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Conversational Threads

Special Knots

jatman | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Can anyone tell me either how to make the knot that is attached to this bookmark or what that kind of knot is called so that I might possibly be able to look it up somewhere?

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Thank you!  JT


  1. liselaure | | #1


    It's called a pang chang knot in China and a chrysanthemum knot in Korea. I discovered these knots as well as Celtic knots this summer. They offer wonderful possibilities for embellishment (clothes, accessories, home...) and for jewelry. I already thought that they would make a great article for Threads. Suzen Millodot has written two books about Chinese knots and Celtic knots. Here is her website: http://ornamental-knots.com/. For those among you who can read French, "L'art du maedup -  Noeuds coréens -Bijoux et accessoires" by Kim Sang Lang is great.<!----><!---->


    1. jatman | | #3

      Thank you LiseLaure!  I love Suzen Millodot's website.  She has used the knots in some really creative ways.  I ordered both of her books last night.  Looks like she is working on a third book, too.  I'm hoping to be able to use the methods for embellishing a variety of things.  Thank you!


      P.S.  How important is my ability to read French in the book by Kim Sang Lang?  Is this an historical presentation of the knots or a book that tells/shows you how to make them?

      1. liselaure | | #5


        The book by Kim Sang Lan is a book that tells you how to make Korean knots. It also offers you a few beautiful jewelry designs. The pictures are great but you need the explanations (very clear) if you want to make these knots the same way as the author, that is by winding the yarn round your fingers. But you could probably make them on a pin board with the help of a photocopy/drawing, and in this case you should be able to succeed without the explanations, especially as the author uses two colors of yarn for each knot which allows you to better follow the path of the yarn. Last but not least, you'll find most of these Korean knots in Suzen Millidot's book; only the names change.

        About the Celtic knots in Millidot's book, they are all knots that stay together by themselves, even though she suggests to help some of them with a few hidden stitches.


        1. jatman | | #6

          Good - looks like I have the info I'll need with the Millodot books.  Thank you for your help!


    2. Tatsy | | #8

      I love Suzen Millodot's book on Chinese knots and have made several necklaces, but have not tried the Celtic book yet. Do you have order information for the French book? Finding a book locally in anything but English or Spanish is hopeless.

      What are you doing with the knots? Have you tried making any of the jewelry?

      1. liselaure | | #9

        Hello Tatsy,

        The book by Kim Sang Lan is available at Amazon.fr for instance: http://www.amazon.fr/Lart-maedup-noeuds-cor%C3%A9ens-accessoires/dp/2215078162/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195464159&sr=1-1

        I haven't made any jewlery yet due to lack of time (I am just back to sewing after a several month break).  But I have tried to make the different kinds of knots and started to look for rattails and pearls in my colors. I have not been very successful with these so far, but in the meantime I discovered kumihimo (the Japanese traditional art of braiding) and will now be able to make my own cords with cotton pearl which is available in a large range of shades. I plan to use these knots to make jewlery and to embellish garments and accessories as well. They can be used as closures, combined with tassels, or sewn on garments (along hems, edges...). As you probably know, most of the knots can be made in two colors, which allows to link together garments in different colors. (For those here who don't know, these knots are often made with a cord folded in half so you can tie two cords with a small round knot and make the knot itself above, or you can follow the path of the whole knot with two cords.) I think it's beautiful, offers many possibilities, and can be more easily carried than a sewing machine and an ironing board.


        1. Tatsy | | #10

          Thanks for the order info.  I've fallen in love with Chinese knotting. I've can carry everything I need in a zipped bag the size of a sheet of paper. My work board is a cardboard box  folded flat. I love that the only equipment needed is a needle and thread.

          1. Elizard | | #11

            I'd just like to shortly add these two URLs:
            http://www.chineseknotting.org and
            they show the basics plus a few advanced knots, and have links to related sites.

          2. dotty | | #12

            Niki Epstein's wonderful books on various knitting embellishments(Knitting Beyond the Edge for example), contain all sorts of things similar to what you are asking about using knitted i-cord.

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    There is a new book on Chinese knotting available in the chain bookstores; I think the title is something like The Regaining Popularity of Chinese Knotting-- a bit awkward, but with clear diagrams and instructions in English. This knot is the center of another, very beautiful Butterfly knot. Macrame and sailor's knot books also have simple woven knots, too.I learned Chinese knotting several years ago from the photos and diagrams in a Chinese book that I couldn't read; it's pretty easy if you use a piece of cork board and pins to hold your work. Basically, you lay the cord in parallel lines one direction, the weave under/over in the other direction, starting with the middle of the single cord at one corner. If you enlarge the photo you have posted, you can see the arrangements. In this case, the center of the cord is the part looped to the bookmark or trinket. At the top left, one end of the cord goes back and forth horizontally, and the other weaves over/under vertically. Both ends exit the lower right corner and have simple overhand knots at the ends.Chinese knots always stay intact, unlike many Celtic knots which are purely decorative and work only on paper but won't stay together as knots.

    1. jatman | | #4

      Thank you Teaf5!  I will look for this book, too.  If I had a knot in front of me to flip over and study I might be able to figure it out but I just couldn't from the picture of the bookmark.  Good to know that Chinese knots are more functional than Celtic ones as that would make a huge difference in which kind I use in clothing vs. decorations.


  3. MaryinColorado | | #7

    This is a very interesting thread!  Thank You for starting it,JT.   I really enjoy it and appreciate the informati0n eveyone has given.  Thanks from me too to everyone with the great advice!  Mary

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