Make This:

Knotted Bead Necklace

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This necklace is classic, simple and understated and coordinates with all kinds of looks. The beads are made from short pieces of cotton yarn, woven into neat little knots and then strung onto the chain. These knots are known as “turk’s head knots” and “monkey fist knots”.

Supplies and Equipment:
– yarn – this is Sugar n’ Cream
– cork or pinnable surface
– yarn needle
– straight pins
– sharp scissors
– fray check or fabric glue
– chain – fine is best – and the appropriate jump rings/clasps to suit

Measure in about 18 inches from the end of the yarn and pin it to the board. I didn’t pin through, just over. This is just for a little resistance when working. Don’t cut the yarn from the ball.

Add 3 more pins as shown – these are about 2 inches apart.


Wrap the yarn at the ball of yarn end as shown.

Thread the yarn needle on the tail end of the yarn and wrap as shown, being careful to copy the over/under carefully.

Trace the first path of yarn a second time.

Lift what you’ve done off of the pins, and put your finger through the center.


Traditionally, you’re supposed to be able to pull on the two tails of the yarn and get it to tighten into a neat ball. The yarn I used had too much friction, so I just worked my way around, pulling loose yarn through the pattern and back toward the ball of yarn.

The idea is to tighten it down to this.

I rolled it between my hands like a ball of clay to even it out.

Cut the yarn a few inches from the bead. Thread each tail onto the needle and stitch it through the bead, being careful not to undo anything. Leave the tails for now.

Work the needle through the knot to make a bead – there’s a place where 4 threads cross that was the center of the flat knot that is a good place to star.

Slide the chain through the bead. The chain actually fit into the eye of my needle so that was the easiest way for me to string it, but I was also able to just slide the bead onto the chain.

Work a drop of fray check into the bead at each tail. Let it dry a bit then cut the tails (I left them until now to prevent the beads from unraveling while getting them onto the chain.) Add the clasp to the chain and you’re done!