Knotting is done with any thread or cord that will hold when drawn into an ordinary square knot. Belts, mats, purses and similar articles can be made by this technique as well as hammocks or bags of open net design. Knotting is generally done on a core of the same cord that is used to make the article. It is important that this core always be kept taut as you work. One easy way to do this is to twist it once around a button on your clothes. The other end of the work must, of course be fastened to something stationary as in braiding.
Most knotting is done with the square knot, which is tied around a core in the manner shown (fig. 159). The same illustration demonstrates the appearance of a row of these knots tied continuously over the same core. In practice, however, knotting is generally done with eight or more strands in order to produce a finished strip wide enough for a belt or similar object. The easiest way to start is to take four pieces of cord double the length required and fasten them to the buckle (or to a plain bar) in the manner shown (fig. 160).
In the second step, the eight strands are divided into two groups of four. The two center strands in each of these groups are the cores on which the knotting is started. Thus a square knot is made with Nos. 1 and 4 around strands 2 and 3; also with 5 and 8 around 6 and 7.
The third step is to tie the two groups of four together. This is done by discarding for the moment the two outer cords of each group and knotting the four remaining ones in the above manner, that is, with the two center cords as a core.
The fourth step is a repetition of the second, and the fifth step is the same as the third. Continue alternating steps until the strip has reached the required length. Wider strips can be knotted by adding more cords at the beginning and following the same procedure.
Half hitches are also made over a core. They are often used in rows to finish off a square knotted belt or to add variety in the body of any piece of square knotting.
The basic knot consists of at least two hitches or turns of the cord around its core (fig. 161). The illustration also shows how a series of half hitches can be tied with the same cord.
When half hitching is done with a number of strands, one of the outer ones is generally used as the core, and each of the other strands is half hitched over it in succession (fig. 162). The same method is used in combining half hitching with square knotting.
The chain stitch is a variation of straight half hitching. It is done with two cords, each of which is alternately the working strand and the core (fig. 163). The right strand is first looped in a half hitch over the left, then the left over the right, and the knotting is continued thus until finished. A heavier chain can be made by doubling the strands and manipulating each pair as above.
An open mesh pattern can be made with either the triangle stitch (fig. 164), or the square stitch (fig. 165). The illustrations show diagrams of the knots and their use in eight-strand nets.