The traditional method of pearl knotting has eluded many of us. It seems so simple – just tie a knot right? Alas, it is not so. The traditional pearl knot is complicated and would challenge even the best boy scout. There are knotting awls and tweezers, which just ad to the convoluted process. This elusive knot doesn’t slip and positions the knot so that both side of the cord are coming out straight from the knot, rather than at an angle. This creates a straight and supple strand that has just the right tension and will hang gracefully. A google and you-tube search did not yeild any helpful lessons on this method. So….what is a beader to do?
There are two types of tools on the market to help with the knotting process. While neither of them actually creates a traditional pearl knot, they do help to create just the right tension and spacing. They both use any kind of bead cord, nylon or silk.
The Beadsmith’s “Knotting Tool” and the Tri-Cord Knotter: The knot is formed around an awl shaped needle and is gently tightened into place by a clever v-shaped prong that is pushed up with you’re your thumb, while pulling the cord with the other hand. Complete instructions are included and should be studied before attempting to use the tool. This writer found the tool awkward at first, but after a little practice, uniform knots started to appear and the tension was perfect. A practice piece is advised before attempting the real one.
The “Easy Knotter” is another tool on the market that is helpful if you are trying to create the look where beads are spaced out on a cord. You create a knot around a pin in the middle of the board, line up your work with the measurements on either side of the pin and then gently slide the knot off of the pin, tightening up as you do. Complete instructions are included. Again, I recommend a few practice knots before diving in, just to get the feel of how it works.
Have a bead-a-ful day!