Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Pit and the Pendant Knot

After finishing the 50 inches of I-cord needed for Nicky Epstein's Pendant Knot necklace design from the "Learning the Ropes" article in Vogue Knitting Winter 2010/11, I let it sit for over a week while I worked on other things. Last night, I decided I wanted to finish it and asked my husband to watch our 14-month-old for 5 minutes so I could do so.

His idea of watching her was to let her follow me right into the kitchen, where I planned to perform the "bit of looping and twisting" that the "Learning the Ropes" article describes as all that's necessary to finish the necklace. Needless to say, that didn't work. I laid the I-cord on the counter and tried to follow the tiny, maddening diagram that serves as the only instruction for making the knot while my 14-month-old screamed and demanded to be picked up. I swore and gave up on that, bringing her and the I-cord and magazine into the living room. There, I made a couple attempts at the "looping and twisting" diagram, this time laying it on the couch. That didn't work, either, and after a couple attempts that resulted in something that looked like a colorful coil of dog poop, I gave up for the night.

This morning before my kids got up, I had a new plan of attack. I had learned last night that simply laying the I-cord down and trying to follow the diagram with the entire I-cord dangling free really was not going to work. As soon as I tried to get past the very bottom loop, the whole thing would move and I'd lose my place. So I went and got a handful of safety pins and a dish towel from the kitchen. I put everything down on the bed and finally this method worked.

I started at the bottom, with the very bottom loop. I pinned it in place. Then I followed the evil little diagram to see where it went to the left, then pinned the next loop in place. Then I figured out where it went to the right and pinned that loop in place. I figured out where it went over, where it went under, where it went through and pinned each part in place as I went. I ended up with this:

It looks like some kind of dead butterfly, all pinned like that, but it worked! Pinning it in place as you go is definitely the way to go. I unpinned it and tightened it and finally, voila, a necklace:

I like it! I haven't sewn it in place yet with sewing thread. Perhaps I'll do that tonight.

Before I tried the knot last night, I Googled a bit to see what others were saying about it. I was not the only one that had trouble with the knot. It's no accident that the "Learning the Ropes" article's tagline is "Tie One On!" You will want to when you're done with this knot!

The instructions for the knot are simply "foll diagram to make knot." What it really needs to say is: "foll diagram to make knot, but not before gathering the following items: 1 towel, a handful of safety pins and a stiff drink."

I would recommend saving the drink for after you finish the knot, because trying to follow that diagram while impaired would not work very well.

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