Hello everyone, my name is Masha Knots and this is a beginner’s guide to friendship bracelets I wanted to include as much information as I could in one video, because of that this video is very long To make this video easier to navigate there will be a list of contents and timestamps on the screen right now, in the description and in the pinned comment of the video. So, Who am I? My name is Maria, but most people know me as Masha Knots. I’ve been making bracelets since 2009 and I make videos about them here on YouTube. I do tutorials, thread overviews, challenges, discussions, competitions and so much more I also have an Instagram, where I post pictures of all of my bracelets, do lives and interact with other people in the community. My videos are made possible by the generous support of my Patrons such as Lisa and Sunshine who are my top supporters, it is with their generous support that I’m able to continue making videos. If you also want to become a Patron, there is a link in the description, this is the best way to support the channel and also get some exclusive perks This video is a general overview suited for everyone, from people who have never heard about friendship bracelets in their lives, to people who are somewhat experienced in the craft. I will be covering a variety of different topics, such as bracelet types, strings types, methods of knotting, embellishments and much more. As I said, this video is an overview, which means that while I will be giving you a lot of general information, there will be no detailed tutorials on the topics covered. As you can tell, this video is already very long. So to make it easier for you to learn, I’m going to link to detailed tutorials on these separate topics in the description for you to watch on your own time. However, while I do make tutorials, I personally am not capable of making tutorials on every single topic discussed today. Some of the topics will require additional research from you, to look into other places online for you to learn. However, I will include a bunch of resources that I personally found very helpful in the resources section of the video Additionally, I just quickly want to mention that all of the owners of the photos that I’m going to be using today have given consent for me to use their pictures in this video. At this point, friendship bracelets are used to express friendships, but also they used just as an accessory or for some people it’s just a way expressing your creativity and it’s just a fun hobby for a lot of people. So there are three main techniques to making braces. We have the normal patterns. These are patterns that use all of the strings in a combination with each other to create the pattern of the bracelet. In these bracelets you can create really intricate designs, they can look really, really beautiful and in these bracelets threads move diagonally, across rows. And don’t worry, I’m gonna go into more detail a little bit later. Next we have Alpha bracelets or Alphabet bracelets, these bracelets are often used when someone wants to make a specific picture, a specific design, this is also the technique that is most often used with bracelets that included some type of lettering and in this type of bracelets you have base strings, which are only used for the base and you have leading strings, which are the ones that create the pattern. And in these types of bracelets rows are created horizontally. And again, I’m going to go into more detail a little bit later. Next up we have Kumihimo bracelets, which I know pretty much nothing about and I’m only mentioning for you to do further research later on if that is something that you’re interested in. And the fourth type of bracelet is special bracelets. These are bracelets that are created by using a variety of different techniques, either being alpha or normal bracelets, but they usually not made following a specific pattern, they are special in some way they use their own techniques and to find out how to make them you have to look at the specific tutorial for that specific bracelet When creating a normal pattern, you have to, of course, follow a pattern. And there are two main ways that people usually do it There is the row-by-row method in which you read the pattern left to right, row by row, and there’s also the segment melting method, in which you don’t go row by row and instead you knot in segments When you’re looking at a normal pattern, for the first time, it can be a little bit overwhelming, because there seems to be a lot of things going on. But in reality is just a couple of elements that all work together to form the pattern. You should know that there are different knot types when making friendship bracelets, but I don’t want you to worry about that right now, I’m going to go into further detail a little bit later. The lines in the pattern represent different strings and you can see at the top that where the lines finish they’ve got colors and letters assigned to them Each letter corresponds to a specific color so it’s easier for you to navigate The pattern also has a bunch of different circles, as you can see. Each circle represents a knot and the arrow inside the circle represents the type of knot that you’re going to be making. The color of the circle represents the string that you will be using to create that knot and again, I will be going into more detail about knot types later on in the video. So the premise of the row-by-row method is that you follow the pattern row by row. If you look closely
