Over the holidays I have been getting on with finessing my bracelets and deciding what looks best and what is the most durable. I would have liked to have been past this stage by now but it’s not been easy – I’ve been buying and making bits and pieces to try out – findings, wire etc. and the trial and error has been the only way to reach the best outcome(s).
Whipping and braiding
I’ve loved learning about ways to braid, knot and tie the rope by using animatedknots.com, where there are a variety of levels of difficulty. The Australian braid below looks good but this particular type of rope can slip apart easily. Whipping was also good for if the rope had become frayed or needed holding together slightly. For extra hold, a very watery and strong glue can be used on the whipping thread to set it in place, as you do leave 2 ends sticking out slightly when you trim them.
Whipping on bracelets (colour)
All along I have been trying to find ways of bringing my own design to the bracelets instead of just relying on the rope, so here are 2 examples of whipping around the magnetic clasp fastens that I have been using. I think it neatens them up and hides the potential fraying of the rope in the magnetic tubes. Again, using a small amount of transparent strong glue really helped secure the threads to the rope.
Hot pad/mat technique
There are obviously many things you can make with rope – it is a very strong and flexible material so I thought I would have a go at something different. This is an example of a “Carrick Bend” mat which was designed to be used as a table-mat or hot pad. If you have a good amount a rope you can make a much bigger one than I did and use it as a doormat maybe. Unfortunately I don’t think this type of rope worked as a coaster because the uneven surface wouldn’t keep my mug very stable!
Using thread as a finding
I had been fiddling about with different gauges of wire to make my own coil endings for the bracelets but was finding it really tricky and thought it cheapened the whole look of the bracelets. You also have the job of matching the clasp to the wire which doesn’t always work. So, instead, I tested this really strong thread out by whipping it after making a loop at the top for connector rings and the clasp. They are a gun metal colour. I think it works well and marries with the rope much better than wire does! Obviously this one is a test piece as the two ends are not even but it is a strong finish to the bracelet which is really important.