Sunday, November 30, 2014

Skull Hemp Jewelry Series: Round 3 - La Calavera Catrina Pendant

This pendant requires  the square knot, the larks head and vertical larks head knot, the oysterman knotthe vertical half hitch, the double overhand knot and the surgeon's knot. If you've been following along, we used the squared knot for skull necklaces and larks head knots for skull bracelets.  If you have ever made friendship bracelets then you are probably well acquainted with the vertical half hitch. The double overhand knot is very easy and while the oysterman knot isn't difficult it is worth practicing a few times before getting started.

You will need:

The following are all 20 lb. cords or similar in thickness:

1 - 14 inch (shown in yellow)
2 - 18 inch (shown in green and pink)
1 - 20 inch (shown in purple)
1 - 34 inch (shown in blue)
1 - 8 inch (shown in blue, this cord can be any color it wont be seen on the finished pendant)

The following are 10 lb cords:
exhibit A

1 - 28 inch (shown in white)
1- 20 inch (shown in orange) Note: I usually use the same color as the 28 inch cord because I like the way it looks, [see exhibit A]. I used orange in the example for instructional purposes.

1 - 12mm skull bead
1 - 15mm 16 gauge jump ring

Craft glue
E6000 glue
Small sharp scissors
If needed apply a thin coat of craft glue to the ends of the cords to keep from fraying.  This might only be needed to thread the skull bead onto the white cord.
In the middle of the white cord make a larks head knot around the metal ring.
 Create vertical larks head knots down both sides almost all the way around, 18 knots in total.
 Line up the center of the orange and yellow cords with the exposed part of the ring.
Join the orange and yellow cords with the ring using a larks head knot in the center of the purple cord. Make a vertical larks head knot on either side of the purple cord with the white cord that covers the ring and both the orange and yellow cords.
Make a vertical larks head knot with the orange cord around just the yellow cord on both sides.

Make a vertical larks head knot with the blue cord next to the orange knots creating a loop behind the purple cord.
 Make vertical larks head knots with both ends of the orange cord next to the blue knots.
 Make vertical larks head knots with the purple cord, creating loops.
 Again make vertical knots with both ends of the orange cord.  Next make vertical knots with both ends of the blue cord creating two loops.  Then make vertical knots with both ends of the orange cord, but this time the knots should encompass both the yellow and blue cords.
 Make two more vertical knots with the purple cord creating two more loops.  Then create two vertical knots with the orange this time encompassing the yellow, blue and purple cords. Set this aside.

In the center of the red cord create a series of four oysterman knots.  Leave just enough space between each for a larks head knot.
A little off from the center of the green cord create a larks head knot next to the first oysterman knot.
 Create a vertical larks head knot in between the first two oysterman knots, then just half of a vertical larks head knot between the second and third oysterman knots.
 Finish the vertical larks head knot around the white cords from the other piece.

Continue creating larks head knots with the green cord around the remaining oysterman knots.
 Push the red and green knots up snug against the other piece. 
 Thread the skull bead onto the white cords. Turn the whole thing around so the skull is facing away and then pull the red and green cords together by creating a square knot with the white cord.
 Making the knots facing this way creates the best tension for framing the face.  See isn't she beautiful? I think when the cord matches the bead it gives the illusion of neck bones. 
 Turn it all around again.  This time make one square knot using the yellow, orange, blue and purple cords over the red, green and white cords.
Using the blue cord coming out on the right side create vertical half hitch
You could stop here.  Tie off the blue cords, and glue and tuck in the ends.  Then trim the hanging cords to a desired length and knot the ends.

If you want to keep going, make a series of knots with the other blue cord.  About 3/8 inch down make your first knot.  I don't know if this one has a fancy name, but it provides the right amount of spacing between cords. Make sure to do the loops in the same direction each time and they'll all line up nice and pretty. 
Make a loop under the next cord.  Note the end of the blue cord loops underneath itself.
Then pass the blue cord over the orange and through the loop and pull it snug. 
Finish all the way down the line. 
Make sure the bottom blue cord is lined up the way you want it and then make double overhand knots on the cords hanging down to keep the blue cord from slipping down. 
Use the 8 inch cord to tie the ends together.  I should have used a different color than blue to demonstrate this, sorry for not thinking ahead. 
Fold them under and behind the pendant and gently tug any cords that need to be longer so the bottom has a nice curve.
Once the cords are the length you want, turn it around again, fold the ends over and use the blue cord to make four square knots to hold everything tight. Knot the ends securely, I prefer a surgeon's knot with a dab of E600. Then trim all the ends.   
Also use a surgeon's knot to tie the ends of the original blue cord at the top together.  Before tightening it, turn the piece around and make sure you are happy with the way it looks and shorten or lengthen the blue cords accordingly. Tighten the knot and add a dab of E600.
 Tuck the folded end underneath the knot made by the original blue cord.
Turn it around one more time.  Make sure the ends are trimmed and tucked high enough that you can't see them. Anything behind the half hitch knots and above will be hidden.  Once it looks good, dab on a little more E600 to keep it in place. 

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