Like Molly, my summers as a kid were filled with the making and trading of friendship bracelets. I would pin vibrant strands of DMC to my jeans or even to my Keds, fervently knotting up bracelets every chance I got. I am thankful Molly has brought them back into our lives here at Purl Soho, but now... I cannot get enough!

Loving the nostalgia of the friendship bracelet, but also feeling a bit "adult" since my thirtieth birthday last month, I decided to approach my childhood obsession from a new perspective. And so while I love the electric colors of the classic summertime bracelets, I find myself wanting a tamer palette to accompany the wisdom of my years.

But what I toned down in color, I amped up in gauge, reaching straight for my favorite chunky yarn, Jade Sapphire's 12-ply Mongolian Cashmere. Its spin provides the perfect sheen for jewelry, especially the glowing color Silver Pearl. Jade Sapphire's yarns are hand dyed,and the subtle shifts in color perfectly complement the super structured, tightly textured macrame bracelet.

But since no one is too old for a pop of color, I couldn't resist a little! For three versions I threw in some bright strands of Manos Del Uruguay's Maxima, a single-ply, hand spun merino.  And for the other version, I added Blue Sky's Worsted, a beautiful merino and royal alpaca blend.

Materials

To make Versions 1, 2 and 3:

  • 1 skein of Jade Sapphire's 12-ply Cashmere, 100% Mongolian cashmere. I used the color Silver Pearl.
  • 1 skein of Manos Del Uruguay's Maxima, 100% extrafine merino wool. I used the color Shocking.

To make Version 4:

I was able to make all four of these bracelets out of the one skeins of Cashmere.

Pattern: Version 1

This pattern is adapted from Molly's Friendship Bracelets. She also created Valentines Friendship Bracelets which are available by clicking here!

Cut the Yarn

Cut eight 72-inch long pieces of the main color. We will refer to it as Yarn A.

Cut three 72-inch long pieces of the contrast color. We will refer to it as Yarn B.

Cut one 12-inch long piece of either yarn.

Prepare the Strands

Loop the 72-inch strands onto the 12-inch strand in the following order: A, A, A, B, A, B, A, B, A, A, A

Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn in a loose knot. You will undo this knot later so don't tie it too tight!

Using a safety pin, pin the loop to your jeans (or any other stable piece of fabric that you don't mind getting holes in) to keep it steady.

Start with a Left Knot

Place the farthest left strand over the strand to its right, in a sort of a "4" shape as shown above.

Pull the end of the strand through this "4" loop creating a knot.

While holding the right strand taut, pull up the left strand to form a tight knot as shown above. Repeat once more. Both the Left and Right Knots are actually made up of two knots each.

Continue to work from left to right with the same strand to make 6 more Left Knots.

Now a Right Knot

The right knot is made in the same manner as the left but in the opposite direction.

Place the farthest right strand over its left hand neighbor in the "P" shape shown above.

Pull the strand's end through the "P" to form a knot.

While pulling the left strand tightly down, pull the right strand upwards to form a taut knot. Repeat this once to make a full Right Knot. Remember both the left and right knots are actually made up of two knots each.

Continue to work from right to left with the same strand to make 6 more Right Knots.

A Few More Rows of Left Knots and Right Knots

Left Knots are always tied from left to right and Right Knots are always tied from right the left.

Work from left to right, making 5 Left Knots.

Work from right to left, making 5 Right Knots.

Make 3 Left Knots.

Make 3 Right Knots.

Make 1 Left Knots.

Make 1 Right Knots.

Body of the Bracelet

Make 10 Left Knots.

Make 10 Right Knots.

Tie the two center strands in a Left Knot.

Repeat the previous 3 steps until the bracelet is the desired length.

Finish the Bracelet

Make 8 Left Knots.

Make 8 Right Knots.

Make 6 Left Knots.

Make 6 Right Knots.

Make 4 Left Knots.

Make 4 Right Knots.

Make 2 Left Knots.

Make 2 Right Knots.

Divide the strands in half down the center.

Find the center left strand. Make a Right Knot around all the strands to its right.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Find the center right strand. Make a Left Knot around all the strands to its left.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Make two braids, tie a knot in each end and trim the ends.

Unpin the safety pin. Untie the knot at the top of the bracelet that the safety pin was piercing. Tautly, re-tie a knot at the tip of the bracelet.

To Wear

Pull the braids through the oval you created at the top of the bracelet. Tie a gentle knot. And that's it!

Pattern: Version 2

The bulk of this pattern is identical to the pattern for Version 1. The major difference is the number of strands of each color and their arrangement.

Cut the Yarn

Cut ten 72-inch long pieces of the main color. We will refer to it as Yarn A.

Cut one 72-inch long pieces of the contrast color. We will refer to it as Yarn B.

Cut one 12-inch long piece of either yarn.

Prepare the Strands

Loop the 72-inch strands onto the 12-inch strand in the following order: A, A, A, A, A, B, A, A, A, A, A

Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn in a loose knot. You will undo this knot later so don't tie it too tight!

Using a safety pin, pin the loop to your jeans (or any other stable piece of fabric that you don't mind getting holes in) to keep it steady.

Follow the Version 1 pattern, above, starting with the Start with a Left Knot section.

Pattern: Version 3

Cut the Yarn

Cut four 72-inch long pieces of the main color. We will refer to it as Yarn A.

Cut one 72-inch long pieces of the contrast color. We will refer to it as Yarn B.

Cut one 12-inch long piece of either yarn.

Prepare the Strands

Loop the 72-inch strands onto the 12-inch strand in the following order:  A, A, B, A, A

Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn in a loose knot. You will undo this knot later so don't tie it too tight!

Using a safety pin, pin the loop to your jeans (or any other stable piece of fabric that you don't mind getting holes in) to keep it steady.

Top of the Bracelet

Work from left to right, making 3 Left Knots.

Work from right to left, making 3 Right Knots.

Work from left to right, making 1 Left Knots.

Work from right to left, making 1 Right Knots.

Body of the Bracelet

Make 4 Left Knots.

Make 4 Right Knots.

Tie the two center strands in a Left Knot.

Repeat the previous 3 steps until the bracelet is the desired length.

Finish the Bracelet

Make 2 Left Knots.

Make 2 Right Knots.

Divide the strands in half down the center.

Find the center left strand. Make a Right Knot around all the strands to its right.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Find the center right strand. Make a Left Knot around all the strands to its left.

Repeat this 5 more times.

Make two braids, knot the ends and trim the ends.

Unpin the safety pin. Untie the knot at the top of the bracelet that the safety pin was piercing. Tautly, re-tie a knot at the tip of the bracelet.

For how to wear the bracelet, jump up to the How to Wear section above.

Pattern: Version 4

Go wild! Now that you have the hang of it, cut as many or as few 72-inch strands as you'd like. You can arrangement the strands asymetrically, as I have done here, to make a more varied and braided looking bracelet.