bindVicki's Binding Tips!CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION!






As a weaver, I had to learn to organize the yarn while applying the warp (front to back) to the loom. This was done by daisy chaining the yarn…the Boy Scouts call it the chain knot. Using the daisy chain with a lark’s head "knot" can result in a very interesting, elegant looking tying method.

To start, check your local fabric (yes, fabric) or craft store for decorative polyester cords. These are usually satiny surfaced and come in a variety of single or doubled colors. I bought red twisted with gold and black, also twisted with gold, plus some solid white. There are other colors such as maroon, greens, ivory etc. either as solids or twisted with gold, silver or pearls.

To keep the ends from untwisting, dip them in clear nail polish or in fabric glue. If you use fabric glue, you can use a plastic clamp (clothespins work well) to clamp them until the glue begins to set (just a few minutes). Another method would be to wrap string or something like quilting thread in a matched color for about one inch back from the tip. Thread the string or quilting thread onto a needle (a darning or yarn needle works well). Tie the beginning end to the first wrap. Once the desired wraps have been done, you can push the needle though the center of the cord and tie the end securely to the beginning end. Once the ends have been glued or bound off, I recommend that you rinse the cord in fabric softener and hang them to dry.



You’ve probably used a lark’s head all of your life but just didn’t know what it was called. Begin by matching the ends and doubling the cord. At the other end, you will have a loop where the cord doubles back. That is the lark’s head (loop #1).

Hold the doubled cord with the thumb and forefinger of one hand and slip your other thumb and forefinger between the loop and pull the doubled cord through the loop (loop #2). The lark’s head should be over the doubled cord to form another loop.

Open or widen loop #2 and place it over both wrists or ankles or wherever you wish to begin the tie. The wrists, etc. should be at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart to allow for cinching. Make certain the lark’s head (loop #1) is at the bottom between the wrists, ankles, knees, etc.

Next, reach over the top of loop #2 around the limbs and encircle the doubled cords with your thumb and forefinger and pull it up and over the top of loop #2. You now have created another loop (#3).

Insert your thumb and forefinger down through loop #3, pull up another loop (#4) and pull to snug loop #3 around loop #2 to create a cinch.

If additional cinching is needed, repeat these steps to create loop #3 as many times as needed to cinch loop #2. I suggest that if only one additional cinch loop is needed that the cords be positioned on either side of the original cinch loop. If two more cinches are needed, place one beside of the original cinch loop, then place the third cinch between them. This will center the cinch loop for additional chaining.

Once cinching is complete, reach through loop #4 and pull another loop (#5) through. You can repeat this process to create a daisy chain of whatever length you need or until you run out of cord or rope.

Additional cord/rope can be easily added on once loop #5 has been completed. Simply drop the original cord/rope ends through the lark’s head of another doubled rope and pull a loop through a #5 of the original chain and chain it off to the side(s).


You can use the chain as a wrap or you can split the ends apart and wrap them in opposite directions and tie them off. A shanks head knot is recommended to secure the wraps (behind and out of sight). To create this knot, loop the ends over the again doubled cords to create a loop. Then reach through and pull up a loop. Do not pull the ends through. Grasp the both sets of doubled cords and pull the shanks head loop snug.

At Cleavegagland (July 1999), LadyTape was tied demonstrating this method. I started with her wrists using a white satin cord cinched and chained for about 6 inches. Then a red and gold cord was added to the chain. After pulling about 4 of the #5 loops, the red and gold cord was split and wrapped around her legs just above her knees and tied off. A few more loops of the white cord were chained before adding the black and gold cord. Since I had nearly reached the end of the white cord (9 feet doubled to 4 1/2 feet), I pulled the ends through the last #5 loop to secure that chain before continuing to chain the black and gold to her ankles. Again, the ends were split and wrapped in opposite directions before being tied off.

LadyTape was delighted with the look of the colored cords and, try as she might, she could not slip the original cinched cord off her wrists. The cord cinched around her wrists was close but not the least bit tight or constricting. It was very easy to release her from her bonds. The knots and cords around her ankles and legs were quickly undone and unwrapped. The ends of the white cord were pulled back out its last loop. Then grasping each cord pair, a quick, firm pull unraveled all the chaining in seconds.

This method can be applied in a variety of ways depending on the number and placement of the added cords and the size of the chain loops. The smaller the loops are (snugged against the last loop) the less stretch there will be to the chain. So, if aesthetic restraints with quick release are important to you, give it a try! You might even want to try it as a gag!

-- bindVicki



Class dismissed!