Have you ever noticed that the times when you wear your best jewelry are also the times where you’re least likely to carefully put that jewelry away when you get home? These soft, hand knotted bowls make a great landing place for sparkly bits and bobs that might otherwise just be left on a counter, looking for an opportunity to fall off and meet a tragic end. These rope bowls are also really fun to make, don’t require much equipment, and have a lot of opportunities for customization.
- cotton rope – I’m using 1/8 inch | 3mm diameter rope
- cotton yarn – this is a variegated Sugar n’ Cream
- a piece of scrap string to use as a marker – I used a piece of #10 crochet thread trimmed off of another project
- clear fabric friendly glue like E6000
- fray check (optional, you could use the glue instead)
- cork panels
- sharp scissors
Start with 6 pieces of yarn. The tall bowl was made with 60 inch | 152cm pieces, the short one was made with 36 inch | 92cm pieces, and they’re both about 4 inches | 10cm in diameter.
Close to the end of the rope, make a lark’s head knot with one of the pieces of yarn.
Add a dot of glue.
Tighten the knot over the glue. Let it dry before continuing.
Tie the other 5 pieces of yarn on with lark’s head knots as well.
Trim the end of the rope, add a dot of glue over the end, and let it dry.
Curve the rope around on itself.
Tie a double half hitch knot with the first strand from the first lark’s head knot.
Be sure to tighten it up so there aren’t any gaps. This is the trickiest knot in the whole thing, take your time to get it right.
Tie double half hitches with the remaining 11 strands.
Start pinning now if you want a flat bottom, otherwise it will curve upwards.
Tuck the scrap marker string in and tie a knot with the first strand.
Cut 6 more piece – measure one of your working strands and double it for the length. Add one of them with a lark’s head knot after the first knot in this row.
Then tie a double half hitch with the other strand from that original pair.
Add another strand between each of the original pairs.
Your piece now has 24 working strands. Keep weaving that marker thread through at the end of every row, and keep pinning it all down.
Tie a full row of double half hitch knots.
Now you have 6 groups of 4 strands. Add another piece with a double half hitch at the center of each group of 4, again the same length as the other working strands.
In this row you’ll tie the first 2 strands…
… then add a strand with a double half hitch…
… them tie the other 2 strands. Repeat that 5 more times in the row.
The pattern is now:
– a row of double half hitch knots
– a row of double half hitch knots where you add a new strand at the center of each group of 6
You’ll continue adding a new strand every other row (at the center of the group of 6 strands, then 8 strands, then 10 strands, and so on) until the bottom is the size you want it to be. And that’s it, you just stop when it’s the size you want, ending after a row of knots where you don’t add any new strands.
I stopped when I had 60 working strands.
Now you choose which is the inside and which is the outside of the bowl. This is what the reverse looks like.
I kept the same side up as I had been. Either way, keep making rows of double half hitch knots, but without adding strands. This will mean you rope stops spiraling out and starts spiraling up.
Each row will make the bowl taller. Be careful to keep the rows stacked very evenly if you want a tall, straight sided container.
When it’s tall enough or you’re about to run out of yarn you’ll need to switch things up for the last row. Tie the first strand with an ordinary double half hitch.
Then wrap the yarn around the knot you just made – it should sort of settle into the center of the double half hitch.
Tighten it down.
Do the same thing with every knot until you’re about 3/4 of the way around.
Cut your rope so it will extend a little past the end of the last row. Apply a layer of glue or fray check all over the outside of the rope and allow it to dry. Gently remove your marker strand.
Use your scissors to carefully taper the rope so it gets narrower at the end. On my second one I removed the wrap and left the core, both methods were about equally successful.
Make those same knots + a wrap with the remaining strands up to the very last strand. Add some glue where the last knot will go. Add some more glue and wrap the end around like you did with the rest of the knots.
When the glue is set up carefully trim the rope.
If you have enough yarn for it apply some glue to the end and then do your best to conceal the rope with another wrap.
Apply a line of glue or fray check in the gap under that top row of rope and let it dry.
Carefully trim each tail. It’s totally optional, but I put a dot of fray check in each place I cut a tail, just for a little extra security.
Add jewelry, makeup brushes, keys, or whatever else you’d like to keep track of!