Need Some Help Tying Macrame Knots?

These illustrations will provide assistance with basic macrame knot tying.

Lark’s Head (LH) and Reverse Lark’s Head (RLH): Fold each length of cord in half. Fold the loop down over the cords toward you.

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Square Knot (SK):  To tie a square knot, you will need preferably four (4) cords, though three will work. But normally you will tie a SK with 4 cords, two knotting and two filler.

For this knot, the two outside cords are called the knotting cords or tying cords. The two center cords are called filler cords. Sometimes called holding cords.

A Square Knot (SK) is tied in two steps.

Step 1: Following the illustration, take the outside right hand cord and place it under the two center cords, and over the left knotting cord. Hold in place. Take the outside left-hand knotting cord and place it under the right-hand knotting cord. Holding the right-hand knotting cord in place, bring the left-hand knotting cord up over the two center cords and through the space between the right-hand center cord and the right-hand knotting cord. Take hold of the two outside cords and pull snugly into place.

Step 2: The second step is just the reverse of the first step. Take the right-hand knotting cord, place it over the two center cords and under the left knotting cord. Hold in place. Take the left-hand knotting cord and place it over the right-hand knotting cord, under and behind the center cords, and up through the space between the right-hand center cord and the right-hand knotting cord. Taking hold of the two outside knotting cords, pull snugly into place to form your Square Knot.

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Half Knot (HK): Step 1 of the square knot or Step 2 of the square knot by itself is called a half knot. When one of these steps of sequences is repeated several times, the knot begins to twist.

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Square Knot Sinnet and Half Knot Sinnet: A sinnet is a chain that is formed when knots are tied repeatedly along a filler cord.  A sinnet of square knots makes a flat solid braid. A sinnet of half knots creates a spiraling effect.

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Practice, practice, practice.

How To Tie A Macrame Square Knot Button

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Isn’t this macrame purse really pretty.* Though the pattern is decades old, it still works today. Maybe with a different handle. Just wanted to show you what a row of Square Knot Buttons looks like.

Follow along with my tutorial and you can make your own Square Knot Buttons.

How To Tie A Macrame Square Knot Button

Step 1: Find the centers of 2 cords and reverse larks head onto a ring.

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Step 2: Tie Square Knots (I have tied 6) to begin your SK Button. Drop down about 1/4 inch to create an opening for filler cords (the 2 middle cords) to go through.

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Step 3: Continue tying square knots. (I tied 6)

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Step 4: Take the 2 filler cords (the 2 middle cords) and push through the opening created in Step 2. One cord per hole. Front to back.

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Pull middle cords down firmly, tight against the back. A circle of square knots is formed.

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Here’s the side view.
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Here’s the front view.
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Step 5: Tie one square knot with the outer tying cords UNDER the circle of knots to hold button in place.

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Congratulations!! You have just created a Square Knot Button.

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The number of square knots needed to create a button is optional. Use whatever you wish to create the size button you want. I usually use 5 or 6.

If you are creating your own pattern or design, throw in a few of these for variety. Also SK buttons are a quick way to use up longer lengths of cord if for some reason you measured incorrectly and cut cords too long.

Here are photos of a plant hanger with SK Buttons.

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* Picture of Womanly Treasure and Girlish Pleasure found in Macra-Mates, Mother-Daughter Purses. #7411 Plaid Enterprises 1980.

New Macrame Purse Tutorial

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Just finished this BROWN MACRAME PURSE and thought I would share the design with you. It is my own creation. One of those ideas floating around in my head for years. A “what if” I did this or “what if” I did that.

I wanted to try out a different way of attaching the rings (handles) instead of the usual way.

This tutorial doesn’t go into great detail on making the knots. If you need that, then go to one of my other macrame tutorials. See sidebar under Tutorials.

Materials used:

  • 100 yards of 3 1/2mm brown braided macrame cord
  • 2 – 5″ brown Marbella plastic round rings

Supplies needed:

  • macrame board or covered ceiling tile (which is what I use)
  • T-pins
  • craft glue
  • scissors
  • tape measure or ruler


Step 1: Cut 56 cords 1 3/4 yards long and two 1 yard cords. (Put aside one yard cords for later.)

Step 2: Find centers of the 1 3/4 yd cords and pin to macrame board side-by-side with T-pins.

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Step 3: CREATING SQUARE KNOT SECTIONS. Tie a Square Knot (SK) with each pair of 2 cords to create 28 square knot sections. (14 for front and 14 for back)

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Remove each from the board after tying and tighten, removing any loops formed at the tops. Set aside. Continue tying until you have 28 SK sections.

