Tying Knots – Jewelry, Art and Just For Fun

Knots can be horrific messes to clean up, simple, but extremely useful tools, or gorgeous additions to crafts, clothing or hair styles. I’ve always liked them, personally, and if I get restless, sometimes I’ll grab a string and start knotting it in various ways.

I don’t really have any formal training in knot work, so the vast majority of methods I know are either things I figured out on my own or what I’ve learned from books and the Internet.

Celtic Knot Work
This type of knot is probably one of the best known in artistic communities. Celtic knots have a long history of deep, spiritual meaning, and use in home decor, jewelry and clothing. Thanks to the patterns of invasion and trade, there have been ancient examples of Celtic knot work found in France, Germany and throughout Europe.

Today, knot work still holds a special place in many peoples’ hearts. My mom and step-dad chose to have their wedding rings patterned after Celtic knots. There are also some outstanding tattoos, and tutorials online on how to draw knots as well as make jewelry out of them. I’d designed the patterns below off of a tutorial I’d found online.

The border I’d designed and stenciled onto part of our living room wall.
I should really finish the room, one of these days.

Knotted Bracelets and Lanyards
Macrame and friendship bracelets are both examples of various types of knot work used for making

Well, it’s a work in progress.

jewelry. Last week, I actually started making a lead for a pen to use on my white board out.

But these types of projects are ideal for children to do, especially when they get bored. It can also be a great, inexpensive way to keep a detail oriented child busy for quite a while. Sometimes, you can find embroidery floss in garage sales or thrift stores. I had found a good sized box packed with the stuff at a garage sale for 50 cents, so it is out there.

Although it can be extremely frustrating for someone with fine motor problems, the majority of people will be able to create some rather impressive things with enough patience. I tend to find it relaxing and a good way to regain focus once I’ve lost it for whatever reason. It must be the repetitive motion.

What’s also very neat about incorporating knot work into jewelry is how easy it is to add beads as you go. When done right, the pattern of knots combines with the texture or sparkle of beads to create a piece with a unique beauty seldom found elsewhere.

Fun Knots
Although the types of knots I’d talked about above have a sense of permanence to them, it’s important to remember that knots can be untied, too. This temporary nature can make them a good option for fun and unique hair styles.

Longer hair can be a pain to take care of, but if you favor the style, you probably already know that it can be a lot of fun to style. Usually, I just toss mine back in a braid or a tail, but there are some beautiful styles, like the one in the video below, that rely on very simple knots.

I may try this eventually.

So, the next time your fingers are itching for something to do, but you’re not up for starting, or continuing, a bigger project, why not grab a length of string and experiment with different types of knots?

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