you can see that there are numbers, in this pattern it’s from 1 to 4, that indicate the row. You can also see a horizontal line going through each row And the row by row method works by doing each row individually from left to right So you will start from the first row, the first knot on the left, which is the yellow knot, you take those two strings you do the knot between them. After that you take the next knot on the same row, do that knot between the two strings, after that you take the next pair of strings, do this next knot, then the next one and the next knot, and so on And once you’ve finished with the first row, you move on to the second row and you start with the first knot on the left once again. When you’re making bracelets with the row-by-row method every other row you’re gonna be excluding a pair of strings, so on the second row you can notice that there are two strings: one on the left and one on the right, that are not being used in that row. And that happens every other row. Once again, as with everything in this video, if you want to know more about this method, there will be a link in the description to one of my tutorials, and a link for somewhere you can do further research Segments knotting is different from the row-by-row method because instead of doing individual knots on individual pairs of strengths, the premise is that you try to find a bunch of knots that you’re doing with one string and you do them all together, in one go. This method can seem a little bit more complicated, because you do need to sit down and figure out exactly what not you’re doing when, but once you do figure that out this method really is much quicker, because instead of going from one pair of strings to another pair of strings, constantly switching and looking back at the pattern, you’re doing a bunch of knots all at once with one string, saving you all the time of switching the strings and constantly looking back at your pattern. Now as I said, this is a little bit more difficult to figure out and this video is just an overview, so again, as with everything else, I’m going to leave a link in the description for you to do some further research. Additionally, I’m going to be making a video dedicated to segment knotting really soon, so if you’re watching this in the future check in the description, I will be posting a link to that video once It’s out Alpha patterns are completely different to normal patterns. First of all, the patterns themselves look like a grid, it is essentially pixel art, it is dots, it is pixels on a grid. In normal patterns, all of the strings work together to create the design, in alpha patterns however, you have two different types of strings. In alpha patterns you have leading strings, which are the strings that create the design and you also have base strings, which are the strands that the design is created onto. Alpha bracelets are quite similar to weaving in that you go horizontally, row by row, from left to right, from right to left, in creating your design. It’s like printing a design, row by row, pixel by pixel, knot by knot. The base strings don’t do anything in the bracelet, they do not appear anywhere in the bracelet, they are only there to hold the bracelet together, the knots are made onto the base strings. The number of base strings determines how wide the bracelet is going to be and the leading string determines of the color of the knots being made. My current active leading string is this sort of teal one, which is the one that I was making the background with. But as you can see, there are also other colors in this bracelet and those other colors are made with other strings, which are currently sticking out on the back and they are not leading strings, they are off to the side. Switching leading strings is what changes the colors in the bracelet and there are different methods of switching leading strains in alpha bracelets as well. I do not know the english names of these methods, but i will leave links in the description for you to do further research. Once again, as with everything in this video, this is an overview, but if you want to learn more about how to make alpha bracelets. There are resources in the description for you to learn In terms of resources there are plenty There are currently two main bracelet making websites, on which you can find patterns, tutorials, photos for inspiration as well as other people who are willing to help you out. Also under all of my videos, I leave the link to my account on these websites, so if you ever want to look through my saved patterns and bracelets that I’m planning on making and want to make, you can do that. In addition to that, of course there is Instagram on which you could search by #friendshipbracelets or #fenechki, which is the Russian word for friendship bracelets, because the Russian community is actually quite active in making bracelets as well. And you can use the photos that you find for inspiration, maybe find a pattern that you particularly like and you want to make that for yourself. You can really get inspired when looking at other people’s creations So where to start? You should probably start by learning about the knot types. There are four main knot types when it comes to making bracelets You’ve got the forward knot, the backward knot the forward-backward knot and the backward-forward knot. There are also some additional knots that can come up when making bracelets You’ve got the lark’s head knot, which is a knot that is commonly used for keyrings and you’ve got the square knot, which is sometimes used for adjustable clasps. So if you are beginner who has never done this before, I would recommend that you start by
