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Vertical Larks Head

Vertical Larks Head

Description: The Vertical Larks Head is a very popular variation of the standard Larks Head knot. In some vintage Macrame patterns, it is called the Buttonhole Stitch.

The primary difference between a regular Larks Head knot and this variation is that you tie the two loops separately

Any time you use a Larks Head Knot within the body of a pattern, you are likely to tie them as described in the basic design below.

These knots are not always arranged vertically.  You can tie them in horizontal and diagonal rows, and in opposite directions.  Included on this page is a unique progressive design that can be used to form diagonal rows (shown above).

The rings in plant hangers and wall decorations are often covered with Larks Head knots for protection, or for decoration.  The instructions for covering rings is also on this page.

Buttonhole Clasp

One of the most common uses for this knot is to make Buttonhole Clasps for jewelry and belts.

Click on the image or link to visit the page.
Buttonhole Scallops

Buttonhole Scallops were popular in the late 1800's. They are used to decorate the top or side edges of Macrame projects. 

Click on the image or link to see how they are made.


Basic Design

 Basic Design
To practice the basic Vertical Larks head design, secure one holding cord vertically on your board (yellow in images).

Secure one end of a working cord as well, to the left of the holding cord.  It can be arranged in any direction, but it's best to place it vertically.

Designer's Tip:  In a Macrame pattern, you may not be told which direction to tie the Larks Head knot.  Just remember that the head of the knot will face the same direction as where the working cord is placed.

First Loop
  Step 1:  Move the working cord over - under the holding cord, rotating counter-clockwise.

As you pull it to the left, pass over the secured end of the working cord to complete the loop. 

Tighten the first loop by pulling on the working end.


Loop 2
  Step 2: To make the second loop, move the working cord under - over the holding cord.

As you pull it to the left, pass under the working cord.

Tighten the second loop.



Since the working cord is on the left, the head of the knot (vertical segment) is facing left.

To make the knot facing right, move the working cord to the right of the holding cord, and tie the loops in a clockwise direction.



Covering Rings

Covering Rings

Covering rings with the Vertical Larks Head is frequently done in Macrame projects that are hung from hooks, such as plant hangers and wall decorations.  The material forms a protective cover for the ring, and it looks nice, too.

You need one piece of cord material, at least 72 inches long. You will also need one 2-inch ring.


Step 1: Fold the cord in half, and place it under the lower portion of the ring.

The ends should be heading towards the back of your board.


Larks Head

Step 2: Bring both halves over the ring, and down under the folded area of the cord.

Pull firmly to tighten the Larks Head knot.

Loop 1

Step 3:  Make the first loop for the vertical variation by moving the right half over - under the ring, rotating counter-clockwise.

As you pull it towards you, pass over the cord.

Tighten firmly.

Loop 2

Step 4:  Make the second loop by moving the right half under - over the ring.

Pass under the cord as you pull it.

Tighten firmly.


Step 5:  Repeat steps 3 and 4 several times, until the right side of the ring is covered. 

Use the left half of the cord to cover the left side of the ring.  Rotate clockwise when tying the knots.

Step 5, continued:  Push the knots close together on both sides of the ring. 

Tie as many knots onto the ring as possible, so that there are no gaps.


Progressive Design

Progressive Design

This progressive design was found in a Macrame book written in the early 1900's.  So it's definitely a vintage technique, and truly unique.

The progressive pattern is created by using cords in order. So each Vertical Larks Head knot is made with a different cord.   Since the holding cords are shared, the knots are connected and form a diagonal row.

You need four cords, at least 45 inches long.  Using different colors is optional.   Fold each one in half and secure them on your board vertically. Mentally number them 1 - 8.

First Loop

Step 1: Use cord 8 to tie a clockwise loop onto cords 6 and 7, passing over - under the holding cords. 

As you pull it right, pass over cord 8.

Tighten the knot firmly.

Loop 2

Step 2:  Complete the Vertical Larks head knot by tying the second loop under - over the holding cord, and under cord 8.

Tighten firmly, making sure the cords are straight and have tension. Secure the knot.

Cord 7

Step 3:  Use cord 7 to tie the next knot, onto cords 5 and 6.

The Larks Head knot should rest close to the first knot. 

Cord 6

Step 4:  Cord 6 is the next working cord.

Tie the Larks Head knot onto cords 4 and 5.


Step 5:  Tie Larks Head knots with cords 5 - 3 in the same manner.

The knots are tied onto the two cords next to the one you are using.

Secure the last knot in the row (cord 3).

Left to Right

Step 6:  Now you tie the second row in the opposite direction (left to right), using cords 1 - 6. 

All the Larks Head knots are tied counter-clockwise.

Continued below


Pull each cord firmly as you tighten each knot, so the segment between the two rows are straight and taut.


Repeat steps 1 - 7 again, if you wish to make a zigzag design with the Vertical Larks Head knots.


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