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This glossary gives a brief explanation of some basic terms commonly used in hemp and macrame jewelry patterns.

Tip: Activated links will take you to instructions and diagrams.

Anchors: See Fillers

Bead Carrier: See Fillers

Butterfly Knot (BK) : A lacy knot (a.k.a. a picot knot).

Carrier: See Fillers

Cord and Twine: The technical difference between cord and twine is that cord is made with fibers spun in a counter-clockwise direction.  Twine is made with fibers spun in a clockwise direction.  In my pattern directions I usually refer to “cord” as a general term meaning any long stringlike material.

Focal Bead: A big beautiful bead that takes centre stage in your finished jewelry.

Fillers: (Also called anchors, knot bearers, carriers or bead carriers)  In macrame, each strand or cord is a knotter or a filler.  The fillers are the cords in the middle that the knots are tied around.  They do not move when manipulating the cords to make the knots. See Fig. 1 on my Half Knot Instructions page to see an example.

Half Knot (HK): A basic macrame knot using 4 cords.  The outer 2 cords are “knotting” cords, or “knotters”, and the inner 2 cords are “carrier” or “filler” cords.  If a pattern says to use a “half knot”, and doesn’t specify right or left, it doesn’t matter which one you make.

Knotter: In macrame, each cord is either a knotter or a filler.  The strands of cord or twine you use to make the knots are called knotters.

Knot Bearer: See Fillers

Lark’s Head Mounting Knot (LH): This knot is commonly used in macrame to mount cords to a dowel or ring.  This knot can also be used to mount hemp twine or other cording to a bracelet or necklace clasp, keychain ring, or cell-phone strap. 2

Left Half Knot (LHK): A half knot that is made by bringing the left hand carrier cord across the filler cords first.

Left Square Knot (LSK): A square knot made by making a left half knot, then a right half knot, in that order.

Right Half Knot (RHK): A half knot that is made by bringing the right hand carrier cord across the filler cords first.

Right Square Knot (RSK)square knot made by making a right half knot, then a left half knot, in that order.

Overhand knot (OH): The most basic of all knots, this is essentially a half knot using only one cord.

Picot Knot (BK) : A lacy knot (a.k.a. a butterfly knot).

Sennit (or sinnet): A series of repeated knots.

Spiral Sennit: A series of half knots. Half knots in a series form a spiral pattern

Square Knot (SK): A left half knot + a right half knot (in any order) form a square knot.

Switch Knot: The term switch knot refers to switching the knotter and fillers with each other, thus forming a decorative transition knot.  This also allows you to save some cording because your (usually) longer fillers become the knotters.

Twine: See Cord and Twine

About the Author

Christine Gierer

I'm Christine Gierer and I'm obsessed with making jewelry and teaching others how to do it too. I've been a creative person all my life, and I've done all kinds of things like art, sociology, and counseling. But nothing makes me happier than playing with beads, wires, and tools and sharing my tips and tricks with you. I have two awesome websites where you can find tons of tutorials, courses, and workshops on how to make jewelry and how to sell it online.

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