practicing the knots. Take two threads and just start making knots between them You can also find quite a few patterns online that are suitable for beginners. A lot of people including me start their bracelet journey by making candy stripes Candystripes are probably the simplest bracelet that you can find, it is literally just a striped bracelet However, if you have never done bracelets before and you want to try it out, I personally would recommend trying out a Chevron first. A chevron is very similar to a candystripe, but it is in the shape of a V, in a shape of an arrow The reason I’m recommending starting with a chevron is because a candystripe only uses one type of knot, you can make a candystripe entirely out of forward knots or entirely out of backward knots. When you do that, you get used to make one type of knot and the other type of knot is more difficult for you to learn because you’re so used to making the first one, which is why I recommend doing the chevron, because in the chevron, in the v-shape of the chevron, you’re using forward knots on one side and backward knots on the other side, practicing both of the knots at the same time, to make sure you’re on the same level with both of them Once you’ve tackled the chevron bracelet and you feel more confident in going into other patterns. I would recommend the heart pattern, it is a really cute bracelet and the pattern for it is really good training for you to understand patterns. Additionally, you can also try the braided pattern, which is also a pretty good bracelet to start off with. So let’s talk about thread, the most common thread used for making friendship bracelets is probably embroidery floss Now you can find this in a variety of different stores, in a variety of different ways. Embroidery floss has several strands, which, put together, make a thread. Another thread type is craft thread and with this you can also go with a variety of different companies The craft thread is different from the embroidery floss, because the craft thread is a twisted type of thread, it is twisted on itself. Some people also go with yarn or wool when they’re making their bracelets. The main thing you should take away from this is that it really doesn’t matter that much what you’re using to make your bracelets, it can be one texture, it can be another texture as long as you feel comfortable making bracelets with the thread that you are using, there is really no issue with it. However, there are some special types of thread that you might want to keep in mind, there are a variety of multicolored threads These are threads that in one skein contain a variety of different colors, changing from one to the next, within the same thread. These threads look great in a variety of different projects, they can be used as backgrounds for different alpha designs, making the design look even cooler and stand out from the background or they can also be used in normal patterns in the variety of different creative ways. I personally find multi-coloured thread to be fascinating and I love it when I find a project where I can use it well Additionally, instead of buying multicolored thread, some people color their own thread. Now again, I personally don’t actually know how to do this, but you can find a bunch of resources online that will be able to tell you how Coloring your own thread can help you get the exact shade that you want for your specific bracelet and it’s also a great way of self-expression, you can do literally whatever you want with it Now I’m not sure that this is how you say it in English, but in Russian that we call this thread ”simli”, which is a type of thread that has glitter in it. Now again, these threads can be used as backgrounds for your other bracelets, making your bracelets stand out and pop more. Or they can also be used in normal bracelets, giving your bracelets a cool, unique effect. Now there is also a metallic thread. Metallic threads are really shiny and bright and give your bracelets also a really really cool effect. However metallic threads are known to be very annoying to work with, because similarly to embroidery floss they are made up of separate strands, but because they are metallic, they’re sort of slippery and the strands tend to separate a lot, which can be really annoying and very difficult to work with So I would only recommend using metallic thread if you are experienced and up to the challenge Picking out colors for a bracelet is a whole different way of expressing your creativity. It can be very challenging for some people to figure out what colors they want to use for their bracelet. If you are having trouble thinking of colors for your bracelets, I suggest maybe using some software that generates color combinations, based on color theory. Adobe Colour is a great resource online to do this. On this website you can generate different color combinations based on color theory by generating analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound or shade color combinations of any colors that you like You can then use these color combinations to find similar threads in your collection, to use in your bracelets Additionally, some of these websites, actually allow you to test your own colours with the pattern that you want to make. On this website, when you find a pattern that you like, you can click add a variation, which will then allow you to edit that pattern Here you can change any of the colors of the bracelet, then click save and test to see what the colors will look like in your pattern Choosing the length of string for the bracelet that you’re making can be really tricky. If I’m being honest, this is something that I still struggle with to this day. If you don’t
