needles!


Coaster

Materials

10 g of sport weight cotton yarn
US 4, 5 and 10 needles
tapestry needle, scissors, crochet hook or your fingers for fringe!

Four stitches either side will be dropped for fringe. One stitch on the other side of the marker from them is worked through the back loop throughout to help hold dropped fringe in place before knotting, and one st in from it is purled as spacer.

Instructions

coaster with knitting completeWith US 4 needle, cast on 30 sts.

Next row (RS): k4, place marker, p1 tbl, purl to last 5 sts, p1 tbl, place marker, k4.
Next row (WS): k4, sm, k1 tbl, knit to last 5 sts, k1 tbl, sm, k4.

Slip markers as you come to them from this point forward.

Row 1 (RS): with US 5 needle, k4, k1 tbl, p1, knit to last 6 sts, p1, k1 tbl, k4.
Row 2 (WS): k4, p1 tbl, k1, purl to last 6 sts, k1, p1 tbl, sm, k4.
Row 3: k4, k1 tbl, p1, knit to last 6 sts, p1, k1 tbl, k4.
Row 4: with US 10 needle, k4, p1 tbl, k1, purl to last 6 sts, k1, p1 tbl, sm, k4.

Repeat Rows 1-4  four times, then Rows 1-3 once.

Next row (WS): with US 4 needle, k4, sm, k1 tbl, knit to last 5 sts, k1 tbl, sm, k4.
Next row (RS): k4, pm, p1 tbl, purl to last 5 sts, p1 tbl, pm, k4.

Bind off row (WS): k4, remove marker, bind off until 4 sts rem on left needle, fasten off, leaving a 4-inch tail. Slip needle out of 4 fringe sts on each side. Do not unravel fringe.

Knotting

Cut five 20-inch lengths of contrast color yarn. *Thread one strand on tapestry needle. working from left to right in one of the rows of elongated stitches, and leaving 4-inch tail for fringe, insert needle from front to back under the twisted stitch, in front of purl stitch, and under next knit stitch, returning the needle to the front.

coasters tutorial 1

[Strand across three stitches, insert needle from front to back, then right to left under 2 stitches and up between stitches 1 and 2 of the three, making sure needle is ABOVE the horizontal strand. Pull gently, and holding strand taut with left index finger, tie a triple overhand knot with needle around the strand (see last post for details).  Dress the knot.] 5 times across row.

coasters tutorial 2

Finish by stranding across one stitch, under one stitch, over purl column and under the twisted stitch. Repeat from * for each elongated row.

Fringe

Beginning at bind off edge on one side, **gently unravel several rows of fringe stitches. Smooth yarn loops out to side; cut each loop at its midpoint to form individual strands. Starting at the top, gather 3-4 strands (tails too, where they exist) and tie them in an overhand knot (tip: insert a tapestry or knitting needle in the center of the knot, hold it near fabric’s edge, and tighten knot around it first; when tight as possible, remove needle and cinch down until it is flush with the fabric edge). Repeat from ** for remaining rows of the side. Repeat for other side. Trim fringe to desired length.

coasters tutorial 3

coasters tutorial 4

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Knot on the Fabric

Overhand knots on fabric

So now that you know all about making overhand knots, it is time to put them on knit fabric. To test out what was possible I made two swatches, both with a row of elongated stitches (wrap each stitch twice, work only once into the double wrap on the following row) to work the knots along. These two rows were in Stockinette stitch on both swatches, surrounded by garter stitch on one swatch (blue) and Stockinette on the other (purple).

You’ll see double and triple overhand knots on both swatches. You’ll see I also tried several types of embellishing elements. On the blue swatch I used a bulky plied yarn and on the purple swatch I used a worsted single-spun, both on its own and worked into a crochet chain. The latter makes it easier to see what I did to knot on the fabric.

For this tutorial, we’ll be stranding across one stitch and knotting around two. I worked from left to right, but you can work either way, whichever is most comfortable. Thread the crochet chain onto a tapestry needle. Hold the non-working end off the edge of the knit fabric, horizontally to the left as if it were connected to something (in the photo. In the photo, mine is connected to a previous knot.

 

The horizontal strand connects the knot to the previous knot, so be careful you it doesn’t end up being too loose after step 4. You may need to gently redistribute extra length back through the knot itself. As when learning to knit, your fingers need some time to learn how to get the right tension on your knots.

Working with stretchy yarn is more difficult than working with rope, string, and other firm elements. Sometimes a plied yarn can become “unplied” as you tie; try working the knot the other way if this happens (i.e. under then over, rather than over then under). The twist can often be restored by simply letting go of the end so it re-twists itself; barring that try twisting it back yourself.

So what can you do with this knotting technique? How about working it across a couple of square fringed coasters? Tune in next time to see how they turn out!

