LEARN HOW TO MAKE A KNOTTED TWINE ROSARY
Rosaries made by forming the "beads" by tying individual Knots
are known as Knotted Twine or All-Knotted Rosaries.
Knotted Twine Rosaries are most commonly donated
to our Men and Women of the Armed Forces.
Black twine is most often used, but some Chaplains require Tan, Light Brown
or "Camo" colored Twine, which are all widely available.
Many will permit a plastic Crucifix.
Most will not permit a metal Crucifix.
The Knotted Cross is always permissible.
Be sure to follow the exact specifications given
by your Military contact.
The cord most often used to make this type of rosary is Size 36 Nylon Twine.
A smaller rosary may be made by using Size 21 Nylon twine.
A bolt of Size 36 Twine measures approximately 500 feet,
from which you will be able to make 25-26 rosaries.
The Nylon Twine has no bonding; the cord feels silky
and easily slips through your fingers.
Before beginning work on your rosary, the cut length of Nylon Twine
must be "tempered" at both ends using a flame to slightly melt and stiffen it.
Or one may wrap the ends tightly in tape forming a "needle"
with which to draw the twine through the coils of the barrel knot.
This "needle" will later be cut and removed.
A Net Needle commonly used by professional fishermen to repair their nets
works well as a Twine Knotting Tool, and can be purchased at marine supply houses.
We use this tool throughout our instructions.
The Barrel Knot may be formed using a tool, or by using one's finger.
Throughout our instructions we refer to the Our Father Knots as "PATERS"
and the Hail Mary Knots as "AVES."
Begin with a 30 inch piece of practice twine.
Start at a point about 5 inches from the end, with the bulk of the twine to your right.
Grasp tool in left hand and lay twine over the pronged end of the tool as shown,
securing the short end under your thumb.
Wrap the twine over the tool with your right hand,
coiling away from you, to form an "X"
Wrap the twine 2 more times for a total of 3 wraps to form the AVES.
OPTION: 5 wraps may be used to form larger PATER knots.
Hold the coils secure with index finger and insert the long end of the twine under the coils, through the opening in the tool. Pull it all the way through and give a firm tug until the twine is tight against the coils.
Gently slide the coils from the end of the tool, handling carefully to keep the shape.
Pull gently on the long cord while anchoring the short cord between the fingers and palm of the work hand. Keep the coils between the index finger and thumb, rotating slightly back and forth as the knot tightens.
When the Knot is in place, pull hard on both ends of the twine to firmly tighten.
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
Practice does make perfect!
Tie a number of Barrel Knots on your practice twine
before beginning work on your first Knotted Twine Rosary.
Practice spacing the placement of the knots so that they are tied
about 1/2 inch apart.
Your finger may also be used as your "tool" to tie a barrel knot.
Lay the twine over your index finger.
Form an "X" as usual.
Wrap the twine 2 more times to the left of the "X" winding the coils away from you.
Gently move the loops to the tip of your fingers and hold, being careful to keep the shape.
Insert the end of the twine through the BACK side of the loops and pull it all the way through while still holding the loops firmly between the fingers, as shown.
Release the coils and GENTLY rotate them back and forth between the fingers,
while pulling the long twine to tighten and move the knot into position,
and keeping the short end snug in left hand.
Pull HARD on both ends of twine to completely tighten the knot.
If you have mastered the Barrel Knot
You are now ready to begin work on your First Knotted Twine Rosary
Our Knotted Twine Rosary Kit includes pre-cut Twine, with the ends already tempered. Otherwise, cut a 20 foot length of #36 nylon twine, and temper the ends.
Working with such a long piece of twine is made easier by beginning what will be the first AVE of the THIRD DECADE at the halfway point of your twine.
Fold your length of twine in half and mark as the starting point for the first Knot.
Tie the first Barrel Knot as in the steps shown above.
Continue to add more knots until you have completed a 10 knot decade.
Measure to place a PATER knot about 1 inch from the last knot.
With practice, you will be able to gauge the spacing of the PATERS without a ruler.
Begin the first AVE knot of the FOURTH DECADE an inch away from the last finished PATER. Tie 10 AVE knots. Mark the spacing with your finger and add another Pater Knot.