use enough thread, some of the thread will run out while you’re making the bracelet. Now there are all ways to fix that, I’m going to be talking about it in the mistakes portion of this video, but it’s still an annoying thing that you want to avoid. However, if you use too much thread, you’re gonna have a lot of left over once you finish your bracelet If that is the case for you, don’t throw away the thread cuttings, the thread that is left over that you are cutting off, can be very valuable and can be reused in other bracelets. For example, I have a special box, where I keep all of my thread cuttings and I reuse these cuttings when I’m making alpha bracelets and when I don’t need too much of a single color. But let’s get into determining thread length. Usually I would say that you should probably use at least one meter per string. However, this isn’t really a universal thing that can apply to every bracelet. If you want to go more into specifics, you can look at the pattern that you are creating. In terms of normal patterns, you can track each thread in the pattern to see where it’s going to be used. When you see that a knot is being made with that thread and you can see that, when the knot is in the color of the thread that you’re tracking, you know that this thread is being used. When you see that a different thread is making a knot onto this thread, that means the thread is currently being passive and is not being used. So the more the thread is being used, the more knots there are made with that thread, the more of that thread you’re going to need. So if you have a thread that is completely passive, that no knots are being made of its color, you’re not going to be needing too much of a threat. However, if you have a thread that is constantly making knots, you’re going to need more of that thread. Again, as I said, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all solution for this problem, you just have to sort of go with it and figure out by trial and error When it comes to alpha bracelets, things are a little bit easier. The more knots there are of a color in an alpha, that being, the more pixels there are of the color, the more you’re gonna need that thread. So if there is literally just one knot that you need to make in that color, the thread can be this long, it can be super short, because you just mean one knot. But if you need a lot of knots, if it’s the background color, you’re going to need much more of that thread.When I make my alpha bracelets and I know that I’m going to be using a color a lot, I sometimes don’t even cut my colors and I just have the bobbins lying around as I’m making the bracelet, so I’m unwinding the string as I go along. And again, this is also trial and error Let’s talk about closures. There are different types of ways that you can start and finish bracelets. As these pictures are coming up, I’m going to try to leave the name of the technique used for them, if I know them, so you can google them and find out on your own how to make them If you want to learn from me, I have a special playlist on how to start and finish bracelets and I’ll be updating that as I make more videos on that topic. But also you don’t have to do any special starts and finishes to your bracelet, you can just do a loop with the string tie a knot and start making a bracelet then and there Using all of these types of closures is also pretty simple, let’s start with the crimp ends. The crimp ends are pretty straightforward. You just have to use it like a necklace. When you add the chain to your bracelet, you can also adjust the tightness you can make it super tight or much less tight depending on how you like. So yeah, this is pretty straightforward. For me personally, when I do triangle ends, I either do one tie or two ties at the end. On this bracelet I have two ties, on each side, and you can either tie both of them together, at the same time or you can go separately and tie one with the other like this, and then the second pair as well, just doing a simple knot as you would with your shoelaces and there you go. But as I said, you can also tie both of them together at once. When it comes to the loop, I usually do two ends on the other side, so that way when you come to close your loop, you put one of the ends through the loop, the other one you don’t put through the loop and then you tie a knot between them, like that. And that way your bracelet stays secure So in terms of securing your bracelets on to a workspace, there are many different ways that people do this. Some people use safety pins and pin their bracelets to their jeans, their pillows, to whatever. Other people use clipboards and they find that clipboards are a pretty cool way to secure bracelets Macrame boards are something that other people use as well, this also helps to sort your string as you put each string in its separate hole, so your strings don’t get tangled as you’re making your bracelet. I personally use tape, I just taped down my bracelet with a bunch of tape all along the strings and I find that that is a good way for me and I find it really comfortable So getting the knot tension just right, it’s pretty important if you want your
bracelet to look too consistent. Now if you already learned about the basic knots in friendship bracelets, you already know that each friendship bracelet knot is made up of two halves. The first half, which is what I am going to be doing right now, positions the knot. You carry the string forward and when you release it, it is where the knot is going to be positione. So it’s right there, right in the middle where I want it and the second half of the knot is the one that secures the knot in place. So while I haven’t secured the second half, I can move around and reposition my knot, but then once I’ve already secured the second half of the knot, my knot is done and is in place, so you want to do both halves of not very carefully, making sure that your knot is exactly where you want it and in normal patterns you usually want it in between the two previous kots of the last row, but apart from what I just showed you not tension isn’t really something that you can learn about theoretically, it already does come down to practice, so don’t worry if you’re just starting out and you’re not aren’t looking perfect and even and just how you want them, it does take time to figure out how to do them So let’s talk about fixing mistakes. There are many different mistakes that you can make as a beginner and I have a separate video on that completely, if you