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Knotting: The Overhand Knot

overhand knot jewelry

Tie it at the end of sewing thread, at the bottom of a rope or fringe to prevent fraying, as a stopper knot, or at the four corners of a handkerchief to improvise a sun hat. The overhand knot is multipurpose, and the basis for many other knots. Did you know there are actually two ways to tie it? Chances are your hands naturally make it one way or the other; let’s take a look at both ways, and then at two simple decorative versions you can see in the necklaces above.

Tying the Knot

Overhand knots over and under

In knotting, an end that is manipulated is a “working end” and an end that doesn’t is a “standing end.” Tightening a knot is called “shaping up.”

In the top pair of photos, the working end goes over the standing end and through the resulting loop from back to front. Gentle tugging shapes up the knot.

In the bottom pair of photos, the working end goes under the standing end and over, through the resulting loop from front to back. Gentle tugging shapes up the knot.

With a piece of rope or cord, watch your hands tie an overhand knot. Which knot do they make automatically, right over left or right under left? Now try tying the knot the other way. Feels weird, right?

Overhand knots two ways.

At left, the two knots are shown in series. Bend the cord in the middle, and you can see they are mirror images of each other.

Why would you want to know how to tie it both ways? Perhaps to use the opposing knots in the same project, adding a bit of decorative aspect as you tie them one after another in a bracelet or in multiple chains of a necklace. (Or across your knit fabric, as you’ll see in the next post of this series).

Going Around Again. And Again.

Double overhand

Double overhand knot, over and under method.

The simplest variation on an overhand knot? The double overhand knot.

Tuck the working end around one more time before gently pulling the two ends in opposite directions. As you shape up the knot, twist the ends slightly in opposite directions to help the knot’s turns nest with each other.

Triple overhand

Triple overhand knot, over and under method.

If you can go around once, what happens if you go around one more time? Why, you get a triple overhand knot!

Tuck the working end around three times before shaping up the knot. As with the double, twist ends slightly in opposite directions.

As someone whose mother grew up in the Depression and therefore taught her daughter Extreme Thriftiness, I have not just a stash of yarn but a stash of odds and ends. A great way to use up these odds and ends? Make lengths of I-cord, crochet chain cords, or cast-on/bind-off cord with scraps, and tie them into bracelets, necklaces, key fobs, and the like. Below you’ll see a few I’ve made using our friend the overhand knot, variously single, double, or triple. One, the green at lower right, is made with a rubber “yarn” I got at my LYS, ImagiKnit. Another (inside the beaded I-cord necklace) is plied cotton cord from the hardware store. The rest are yarn leftovers.

Overhand knot projects

On the question of how to make your knotted length wearable: Some I’ve tied closed with tails, braided tails, or loops and knots. Others are closed with jewelry findings like these; head over to Craftsy if you’re interested in learning how to make your own findings. It’s really pretty easy.

Interested but need more help? Below are some references in my knotting library. Stay tuned for next post, where I’m going to take these overhand knots and apply them to knit fabric—a new knot and how to apply it, KLITCH class students!

References


Chinese, Celtic & Ornamental Knots for Beaded Jewellery Book by Suzen Millodot – $20.24

from: CreateForLess


4th Level Indie Paracord Project Inspirations Book by J. D. Lenzen – $12.49

from: CreateForLess


Cico Paracord Jewelry & Other Accessories Book – $11.99

from: CreateForLess

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

National Craft Month is here!

During National Craft Month two years ago I explored two new hobby areas I’d always wanted to learn more about. The first was photography, as in photography with a REAL camera (remember those?). I watched Rick Allred’s Basics of Digital Photography class on Craftsy, tried to learn and practice a few things to make it all stick, and wrote about it. I certainly learned a lot, and I think you can see the difference in my photographs here and on social media.

The second hobby I wanted to learn more about was jewelry. as I’d mucked around a bit with jump rings and bead cones and the like but wanted to know if I’d “done it right.” For this I turned to Craftsy again, and Candie Cooper’s class on Beading with Wire, Chain, and Leather. Candie has a great upbeat attitude, and some nice projects that I WILL get to some day. I’ve used what I learned  in some of my newer knotting projects. You can read about my experience with that class here.

All Craftsy Classes Under $20 at Craftsy.com 3/8-3/11/18.

In addition to writing about what I was learning, I wrote a series of craft blog posts to share what I know. The first covered making single-row stripes in my usual medium, knitting. The second contained a tutorial on tying a braid knot with different elements (yarn itself, knit I-cord, cast-on bind-off cord, and slip-stitch crochet cord). In the third, I detailed how to make a small cardboard loom and do some basic weaving moves (I was obsessed with this at the time—need to get back to it soon!). And the final post of the series showed how to use herringbone stitch, an embroidery technique, on a bandana scarf I had made but didn’t wear as it didn’t seem *finished*.


So what am I doing this year for National Craft Month? Next post I want to talk about knotting, something I’ve been dabbling in for a few years and the “K” in my KLITCH class (going to STITCHES United in Hartford, CT? I’ll be teaching it there!). What can you do with an overhand knot, besides make the first stitch of a cast-on? Hmmm… :-)

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave