ODDknit - Knitting Techniques - Knotted Cord (Square)
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Knotted Cord (Square Knot)

cord made from a square knot

Remember Scoobies? If you joined in the craze for knotting hollow plastic tubing into stripy keyrings, then you're probably already familiar with the square knot.

If not, this page will take you through how to tie a knotted cord using four strands of yarn.

You will need:

  • 4 lengths of yarn*

* With double knit you need each piece of yarn to be approximately 5 times the intended cord length.

Technique

There are two types of square knot, the Right-Hand Square (RS) and the Left-Hand Square (LS). Like knit and purl stitches these two types of knot look the same but lie in opposite directions. By repeatedly tying square knots we build up a knotted cord. By combining RS and LS knots we can vary the design.

To begin, tie the four lengths of cord together.

Right-Hand Square

Hold the four strands spread out from the centre.

Diagram showing four strands spread out from the centre

Bend the top strand to the RIGHT and down across the next strand clockwise.

Diagram showing the first step of the Right-Hand Square Knot

Bend the strand you just crossed clockwise and across the next two strands.

Diagram showing the second step of the Right-Hand Square Knot

Again bend the next strand clockwise and across the next two strands.

Diagram showing the third step of the Right-Hand Square Knot

One more time bend the strand you just crossed clockwise across the next two strands. To finish the knot tuck this strand under the loop made in the first step.

Diagram showing the final step of the Right-Hand Square Knot

Pull the strands out from the centre to form the knot.

Diagram showing the completed Right-Hand Square Knot

Left-Hand Square

Hold the four strands spread out from the centre. Bend the top strand to the LEFT and down across the next strand anit-clockwise.

Diagram showing the first step of the Left-Hand Square Knot

Bend each following strand anti-clockwise and across its neighbours until you reach the final strand. Tuck this under the first loop you made.

Diagram showing the final step of the Left-Hand Square Knot

Pull the strands out from the centre to tie the knot.

Variations

Up to four colours at a time can be used to tie a cord but the most interesting patterns are formed with two colours. Below are a few of our favourive variations.

Diagram showing some variations of square knot cord

Cords 1 – 6 have two colours arranged alternatly (e.g. light blue is north and south while dark blue is east and west). Cords 7 – have two colours arranged adjacent to each other (e.g. light blue is north and east while dark blue is south and west) and Cord 9 has one thread dark blue and three threads light blue. The knots are worked as folllows:

  1. All RS
  2. All LS
  3. (1RS, 1LS) repeat
  4. (2RS, 2LS) repeat
  5. (5RS, 5LS) repeat
  6. (1RS, 1LS, 1RS, 1LS, 2RS) repeat
  7. All RS
  8. (1RS, 1LS) repeat
  9. All RS

Links:

For more fun with these sorts of knots (and lots of photos) try:
HowtoMakeScoobies.com.