January 31, 2010

Quite a pair! 466

Here is a pair of custom made herringbone weave bracelets made from the heavy cotton cable cord dyed a dark chocolate brown and worked up to a finished shape.

This customer specified size, color, and weave design. The work required about a week including dying the cord, weaving the bracelets, working them up to finished shape, and re-dying to make the finished color consistent.

Here you can see the cord plies or slubs that were exposed during the workup. As the cotton cord is tensioned some of the plies can get twisted exposing the inner un-dyed color. The bracelets were made then re-immersed in the dye bath to darken the color and take care of the slubs.

Custom orders like this one are welcomed.
Etsy: "Request Custom Item" button (on right)
ArtFire :"Contact Artisan" button (on left)
or simply send me an email:  ghutch@isd.net

January 28, 2010

Modern nautical rope bracelet, how to adjust for your perfect fit - illustrated guide

This article describes how to "work up" the modern nautical rope bracelet from a large size to a smaller size for a custom fit.

1. Place the relaxed bracelet in place around your wrist. Rotate it around so you can see the center.

Info: The center is the location where three strands are parallel.

2. Use a chop stick or other smooth pointed instrument to pull a small loop from the center of the knot to the right. Take only a small amount of slack! The effects will multiply as you work around.

Caution: Avoid injury! Don't use sharp metal tools or anything with a knife edge.

3. Move to the next overlap and pull the loop through. Keep the knot oriented the same way. Rotate the knot downwards  as you work around.

4. Move to the outside overlap and pull the loop through. Each time you pull the slack through be sure to take just a wee bit of extra tension. This will gradually reduce the size of the knot as you work it around.

Caution: Don't over-tighten! Leave a finger thickness between your wrist and the inside of the bracelet.

5. Keep pulling the loop through the next overlap as you work your way around the knot. Keep going in one direction.

Info: You will have 5 circuits around the knot from the center to the loose end.

6. When you reach the loose end gently pull the accumulated slack through the last overlap. Congratulations you have done 1/2 the workup!

7. Now reverse the direction and pull a small loop to the left and down. Proceed as before taking the extra slack out. Go easy and don't take too much out!

8. When you have completed removing the slack you may snip off the loose ends.
Info: It's a good idea to leave a small stub of cord to prevent it from coming undone. You may also secure the ends by sewing them up.You may also want to turn the bracelet inside-out to hide the cut off ends
Caution: use care with scissors! 

Visit WhatKnotShop on Etsy to see a colorful selection of these modern classics

January 25, 2010

A process to dye for - how color comes to cotton cord

Step one: assemble the chemicals

I use RIT dye which is commonly available at many stores. I like the stovetop method which involves a large stainless pot, water, salt, detergent and of course the dye pack. Get rock salt from the hardware store in the huge bags, rob the laundry for a squirt of detergent.

Step two: prepare the cord

This involves unspooling the cotton cord and laying it out (flaking) in a large loose coil. I always pre-wet the cord in the sink with warm water. I also will do a series of materials to get a range of colors and diameters from #18 all the way up to #60.

The picture shows a single hank of 3 mm cotton cord.

Step three: into the bath

Once the dye bath is mixed and cooking at a simmer the hanks of cord go in for various lengths of time. The darker the desired color the longer it must boil.

A light or pastel color gets a quick dip. Black or brown needs 20 minutes or more.

Step four: rinse out excess color

The dyed cords come out of the pot hot, wet, and dripping color that stains everything. I use stainless frying pans to transport the freshly dyed cord hanks to the basement where they go into the laundry sink for the rinse out.

This can take awhile as the excess dye works out of the cord. You need lots of water...

Step five: hang it all!

After the rinse the cord hanks are hung up to dry out. As you can see the cord usually has tried to revert to to it's natural tangled state. The moisture swells the plies of the cord causing it expand and twist.

After drying out the hanks must be untangled and re stretched. Then they are coiled back up an added to the inventory for use in making the turks head bracelets.

