The question that’s asked the most on my Instagram page is, “How do you start your alpha bracelets so straight when you have hoops?”.
So I decided I would answer this question in this post. This is how I start and make alpha bracelets, and I find it much better than the previous way of doing it, as the start is super straight so you can start your pattern immediately. This is important in larger patterns.
As this is specifically for larger bracelets (although you can just use one for smaller ones), we are going to make a 32 string wide bracelet. Which means we need 2 x 16 strings. A lot of my patterns I make 32 strings wide as it’s a good number which divides into an even number. You can make odd numbers i.e 31 strings with this method, but you need to cut a string out, so I tend to just make patterns that are easily dividable.
- First off, you need two strings of thread that are about 120 cm each. I use slightly longer than I need, because it seems to help stop them getting tangled at the end. You then want to tape the middle of both of these threads to a board, I use my clipboard, leaving space in the middle.
2. When you’ve taped them to the board, you then need 6 more threads about 90cm each. You need them to be double the length that you need.
3. You then need to tie the 6 strings to the two strings, find the middle of the thread, make a loop, and pass it under the 2 strings that are taped to the board, just like in this picture.
4. Then you need to pull the tails through the hoop, making a knot on the base strings so it looks like this picture, and then pull it tight to knot it. It’s one of the basic macrame larkshead knots.
5. You need to repeat this for all six strings, so at the end you should have something that looks like this.
6. Now you can see and check you have 16 strings, half of the 32 that you need.
7. Next you need to take the tape off the back strings, as we need to create a loop with the back strings like this:-
8. You then need to cut another piece of thread, whatever colour you want the beginning hoop to be, I usually use about 70-80cm. I usually opt for white, as I like the contrast it creates with coloured bracelets, I also prefer it if the loop colour matches the plaits at the end as it makes it look neater. You need to tie all of the strings together with the string you are going to use for the loop. I use another larkshead knot as it makes it easier to pull through later on.
9. Next we create the beginning hoop by clipping it to the clipboard. To make a hoop, just make a forward knot, and then a backward knot over all the strings and repeat until the loop is the desired length. Tip:- Don’t make the hoops too big or it might affect how straight the rows are.
10. Next you need to pull the 4 strings (2 on either side) that pass through the loop so that the loop is where we need it to be as you can see in the picture. Using a larkshead knot (Step 8) for the loop will make this easier and you wont have to pull very hard. The loop will naturally become a loop instead of a line as you pull.
11. After pulling, you’ll end up with this, a 16 string loop.
12. Now you need to complete this entire tutorial again, to make an identical one so we have 2 of them to make 32 strings. Here’s some magic, and one I completed earlier.
13. You then want to clip one of them with your clipboard and make a row in the colour you need. You need to put the hoop under the clip, so that the first row is the only thing visible as you can see in the following picture. This is going to be a pink bracelet, so I’m going to use pink and make one row on one of the sets of strings we’ve made.
14. Then, you need to add the other set of strings, as close as you can get it to the row you’ve already made. You want it as close as you can get it, so a hole doesn’t appear when you knot it.
15. Then you can complete the row!
16. And that’s it, you can now carry on with your bracelet! Using this method, your bracelet will be straight like mine!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you want to see more let me know, it was fun to make, and I have lots of tips and tutorials to share with you.
Why not give this tutorial a try and tag me in it on Instagram using @Rhios_Bracelets. I’ll come to your account and give you some love and likes.