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Alternating Square Knots

Alternating Square Knots

Description: Alternating Square Knots (ASK) create a net-like pattern seen in many Macrame projects.

This is one of the most important knotting techniques you will need to know as you learn Macrame, so practice this several times.

The basic concept is that you tie Square knots in horizontal rows. In every other row you alternate the cords used to tie the knots.

Be sure you know how to tie a Square Knot before you get started.


To practice, you need at least four cords folded in half, so you have 8 (or more) cords to work with. Secure them to your work surface or board.

Mentally number the cords, moving left to right. Each Square Knot (SK) is tied with four cords.

Important:  The Alternating Square Knots shown below are made with only 8 cords.  In a Macrame pattern you will likely have more than 8 cords to work with, as in the image at the top of this page.

So you do the steps below, moving all the way across from left to right.  The pattern will tell you what cords to use and how many rows to tie. 

Tie 2 Square Knots  

Step 1: Tie one Square Knot (SK) with 1 and 4 as the working cords, and 2 and 3 as the fillers.

Step 2: Tie another SK, using working cords 5 and 8. The fillers are cords 6 and 7.


Alternate Cords  

Step 3: Select cords 3 and 4 from the SK on the left, along with 5 and 6 from the knot on the right.

Use them to tie the next Square Knot. The working cords are 3 and 6, the fillers 4 and 5.


Most patterns will tell you whether the knots should rest next to each other, or be separated by some space.  

The image at the top of this page shows the rows of knots 2 inches apart.  The image above shows 1/2-inch of space between them.

Tie 2 Square Knots  

Step 4: Repeat steps 1 and 2, using cords 1 - 4 for the knot on the left, and 5 - 8 for the knot on the right.

To continue, simply repeat steps 3 and 4 several times.



Double Alternating Square Knots

Double SK  

Step A: Tie two Square Knots with cords 1 - 4.

Step B: Tie two SK with cords 5 - 8.


Double SK  

Step C: Tie two SK with cords 3 - 6.

Step D: Repeat steps A - C to complete the design.




Net Design

ASK Netting  

There are times when you might want a certain amount of space between the rows to make a more net-like design.

The process for making the ASK is no different; you just move down 1-inch or more, adding space between the rows.



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