Here's some of the recently dyed cords draped over the back of a couch. There are a lot of other colors too.

I'll leave it for a future entry to discuss the variables of cord type, color, and material and the impact on the final color of the materials. Suffice it to say that all these things affect the results.

January 24, 2010

soft bangle bracelet design )strata( 277

Edge detail showing the reverse loops. This piece is about 1" wide at the widest point.

Lavender edge cords with yellow and white accents.

Size adult "large" 8 3/8" inside circumference or 2 7/8" diameter

construction is cotton cords with nylon thread has some flexibility to slip over a larger hand.

design and photos copyright 2010 WhatKnotShop

January 23, 2010

something small 345

Something small made with the braided cover cotton cord. A 12 x 5 x 2 double diamond braid that can work as a child's bracelet or maybe a napkin ring?

Part of the BASIC series this is a mere 5 1/2" inside which makes it right for kids of adults with small hands.

Loose ends make this one easily adjustable.

January 22, 2010

cotton fiber bracelet red & orange with beads 468

Large size soft bangle in orange & red with embedded beads. Goddess colors to brighten up your grey winter day.

Yellow and purple accents bring out the color. Small glass beads red, yellow, and orange arranged in a single row add some sparkle.

8 5/8" circumference about 1/2" wide lightweight & flexible.

design and photos copyright 2010 WhatKnotShop

January 18, 2010

New )strata( design slip on 465

Blue seems to be the color that I like to work with the most. Maybe it's the idea that in January in Minnesota there is a warm blue ocean somewhere to the south.

Anyway here's the most recent work in the )strata( series. This slip on design is large 8 5/8" inside circumference. There are a number of smallish beads worked into and on the surface.

The edges are white and a darker blue. There is a lime green accent buried between the lavender an turquoise.

I rather like the wide blue color. A larger expanse enables the texture of the cords to express in a linear pattern of shadows.

The wider cord wrap cost me two large needles that broke during the binding. The waxed floss can be pretty gnarly to work with. It keeps grabbing things on the workbench.

Coming soon to an online shop. If you can't wait and want this one NOW let me know.

design and photos copyright 2010 WhatKnotShop

January 16, 2010

mathematics of turks head knots

Working with the black 3 mm cord to create a 19 bight 13 part 2 strand knot on a large mold. The weave is worked to a firm finish on the tube where there are no gaps between parts.

The knot it is eased off the mold and relaxed which lets the parts open up the small diamond shaped openings in the weave.

Edge tensioning the piece produces this rather pleasing shape with the ends flared out and the center tucked in. The individual cords become straighter across the center as the knot moves toward a low energy state (all the cords as relaxed as possible)

Did you know that curves can be created using straight lines?

Who knew that math could be a "soft" science?

The loose ends wrapped around the narrow section in the center.
Art imitates nature (again) and the universe remains an orderly place.

check your slip-on size click here then select your favorite from one of these three online shops:

Mathematically this is described as a hyperboloid of one sheet. You can see this and other 3D models here: http://math.asu.edu/~nbrewer/Fall2007/MAT267/section10.6.html

January 15, 2010

New stuff on Zibbet

Blue with white center made with bright white cotton cable cord. Typical medium sizes listed with both larger and smaller sizes available by request.

Gotta go to Zibbet to see these:


Here's the complement design white on the outside blue in the center.

Also on Zibbet marketplace click here:


January 12, 2010

Custom made turks head bracelets

A special order made from #60 cotton cord. This is a 29 x 15 x 1 measuring 8 5/8" inside circumference made for a customer with larger hands.
The same customer wanted a larger size of the new three color design in grey and white hand dyed cord.

You may request custom work through the Etsy shop by using the "request custom item"button located on the right side of the screen or by sending an email request to:


Prepayment is required on all custom work.

