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Mystic Knot

Mystic Knot

Description: The Chinese Mystic Knot is also known as the Pan Chang Knot. It represents the endless cycle of nature.

This decorative knot is one of the most highly used techniques in Chinese Macrame, and is also the most complex.

This interesting design can be used as part of a variety of Macrame projects, from a clasp for a purse, to a pendant in a necklace.

I will be using terms you may not be familiar with:

  • Bight = Narrow Fold
  • Loop = Circular, and has a crossing point

Look them up in the Macrame Dictionary, if you need more information.


You will need a Project Board and pins to help you secure the cords.

Secure every loop and bight as you progress, because it's easy to get lost if you don't.

The numbers in the images (1 - 7) are the areas that form the loops around the woven area in the center of the knot. 

Make sure you mark them in some manner, so you can identify each one easily. Using a different kind of pin for those areas is really helpful.


Two Bights

Step 1: Secure the center of a 3-yard cord to your board. 

Create two bights by bringing each end down 6 inches and back up again.

The center area (1) will be along the outside edge, so mark it in some way.



Step 2

<< Make a Loop (2), rotating the right end clockwise.  

<< Weave the end to the left
under - over - under - over

Bring it back to the right 
over - under - over - under  >>


Step 3
Next Bight
<< To make another bight lower down, weave the end to the left
under - over - under - over

Bring the end back to the right
over - under - over - under  >>
Final Bight

On the right, the bight resting below the loop (3) will be on the outside of the knot when it's completed, so mark it.

You will not use the right end for the remainder of the Mystic Knot, so secure it off to the right side. 

Re-Size Bights

Before you continue with the rest of the Mystic Knot, arrange the cord so that the marked bight at the top center (1) is wider than the others. 

Do the same with the marked bight at the right center area (3).

The other 4 bights should be narrow.


Step 4
Left to Right
<< Rotate the left end to make a counter-clockwise loop (4). 

Move it to the right, near the top of bight 1, passing over all the vertical segments.

Bring it back to the left, under all the vertical segments. >>
Right to Left


Step 5:  Move the left end around the outside of the narrow horizontal bight closest to the top.  Mark that segment (5).

Bring it to the right, passing over all the vertical segments.   It should rest inside the wide bight (3).

Right to Left

Step 6:  Move the end back to the left, passing under all the vertical segments.

The bight you just made in steps 5 - 6 nestles inside the wide bight labeled 3 (on the right).

Vertical Weaving

Step 7: Rotate the end counter-clockwise to make another loop (6) at the lower left area of the Mystic knot.

Weave it towards the top, through the horizontal segments, close to the left edge of the design:

Under -- Over x 3 -- Under -- Over x 3

Weaving Tip:  The cord passes through the horizontal bights (made in step 3) under - over

It passes over the remaining segments.

Top to Bottom

Bring the end back down (to the right of the previous step). Weave through the horizontal segments as follows:

Under x 2 -- Over -- Under x 3 -- Over -- Under

By arranging the cord in this manner, it passes through the two bights made in step 3 with the same over - under pattern as the previous step.

The cord passes under the remaining segments.

Bottom to Top

Step 8:  Move the left end around the outside of the narrow bight at the lower left (next to loop 6).  Mark this segment.

Repeat step 7, weaving towards the top of the Mystic Knot (inside area 1):

Under -- Over x 3 -- Under -- Over x 3


In the image above, it looks as if the cord is over the curved portion of area 1 at the top.

This is not the case.  The weaving only takes place through the horizontal segments.  The next image is more clear.

Top to Bottom

Bring the end down, weaving through the segments as follows (still inside area 1):

Under x 2 - Over - Under x 3 - Over - Under



Step 9:  Rotate the board so loop 4 is at the top.

Leave the pins on the marked areas at all times.

Start by pulling on each loop (or bight), to tighten the center.   The marked areas will become quite large, so you will need to adjust the pins.

Size of Loops

Reduce the size of the loops in the order they were made.

Loop 4 should be 1-inch in size.  Loops 2 and 3 should be 1/2-inch.  Bights 1, 3, 5, 7 should be 1/4-inch.

These sizes can be changed as needed.


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Have any comments about the Mystic Knot? Contact Me.


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