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Adding Cords

Adding Cords


Adding cords in the body of a project is a Macrame technique seldom described in books devoted to this craft.

For someone with experience, increasing the number of cords at any point in the pattern is no problem at all.  But a beginner might find this a challenge, which is why I created this page.


The terms Mount or Hitch mean to attach one cord to another one, or to a ring, dowel, or similar object. 

The first step in most Macrame projects is called the Mounting Process. You will start with a certain number of cords to begin the knot design.

The term Adding Cords means to attach extra cords somewhere in the body of the design. 

This means they are added after the mounting process is completed. 

Shown below are the two most common ways that this is accomplished:

  • Adding new cords to a ring or dowel (if one is used)
  • Adding  new cords to those already present


Adding cords to a Ring or Dowel


You may be asked to attach the cords to something, such as a ring or a dowel, in the body of the pattern.  Adding cords is easy in that case.

Attach the extra cords to the object, beside or between the other cords you’ve been working with. 

Larks Head knots and Double Half Hitches are the most common knots used for this type of addition. 


For example: The pattern calls for mounting one new cord to a dowel, somewhere in the middle of the design. The original cords are attached with Double Half Hitches.

DHH Mount   The new cord can be attached with the Double Half Hitch Mount.

When you are finished, the tail at the top would be woven into the overall design, or brought down to be used to tie the next rows of knots.

Reverse Larks Head  

Another common technique is to add the new cord with a reverse Larks Head knot.

Because you folded the cord in half, you will have two extra ends to work with.

The back of the Larks Head resembles the two loops of a Double Half Hitch.


Macrame Cord Divider

Adding Cords to Those in Use


Macrame patterns often require you to add more cords by tying them to cords that are already present.   The patterns will usually tell you exactly where to attach the new ones, and which decorative knot to use.

Here are things to consider if you want to make changes or create items without a pattern:

Match the Knots   Try to match the knots when adding new cords to the other ones in the area. They need to blend in.

This is especially important if you are adding more than 2 cords. 

Symmetry   Many Macrame patterns require you to add more than one cord, so the pattern is the same right to left or top to bottom. 

See how this choker is the same at the top and bottom edges? That's called symmetry.


When adding cords, you must be prepared to add them in more than one area, even if the pattern is not specific.

It's important to remember this concept, so you don't up with lopsided designs.  Once you are finished, it’s usually too late to fix a mistake. 



Adding with Square Knots


The most common decorative knot used for adding cords is the Square Knot.

You see this technique frequently in Macrame patterns, so be sure you know how to add cords in this manner:


Center New Cord  

Step 1: Slide the new cord under 2 of the cords already being used, and center it by matching the ends.  The instructions will usually tell you which cords will hold the new one. 

In these images, the cords already in use are white. The new one being added is the dark cord.


First Half of SK  

Step 2: Use the new cord to tie the first half of the Square Knot.  The white cords are the fillers.


Second Half of SK   Step 3: Tie the second half of the Square knot.

Tighten   Tighten the knot firmly, so there is no slack at all above or behind the knot.
Another way to use a Square Knot is to fold the new cord in half, and place it beside two cords already present.

The next knot is then tied with all four cords.

Combine New Cord with Old  

In this image of the Teardrop Purse, the new cord is labeled 3 and 4.

It's combined with two other cords (to the left) to make one Square knot.



Adding with Other Knots

Go to Linked Overhand Knots   Other knots can also be used when adding cords.  One of the cords already in use is combined with the new cord.

You can use this Linked Overhand knot, which is called the Shamrock knot.

Triangle Knot  

The Triangle Knot is another option, since it's tied with only two cords.

When searching for appropriate knots to use, look for ones that are tied with two cords


Overhand Knot

In this image of the Holiday Candle's wreath, the green cord is added to two red ones already mounted.

You tie an Overhand knot with the green cord, and then slide the red cords through it, prior to tightening.

This is a great technique to use when you want the new cords to be added just below the mounting knots. 

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Have any comments about Adding Cords? Contact Me.


Priscilla Bead Work