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Square Knot

Square Knot

Description:  The Square Knot (SK) is the most important decorative knot you will learn to tie.  Most Macrame patterns use it in one form or another, so it's essential that you learn to tie it easily in both directions.

This knot can be tied in sennits, which means to tie one right after the next in a chain.  You can also tie them in horizontal and diagonal rows

See Alternating Square Knots and Alternating V patterns for details.

There are many other variations as well, so be sure to practice all the ones listed in Learn Macrame.

Below you will find instructions for knots with the head facing right and left.
The Switch knot is also described on this page.

Head of SK

The head of the knot is the portion with a vertical segment.   It can face left or right.

The direction is determined by which working cord you move first.

Left SK

Step 1:  To practice a SK with the head facing left, secure 2 folded cords to a project board, ring or other item. 

Mentally number them 1 - 4.

  Step 1

Move the left working cord (1) over filler cords 2 and 3, heading right.

Pass it under the right working cord (4).


  Step 2

Step 2:  Move the right working cord (4) under the two filler cords and over cord 1, as you pull it out on the left.  Pull on both ends to tighten the knot. 

Hold the fillers as you tighten.

The first half of the knot is finished, which is sometimes called a "Half Knot".


Step 3
  Step 3:  The working cords have now switched places, so the second half is tied in the opposite direction.

Move the working cord on the right (1) over the fillers and under the left working cord (4).

Step 4

Step 4:  Move cord 4 under the fillers and over cord 1, as you pull it out on the right.

Tighten the second half of the Square Knot.

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Mirror Square Knot

Right SK


The tying process for the Right SK is the exact opposite of the left Square knot described above.

It's sometimes called a Reverse SK or a Mirror SK, especially in vintage patterns.

Knowing how to change the direction of these knots is important when you want both edges of a design to be symmetrical.

Remember: The head of the knot will always face the direction of the cord you move first.   In this case, that's the right working cord.


  Start with Right Cord
Step 1: Mentally number the 4 cords.

Move the right working cord (4) over both fillers, heading left.  Pass it under the left working cord (1).


  Use Cord 1 Next

Step 2: Move the left working cord (1) under the fillers, and over the right working cord (4), as you pull it to the  right. 

Pull both ends to tighten the first half of the knot. 

The ends of the working cords have switched places.


Use Cord on Left

Step 3:  Move the working cord now on the left (4) over the fillers and under the right working cord.

Last Step

Step 4: Move the working cord on the right (1) under the fillers and over the left working cord (4).

Tighten the second half of the SK.

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Switch Knot

Switch Knot

This Square Knot pattern is made by switching the fillers and working cords each time you make a new knot.

It's important to leave enough space between the knots so you can see the crisscrossed cords clearly.

To view a Macrame pattern featuring this technique, see the Switch Belt.


First Half of SK  

Step 1: You will need four cords to practice, and it helps if they are two different colors.

Tie a left Square Knot using two working cords and two fillers.


Working Cords Versus Fillers  

Step 2: Bring the two working cords over the fillers, so they rest between the two cords.

They will now become the new fillers.

The previous fillers will be the new set of working cords for the next knot.


Switch Working Cords and Fillers  

Step 3: Tie a Square Knot with the new working cords.

By leaving space between the two knots, you can see the switched cords more clearly.


Leave Space Between Knots   Step 4: Switch the cords again, by bringing the previous set of working cords over and between the other two.

Switch Cords Again  

Step 5: Tie the next SK, which will be the same color as the first one (purple), if you used two colors.

To continue, keep switching the cords before tying each knot.

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Have any comments about the Square Knot? Contact Me.


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