Design and photos copyright 2010 by WhatKnotShop

January 11, 2010

turks head rope bracelets preview of new colors

Putting together a bright new line of vibrant colors to get us out of the winter doldrums. Popular wide turks head weave designs made with lime green, turquoise blue, and fuchsia red cotton cords.

Look for these spring colors in the Etsy and Zibbet shops soon!

Can't wait that long? Have a beach vacation scheduled for spring break?

No problem, just message with your choice of size/color for quick delivery.

January 8, 2010

Ocean shore layered cord bracelet 467

Completed and finished

Here's the finished bracelet showing the sewn in beads both inside the cord loops and applied after. The nylon thread holds everything tightly together not unlike the filaments that secure mussels to ocean rocks. Clusters of beads on both ends.

Finished size is 7 1/2" inside circumference; 2 3/8" inside diameter; approx 1 1/4" wide with some natural variation

In progress on the PVC mold:

The )strata( bracelets are made from bits of upcycled cotton cord. Here is a piece in progress. The mold is a piece of PVC pipe.

The cords are arranged in parallel then tied together with nylon thread.

The beads are worked into the loops using another piece of nylon thread worked in parallel to the cords.

In this view the looped ends near the toggle are in the process of being stitched together. On the right side the beads have been stitched into the fabric and the loops pulled firmly together.

This is a toggle closure style design. The white cord has been tied into a 2x2x2 monkey fist knot and placed in the open loop to create an armature to construct the remaining parts.
Long needles are used to enable the design to be worked out. These are frequently repositioned as more material is added or removed.

On this side the cords are shown before the stitching so you can see the temporary needles used to hold the design in place.

This apparently wide area will reduce to about 50% of original size as the stitching is applied.

This bracelet was sold to a buyer at a local craft fair in Feb 2010.

design and photos copyright 2010 WhatKnotShop

January 7, 2010

new fiber art cuffs and wide rope bracelet cuff bracelet 433 431 432 426

New design )strata( toggle bracelet with blue beads and a tail!   item 433

Green and black )strata( slip on style with no beads just hand dyed cotton cord item 431

now available on Zibbet


Blue and grey with chunky barrel beads and a blue glass bead toggle with tail. 432

fiber design and traditional rope bracelets are available in these online shops:
WhatKnotShop on Etsy
WhatKnotShop on Zibbet

Extra wide 19 bight all cotton cable cord bracelet left unfinished  #426 makes a comfortable cuff, order with loose ends and adjust to your custom size or ask for a finished size.

design and photographs © copyright 2009 WhatKnotShop

January 4, 2010

Nominal sizes for WhatKnotShop bracelets

There are typically three approximate sizes listed in the online  postings. Here’s what they mean: 
SMALL - less than 7" (178 mm) inside circumference

MEDIUM  - more than 7” (178 mm) but less than 8” (203 mm) inside circumference

LARGE  - more than 8” (203 mm) inside circumference

Actual dimensions are posted in each listing are given so that you may select the correct “slip-on” size for your personal best fit.

All measurements are approximate as the bracelet materials are stretchable and can vary somewhat.

Find a wide selection of genuine turks head knot rope sailor bracelets at these online shops:

ArtFire Studio   or    Etsy Shop   or    Zibbet Collection

January 2, 2010

matched pair of white nylon turks head weave bracelets 422

A matched pair of soft and silky nylon turks head weave bracelets in bright white with loose ends so you can adjust them to your perfect fit. This is a fun activity to do with friends on an overnight or when camping or at the beach.

A great souvenir of a good time together.

Each bracelet comes with a set of three glass donut beads securing the loose ends. The ends can be tied off and trimmed if you want.

Some people like the challenge of working up these bracelets to a smaller diameter on their wrists. I supply illustrated instructions with all adjustable bracelets so it's pretty easy to do.

Hard to decide what to do...Keep both, keep one and send the other to a friend, or send them both to friends.

More work like this can be found in the online shops 

WhatKnotShop on Etsy
WhatKnotShop on Zibbet