want to check that out later, but I’m just gonna go over a few of the most common ones now Running out of string is probably the most common mistake that occurs, however it’s not really that big of a deal, you can always add extra striings to your bracelet, it just might be a little bit annoying, because it takes a little bit extra time Making an incorrect knot is also a pretty common mistake, I know that with every single bracelet that I make there is always at least one knot that I’ve had to undo and I usually use a safety pin, to undo my knots. Strings of the wrong color popping through on the knot that you’re making, it is also pretty common and this one is easily fixable if you catch it at the right time. The string tension is also quite important, because when you get it wrong, you can make your knot look very very strange and you can even end up with excess string coming out from the sides or within your bracelet. As I said, this is like a general overview, so if you want to know more information about how to fix these mistakes, as with everything else in this video links to different resources are in the description The most common bracelet length is usually somewhere between 14 and 18 centimeters and this is just counting your bracelet alone, I’m not counting the ties There are many different ways that you can choose to finish off the ties for your bracelets. Some people like to make simple braided ties for their bracelets, I know that this is something that I’ve done in the past as well. Some people like fishtail ends, which is also sort of a special type of braiding technique and they use those ties to finish off their bracelets. Some people make adjustable clasps for their bracelets and swear by it, because they like to adjust the tightness of the bracelet as they’re wearing it. I personally mostly make twisted ties, but that is just a personal preference, you can also attach crimp ends to your bracelets, giving them a more polished and professional look Storing thread is a very big thing for me For the longest time my thread wasn’t organized in any way, they were just all lumped together in one block and I had to look through all of them to find the thread that I needed to use. However, I recently revamped my entire collection, organized it and did a separate video on that, if you want to check that out as well and I found that the way that I did it is actually one of the most common ways that people do it. So what I did and what a lot of other people do is I used storage boxes and bobbins. As I mentioned in a previous section, when you finish your bracelet and you have some thread left over, you should keep those cuttings, because you can reuse them in other places especially in alphas. So I like to store my thread cuttings in a separate box and I’ve noticed that a lot of other people do that as well. It’s a great way to use your leftover thread and not waste it Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s talk about some embellishments. There are a lot of different ways that you can embellish your bracelets: some people use sewing as a method to enhance their bracelet or create these really cool and intricate designs, other people use beads and charms to enhance their bracelet and I think this also gives the bracelets a really cool and unique effect and make them look really really appealing. You can also use your bracelet to make watches and I think that is an amazing idea and a really cool accessory. Other people make earrings which is a wonderful accessory, as well and can be used in a variety different ways. I’ve seen people make a variety of different crafts with their phrases such as pencil cases and bags and so many of these cool different things. What I’m trying to say is that the sky is your limit, you really have full creative control of what you want to make So if you’re a beginner and you’re new to this bracelet world, I just want to say: ”Welcome!” This is such an amazing community to be a part of there is so much, that you can create really the sky’s your limit, you can do whatever you want and I’m so glad that you’ve decided to join. And I hope that this video has somehow helped you, to make what you wanted to make. This video took a lot of time and energy to make which is why I want to, again, give a special
shout out to all the people that support me on Patreon. It is your support that allows me to focus my time and energy into making these videos, so thank you very much. And of course this is optional, but if you also want to become a Patron, there is a link in the description where you can sign up Becoming a Patron is the best way to support this channel and not only that, but you get access to really cool exclusive Patron-only perks. So I hope that this video was helpful to you, I hope that you learned something today that you didn’t know before. As I said, this video is a general overview on friendship bracelets and if you want more detailed tutorials, I have plenty up in my channel and I have resources linked down below, where you can find other people’s tutorials as well. If you want to find out a specific pattern for one of the bracelets that I showed today, please don’t ask me, because I do not know the patterns for the bracelets, I did link to all the people whose photos I took off of Instagram, so if you want to find out the pattern, first of all check in the comments, because maybe someone else has already found them or alternatively you can contact the people, whose pictures I use, because I do not know any of the patterns. So thank you very much for watching, again I really hope you enjoyed today’s video, if you ever make anything based on any of my videos, I always love to see you guys creations on Instagram, just don’t forget to tag me in the post, so I can see it. I post videos every Wednesday and Sunday and I will see on Sunday. Bye!