Knit? Knot!

Not knitting, knotting. I learned to string pearls! Pretty cool. I had a choker length necklace that broke, and it’s been waiting for about a year for me to fix it. I finally decided to give it a try. New silk cord (comes with needle attached), an awl, really pointy tweezers. Check.


It looks as good as new! There is a knot on either side of each pearl, and about 1/2 inch of silk cord between each pearl. Here’s how it goes: Start with a length of cord twice as long as you want the necklace. Too much is better than too little! Tie the non-needle end of the cord around a seed bead. I can’t tell if I have a square knot, or not! It’s too small for my eyes. So I tied 3 or 4 times. Then add the bead tip (the clamshell shaped thing that the bead sits in; this will also attach to the clasp). You don’t have to tighten it at this point; just let it hang there.

*Make a simple overhand knot about 1/2 inch away. I used the awl to slide the knot close to where I wanted it, and then just my fingers to tighten the knot in place. Add a pearl. For the knots after each pearl, I used the awl to place the knot, and then used the tweezers to slide the knot against the pearl. The tweezers were really helpful in getting the knots snugly against the pearls. Repeat from * until the strand is the desired length.


Add another bead tip, and then tie cord around another seed bead about 1/2″ away. Dab some glue (Elmer’s is fine, according the the helpful woman at the bead store, but superglue is not; it cracks) on the end knots (the ones on the beads). Let dry, clip the excess cord. Close the clamshell bead tips around the beads. Attach clasp to the hook on the bead tip; pinch closed. Voila!


I did have to do this twice. The first time I got to the end, I put the end bead on before the bead tip that it sits in. The end beads should always be LAST. They’re the ENDS. Oops. I couldn’t get the knot out to fix it. And of course this happened 15 minutes after the store closed last night. I had to wait for morning to buy more cord and re-string the whole thing. Practice makes perfect.

I think I could actually do this without a little bead in those end thingies, if I tied a triple or quadruple knot to go inside the bead tip. That would make it easier to close the clamshell completely. My original necklace didn’t have bead tips at all; the cord was just tied around the jump rings. I don’t trust my knots enough to do that, yet.

I completely winged this, so if there’s a “right way” that’s different, I don’t know. But I liked it so much that I made a necklace for my sister’s birthday, too!


I also made these stitch markers with goodies from my trip to the bead store. Cat Bordhi suggests stitch markers labeled by letter for some of the socks in her New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. I plan to use these soon!


14 responses to “Knit? Knot!

  1. pretty necklaces! I love those clasps.

  2. Very pretty! The Gem Faire is coming to the Washington County Fairgrounds the first weekend in April – its a great place to get awesome deals on beads and findings.

    If you can’t/don’t make it out to that one, it will be back in July at the Convention Center. If you pay the $5 ticket price at one for the weekend, you get free tickets to the next one. Really great deal for $5.

  3. Wow!!! I have a string of pearls that my daughter broke when she was two, playing in my jewlery box. Obviously, I haven’t had them strung….maybe, MAYBE looking at your results I can give it a shot. enabler *grin*

  4. That is so beautiful!!

  5. Pretty! What a great way to fix a broken necklace.

  6. so impressive! Are you wearing them to the blazer game? haha. See you soon

  7. Was it really that easy? I have a five-strand pearl necklace that belonged to my mother that needs restrung so badly, I’m afraid to wear it. Maybe I’ll practice with some old glass beads first though!

  8. Very nice! My sister makes jewelry (and is very good at it!) and I’m always amazed at all the things you can do with it.

  9. Very pretty necklaces. You are so talented with the jewelry making.

    Why letters for stitch markers?

  10. Nice job, I now have the tools but haven’t opened the package yet. I am such a procrastionator

  11. It’s so pretty – well done you! I love the little clasp.

  12. Great job! I just made stitch markers for a swap and they were much harder than I thought. Those are really cute and I love the letters.

  13. Very pretty necklace!