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Vertical Half Hitch

Vertical Half Hitch

Description: The Vertical Half Hitch (VHH) is different than other variations of the Double Half Hitch.

The two knots are arranged vertically, with the second Half Hitch resting below the first.

One working cord is used to attach the knots to several holding cords.

With the regular Double Half Hitch, it's the opposite: There are several working cords and usually one holding cord.

These knots are usually tied in horizontal rows, as shown above.  But they can be tied diagonally, too.

In some Macrame books this technique is called the Vertical Double Half Hitch (VDHH), since there are two knots.   

Cavendoli Macrame features this knot. It's combined with the standard Double Half Hitch to create color shifts that form the patterns.

This Macrame design can be used to make wide belts, bracelets, ornaments, and even webbed feet for frogs and birds.

Here are two projects that feature this decorative knot:


Basic Instructions

Horizontal Working Cord  

To practice this decorative knot, secure 4 or more holding cords to your board, arranged vertically.

Secure a 36-inch working cord to the left of the others, arranged horizontally.

Make sure it passes under the first holding cord furthest to the left.



Important:  When tying Half Hitches of any type, you usually start by passing the working cord under the holding cord.

Then you tie the first Half Hitch so that the end is heading the direction you are moving for the row.


First Half Hitch  

Step 2: To make the first Half Hitch, bring the working cord over - under the holding cord, rotating clockwise.

Pull the end right, passing it over the working cord.

Tighten the knot firmly.


Second Half Hitch  

Step 3: Make the second Half Hitch the same way, placing it below the first knot.

Tighten this knot firmly while supporting the first one.

Steps 2 + 3 = One Vertical Half Hitch


Move to Next Holding Cord  

Step 4: To make the next knot, move the end of the working cord under the next holding cord (to the right).

Repeat Step 2. Tighten firmly, so there is little space between the knots on the two holding cords (see image below).


Second Knot  

Step 5: Tie the second Half Hitch just below the first, as you did in Step 3.


First Row   Step 6: Tie the Half Hitches onto the next two holding cords, the same way you did in the previous steps.

Start Next Row  

Step 7: To reverse the direction (right to left), bring the working cord under the holding cord furthest to the right.


Half Hitch Other Direction  

Step 8: Tie the Half Hitches the same as all the others, over - under - over.  But the knots should be tied rotating counter-clockwise.

Make sure the working end is heading towards the left after the knots are tied.


First and Second Rows  

Continue tying the remainder of the Vertical Half Hitch pattern, until you reach the left edge again.

Tighten the knots firmly to make sure both rows are close together.

Diagonal Row   Design Tip: The rows of these knots do not need to be horizontal.

Here is an example of a row arranged in a diagonal slant. 
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Cavendoli Macrame

Cavendoli Macrame designs feature both the regular Double Half Hitch as well as the Vertical Half Hitch.

By using both variations, elaborate designs can be made, since a shift in colors is very easy to make.

Here is the basic concept and one very simple example:

Single Holding Cord  

Tie 2 rows of Vertical HH with one working cord, attaching them to several holding cords, as in the previous instructions.

The working cord is then positioned below the rows of knots already tied, and becomes a holding cord.


Working Cords Changed  

The previous holding cords change to working cords and are used to tie a horizontal row of Half Hitches.

Here you can see the Half Hitch being tied onto the new holding cord.


Vertical and Horizontal Rows   So you end up with vertical rows of knots in one color, and a horizontal row in the other color.

Design Tip: Try to remember that the color of the working cords will be seen.

The holding cord will not be seen, since the knots cover it.

Practice this technique until you are familiar with switching back and forth between holding and working cords.


Cavendoli Design  

Double Half Hitch (DHH) = Several working cords onto one holding cord.

Vertical Half Hitch (VHH) = One working cord onto several holding cords.


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Webbed Feet

Webbed Feet

Ever wonder how Webbed Feet for Frogs and Birds are made?

You use the Vertical Half Hitch, positioning the holding cords further apart as you complete each row.

You can also make fans and other triangular designs.


Square Knots Mimic Legs  

Step 1: To practice Webbed Feet, fold two cords in half, and secure them to your board. Tie several Square Knots to mimic the legs of a bird or frog.

Secure the working cord to the left of them, arranged horizontally. Slide it under the first holding cord on the left.


Clockwise Half Hitch  

Step 2: Tie the first Vertical Half Hitch with the working cord, onto the first holding cord (left).

You will progress left to right, so the knot is made clockwise.


First Row  

Step 3: Complete the first row of Vertical Half Hitches as described in the basic instructions.

The knots should be close together. Pull down on the holding cords so the knots rest close to Square Knots.


Spread the Holding Cords  

Step 4: Spread the holding cords apart, so they are on an angle.

Secure them lower down, so they have tension, which makes tightening the knots easier.


Design Tip: As in all Double Half Hitch designs, the angle of the holding cords determines the overall shape.

Tie Several Rows  

Step 5: Tie several more rows of Vertical Half Hitches, reversing the direction back and forth.

As you progress, the holding cords should be moved further apart


Overhand Knots   Step 6:  To prevent the knots from sliding off the holding cords, tie Overhand Knots.

They should rest against the last row of Half Hitches. You will need to apply glue before cutting off the extra material.

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Picot Design 

Picot Design

This is called a Picot design, which is a vintage technique. It was found in several old Macrame books, written in 1903.   Rows of Half Hitches are tied, with loops at the edges. 

You will need 4 holding cords to practice this Vertical Half Hitch pattern.

Cut two working cords as well, preferably two different colors.
First Two Rows  

Step 1: Tie one row of Vertical HH with each of the working cords. Row 1 = Tan    Row 2 = Blue

Make sure you progress from left to right, and that the knots are tied clockwise.


Pull to the Side   Design Tip: To make a Picot loop, you pull a portion of the working cord to the side, and secure it.

Move it under the closest holding cord in preparation for the next row.

Picot Loop   Then you tie the two Half Hitches, just as you normally would.

Before tightening, adjust the size of the picot if necessary.

Third Row  

Step 2: Row 3 = blue 

The same working cord from row 2 is used to make a picot loop. Then tie the row of Vertical HH, moving right to left. 

The knots will be made counter-clockwise.

Rows 4 - 6  

Step 3:  Row 4 = tan

Use the working cord from the first row to make a picot, and then tie the next row moving right to left.

The picot loop fits around the outside of the previous one.


Step 4:  Both working cords should now be at the left again.

Row 5 = tan   Direction: left to right

Don't forget to form the picot before you tighten the first knot.

Step 5: Row 6 = blue.  The picot goes around the outside.

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