Step 4: TYING ALTERNATING SQUARE KNOTS. Line up all 28 square knot sections on board side-by-side.

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Begin tying knots. Alternating square knots (ASK). Take 2 cords from one square knot section and 2 cords from the next square knot section. Tie one SK. Continue along this row. When finished drop down and continue doing the same for the next row. (You will have untied cords on the sides. Not to worry, those will be filled in when sides are joined.)

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Step 5: FORMING A CIRCLE. After you have tied a few rows, remove knotted section from the board and form a circle. You will begin tying in the round. Join the two sides by tying one SK with 2 cords from the left and 2 cords from the right. (See photo)

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Step 6: Continue tying SK’s. Fill in any missing SK’s in each row.

Step 7: Now continue tying alternating SK’s in the round until you have reached about 9″ in height. (For me, that was 24 rows) Or continue tying until you reach your desired height, remembering to allow enough cord to tie up the bottom. Make sure the knots in the last row are tied really tight.

Step 8: ATTACHING PURSE HANDLES. OK, purse is almost done. Knots are tied and you are ready to add the handles.

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Position the rings (handles) on top of SK sections #5 and #10. Make note of which holes you will be weaving in and out of to attach the handles by looking at which holes the ring overlaid. Take one of the 1 yard cords and start attaching one ring. Starting on the top left. The first hole. Go in the hole, around the ring and out the SAME hole. Go on to the next hole and the next, following the ring. Repeat for the other side. Secure the cord on the inside either by knotting the ends or tying the 2 cord ends together.

Step 9: Turn purse inside out. Press flat with tops of the front square knot sections matching up with the back tops. You should have 14 on front side and 14 on back side. Line up the sides and tie an overhand knot ON THE ENDS in the 2 cords on each side. To mark them. Doing so will help you align sides correctly when tying up the bottom.

Step 10: TYING UP PURSE BOTTOM. Put purse between your knees, bottom up. With the 2 side cords OUT OF THE WAY, get the cords in position to begin tying knots. Make sure cords are all dangling on the sides. Be careful not to “drop” any that may be buried on the inside. Start tying a SK with 2 cords from the left side of the purse and 2 cords from the right side of the purse. Continue tying SK’s. Always 2 from the left, 2 from the right. When you reach the end, there should be 2 leftover cords. The 2 side cords you tied overhand knots from Step 9. Finish them off with a tight knot at the top.

Step 11: This step is a BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY step. Turn purse with the OUTSIDE out. Inspect the bottom. Are the sides aligned correctly and not lopsided?

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Is the purse straight and able to stand up?

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If the purse is not lopsided, you are good to go!! Turn purse back inside out. Sorry. (Remember, better safe than sorry.)

Step 12: FINISHING UP. You are almost finished!! Since you are happy with the bottom, you can now tighten up the bottom knots. Apply craft glue to both sides of each SK that tied up the bottom. Allow to dry.

Step 13: Cut cord ends leaving about 1/2″ to 3/4″. Melt cord tips (ends) slightly to prevent fraying. Using matches or a cigarette lighter, touch cord a nanosecond, making sure not to burn or scorch cord.

Step 14: Turn outside out and pat yourself on the back. Enjoy your new creation!!

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Measurements: 8 1/4″ H, 11″ L, 1″ W

Crochet Squares 23 & 24

Monday, June 1

Finished these a week ago but just getting them posted. Squares 23 and 24. That makes 20 total squares finished. Still a ways to go but am feeling confident that I will make it to 100 or 101 IF I finish the Bear Square. Eventually.

No problems with the directions for either. I like them and will probably make them again. It is getting harder and harder trying to decide which ones not to make into something. So far, there’s only a couple on the Do Not Make Again list.

Square 23
This one has the special Cluster Stitch in the center and also in the corners.

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I didn’t take many photos. Each round was basically the same, just getting bigger. Here’s the finished square.

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And Square 24. Tiny, quick to make. No special stitches. This one I will definitely make more of and make into something.

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It’s been several days since I made any new squares. Maybe will do one or two today. Got squares on the brain. 😀

Yarn used:
Square 23-Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton in Cornflower Blue.
Square 24-Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton in Cornflower Blue & Cream.

Square 23-6″
Square 24-4″

Don’t forget to check out my Tracker and see how I am tracking those squares done and the ones left to do.

Go here for pattern instructions.

101 Crochet Squares is by Jean Leinhauser, American School of Needlework, published 1996, ISBN 978-0-88195-715-0.