Top Ten Things You Need to Know to Make Jewelry

I saw this in passing in one of the many magazines that are precariously balanced on the edge of the sink in my “reading room.” I didn’t actually read the article yet – but I started to think, what are those 10 things? I may have to find the article and read it, because I can’t come up with 10 things. If I expanded to 10 – you could make every kind of jewelry ever.

So I will go with a shorter list:

The Five Essential Things you Need to Know to Make Jewelry

This, of course, doesn’t cover all jewelry ever! – we’re talking basic strung necklaces, bracelets and most dangly earrings. This is going to give you a lot to work with.

  1. How to tie a secure knot
  2. How to crimp
  3. How to make a simple loop
  4. How to make a wrapped loop
  5. How to open a jump ring

First up – a secure knot that won’t slip out. Gone are the days of stringing on thread or (shudder) “gut.” Even “Tigertail” – a huge improvement in it’s day, has been supplanted by a modern range of truly delightful products for stringing. Most of these are multi-strand “cables” that are strong, flexible, kink resistant and even come in colours. Most of these new cables are happy to be secured with a crimp bead, but there is still a time and a place for a knot, especially in inexpensive jewelry, like a Sunday afternoon making jewelry with the kids.

The Surgeon’s Knot is the knot of choice for a knot that won’t unravel.
You can use this knot to knot to itself, or to knot two threads together.
The classic knot, the overhand knot, is knot that you all will know.
It’s a loop and a poke and over and through, and that is the way it should go.

A beefier knot, we all are sure, is to immediately tie another.
We tie a new knot on top of the old, and hope that they work together.

Ah, but it’s tricky – this knot on a knot – sometimes they don’t get along.
You have to remember that opposites attract, or else the knot will be wrong.

So if you knot with the left over the right, the next must be right over left.
And conversely you see, if it right over left, then left over right it must be.

This give you a knot, a not-a-bad knot, that is known as the knot that is Square.
The feeble old knot, with both sides to match, is knot that we just can not bear.
It’s so weak and infirm, it makes us all squirm, it is known as the knot of the Granny.

But a more robust knot, the Surgeon’s knot – can be made just one more loop.
This knot has it’s charms, you can stitch on old arms! It’s strength is something uncanny.

So tie up your thread, your ribbon or bread, and make sure your loops alternate.
And then at the last, don’t go so fast, tuck the line through the loop one more time.

Now pull it tight, snug it up right, and have faith that your knot is secure. But make sure at first, that you have it in the right place, ‘cuz you surely don’t want to undo ‘er.

(with my apologies to whomever I just channeled there – Dr. Seuss I think!)

This is an example of how you might use the knot. I have used a crimp bead as a bead for it’s look, not to secure the knot.

88827972 Tools - Adhesive -  G-S Hypo-tube Cement -  (1)A little dab of glue can also be used make sure the cut ends of the thread don’t fray out. Crazy glue, or our Hypotube cement are excellent for this. Why the heck some resources continue to recommend putting nail polish on knots is beyond me – like we don’t have glue? Puhleese!

Next week – Crimping, how to, what to crimp onto, and why.

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