Add the last 10 AVES of the FIFTH DECADE.
Turn your work around and proceed from your original starting point
by adding a PATER knot as usual.
Add the 10 AVE knots for the SECOND DECADE.
Add a PATER knot as usual. Add the 10 AVES of the FIRST DECADE.
Draw the lengths of twine together lining up the finished knots side by side.
Mark a point about 3/4 to 1 inch to the right of the knots as the place on which you will begin to wrap the Center Knot as shown below.
The Center Knot of the Twine Rosary is made with a Barrel Knot.
With finished decade knots secured in left hand, wrap BOTH twines around the tool,
forming an "X" as usual.
Wrap both again a second time.
Insert BOTH ends of the twine, and pull all the way through. Slip the coils off the tool, rotate and move it into place as usual for a Barrel Knot.
The Center Knot must be tightened very securely before cutting off the excess twine.
Pull HARD on both lengths of twine, one at a time, and then both together, before cutting.
Use sharp Scissors to cut the SHORTEST length of twine from the Rosary,
leaving about a 1/4 inch nub. Do not discard as it may later be used to make the optional Knotted Cross.
Carefully temper the nub with a flame, as shown above, melting it flush against the knot.
With the long remaining twine you will tie the 2 PATERS and 3 AVES
which begin the prayers of Rosary.
But before tying the final Knots...
The option of adding a Crucifix, or tying a Knotted Cross will determine
the order in which these final knots are tied.
If you will be using a Crucifix:
Proceed to finish your rosary by tying 1 PATER Knot about 3/4 of an inch from the large Center Knot. Tie 3 AVE Knots spaced about 1/2 inch apart as usual.
Thread the twine through the Crucifix and pull to mark spot for placement of final knot, the same spacing as your other Pater Knots. This Knot secures the Crucifix and forms the Pater.
Reverse your work so the Crucifix is now in your left hand. Lay both twines over the tool as shown.
Form an "X" by wrapping the long twine 3 times to the left, just as for all Barrels Knots.
Insert the long twine under the coils. Pull through. Slip Knot off the tool and tighten by pulling HARD on the twine, while holding Crucifix and Knot firmly in left hand. When this final Knot is fully secure, cut the long twine off and temper the 1/4 inch nub with a flame.
If you will be tying a Knotted Cross...
The Knotted Cross adds a lovely touch to your hand-made twine Rosaries. While it may look difficult to make, it is formed rather easily using the same Barrel Knot technique used on your Rosary thus far.
As the illustration shows, the Knotted Cross is very simply made up of a number of Barrel Knots joined at the center by a Slip Knot.
To finish your Rosary and add a Knotted Cross, tie Barrel Knots as usual to form the 2 PATERS and 3 AVE Knots.
Tie another Knot about 1 inch from the last PATER, as indicated by the arrow above, coiling 4 loops to form the Top Knot of the Knotted Cross.
Lay the rosary out as pictured. Temper the ends of a length of the remaining cut twine
(at least 14 inches) and fold it in half to mark the mid-point.
At this point, tie a Slip Knot around the twine leading from
the bottom of the Top Knot, centering it.
Pull this knot as tight as possible up close to the Top Knot.
It may move and start to come undone.
This will be corrected in the next steps as you form the crossbar.
Tie a Barrel Knot, coiling 4 loops, on the right-side twine. As you pull the cord to finish, move the Knot in very close to the Top Knot.
Use your fingertip to push the new Knot flush up against the Top Knot while pulling on the twine. Re-tighten the Slip Knot.
Proceed to add another Barrel Knot using the left-side twine, following the same technique as above.
When the 2 Crossbar Knots are completed, pull HARD on both left and right side twine to fully tighten.
Proceed to add 2 more 4-coil Barrel Knots under the Top Knot, below the crossbar Knots, moving each in very close to the Crossbar Knots.
Rotate and move the Knots as needed to form a uniform cross shape. Give the excess twine one last HARD pull to secure the Knots.
When you are happy with the shape, cut the excess twine from the right, left and bottom of the Cross, leaving only a 1/8 inch nub.
Temper this nub by melting it with a flame, and then pressing against the molten twine with a hard surface to flatten it against the Knot.
Hold up your completed Rosary and admire your beautiful work!