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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 a cord to another cord, 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 knotted design.

ADDING cords means you attach extra cords somewhere in the body of the design, after the mounting process is completed.

Most of the time, this is done to increase the size of an area.  It's also done if rings and dowels need extra cords to cover them completely.

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

  • Adding new cords to a ring or dowel
  • Adding  new cords to those already present



Adding new cords to Ring or Dowel


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

You attach the extra cords beside or between the other cords youÂ’ve been working with. 


Reverse Larks Head  

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

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

It blends in really well to areas where DHH are already present.   



Sometimes a pattern calls for a Reverse Larks Head knot, followed by two Half Hitches (one with each half of the cord). 

The extra knots help to cover the ring without the need to add more cords.

Macrame Cord Divider

Adding Cords to Those in Use


Macrame patterns often require you to add more cords by tying them to cords already in use.  

The patterns will usually tell you exactly where to attach the new ones and which decorative knot to use.

Here are some tips for adding cords when the pattern does not specify the technique, or if you are not using a pattern:

The new cords should blend into the overall design. 

That's the most important part of adding new cords.  They need to look like they are part of the general knotting pattern. 

Making new cords match the others is often easier if you don't use knots to attach them.  Sometimes you can slide new cords through spaces, or fold them around cords in use. 

When you do need to use knots, try to choose knots that are the same, or look like those in the general area.

Add cords to both sides of a design.

Your project will be lopsided if you don't add the same number of cords to both sides of a design.   This may not apply to every project. 


Example: In the pattern for the Owl Basket, new cords were added for the wings on both sides of the body.

The cords were attached with Double Half Hitches.  They matched the DHH tied in the lower part of the face.


Add cords to eliminate gaps.

In this image, a circular row of knots was being tied around a bead.

Each new row was larger than the one before it.  New cords were added because there were gaps on the holding cord.



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, whenever an area needs to be widened.   Usually there are Square knots in the general area.

In the images below, a contrasting color was added only to show details. Normally, the new cords would be the same color, because the goal is to have them blend in.



Step 1: Slide the new cord under 2 of the cords already being used, and balance it by matching the ends.   Secure it at the center.

The new cord being added here is yellow.


First Half

Step 2: Use the new cord to tie the first half of the Square Knot. 

The cords already in use are the fillers.


2nd Half
  Step 3: Tie the second half of the Square knot.

  Tighten the knot firmly, so there is no slack in the back area, where the pin was located.


Adding with Other Knots

  Some of the Linked Overhand knots can be used to attach new cords.

This is the Overhand Bend, which you can see is a combination of two cords.

Triangle Knot

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

One cord currently in use can be combined with a new cord to tie this knot.



The Diamond Stitch, which is a vintage knot, is another decorative knot that can be used when adding cords.

Like the Triangle knot, a cord in use can be combined with a new one.


The green cord is being added with an Overhand knot in this image for the Holiday Candle.

This is a great technique to use when you want the new cord to rest close to the mounting knots. 

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