How to Read Friendship Bracelet Patterns

How to Read Friendship Bracelet Patterns The Neon Tea Party

Once you’ve mastered friendship bracelet knots and have tried your hand at one or both beginner patterns, Candy Stripe and Chevron, it’s time to learn how to read friendship bracelet patterns! There are endless pattern possibilities for friendship bracelets, and you can find tens of thousands of them on friendship-bracelets.net, which is the go-to source for friendship bracelet patterns. There you can find classic diagonal patterns that include diamonds, X’s and the like, as well as playful icon patterns such as cacti, peace signs and smiley faces.

If you’re in need of supplies to make friendship bracelets, our Friendship Bracelet DIY Kit contains everything you need to get started including the colorful yarn pictured above, airplane-approved Fiskars scissors, bright washi tape & more!

 

Elements of a Friendship Bracelet Pattern

Here’s an example of a repeating pattern featuring interlocking diamonds and X’s. This is the pattern that we teach in our Friendship Bracelets 101 Workshop. On this and all patterns you’ll see a variety of elements:

  • A visual of the pattern at the top
  • Letters which correspond to string colors below
  • Dashed lines on the sides with numbers next to them – these indicate the rows within the pattern
  • Bubbles with arrows which indicate the direction of each knot
  • Bent edges without bubbles to indicate skipping those strands when knotting a row

The Neon Tea Party Interlocking X Diamond Friendship Bracelet Pattern

 

The Four Basic Friendship Bracelet Knots

There are four basic types of friendship bracelet knots, which are essentially all the same knot just tied in varying directions. Friendship bracelet knots consist of two knots stacked together (one strand tied around another strand twice), so you have the following four options:

Friendship Bracelet Pattern Arrows

Forwards knot = forwards knot followed by forwards knot

Backwards knot = backwards knot followed by backwards knot

Forwards-Backwards knot = forwards knot followed by backwards knot

Backwards-Forwards knot = backwards knot followed by forwards knot

To learn how to create all four friendship bracelet knots, head to our Friendship Bracelet DIY page.

 

How to Read a Friendship Bracelet Pattern

  1. Cut 32+” of Omegacryl yarn or embroidery floss for each strand indicated at the top of the pattern underneath the capital letters. Tie strands all together with an overhand knot 3″ down and secure to fabric with a safety pin or to a hard surface with tape. Lay out the colors in your desired color order according to the order indicated by the letters on the top of the pattern.
  2. You’ll work through the pattern one row at a time. In other words, you’ll start with Row 1, which is indicated by the “1–” on both sides of the pattern. After you complete all the knots across Row 1, you’ll move on to Row 2, and so on. It’s helpful to use a ruler, book or any other straight object to keep your place on the pattern.
  3. Before working a row, pair together the two strands of yarn that will get knotted together in the row. If you refer to the pattern above, in Row 1 you’ll pair together strands A+B, C+D, E+F, F+E, D+C, and B+A.
  4. Starting from the left, you’ll knot the first pair together according to the direction indicated by the bubble. The color of the bubble indicates the color knot that will be formed, so that is the strand that will do the knotting. The other color will be the strand around which the knot is formed. Once your first knot is complete, move onto the next knot to the right and continue until the row is complete.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT: If your row begins and/or ends with a bent edge that has no bubble, this means that you will skip that strand for that row. For those rows, I recommend placing the blank strands above your bracelet up near the knot to keep them visually out of the way and avoid possible confusion. Once the row in complete and the following row begins with a bubble, you can bring the strands back down join the rest and proceed using those strands in the pattern for that next row.
  6. Once you’ve completed the pattern, repeat by beginning again at the top of the pattern. The color might change depending on your pattern so take a moment to match up the final row on your bracelet with the bubbles indicated in Row 1. Continue repeating the pattern until your bracelet is long enough to fit your wrist or ankle.
  7. Be sure to tie your knots tightly to keep an even tension throughout your pattern. If you make a mistake with a knot, you can use a pin to undo your knots and start again. One incorrect knot can mess up the rest of the pattern, so I recommend fixing mistakes to ensure your pattern comes out as pictured.

 

More Fun Patterns!

Once you’ve completed the simple, repetitive pattern above, try giving this one a go! This is the beautiful pattern pictured at the very beginning of this post. It is pattern #9726 from friendship-bracelets.net, however there were a number of errors in the pattern so I’ve corrected them in the accurate pattern below.

Friendship Bracelet Pattern 9726 - Revisions by The Neon Tea Party

Here are some other patterns I love and recommend trying out!

CLASSIC DIAGONAL PATTERNS

ICON PATTERNS

Reading friendship bracelet patterns can be a little confusing at first but keep working through it and reading these handy diagrams will soon become a breeze! Be sure to leave any questions in the comments below.

Let us know if you try your hand at reading friendship bracelet patterns by posting photos on Instagram and tagging @theneonteaparty or email them to me directly at marisa@theneonteaparty.com! I can’t wait to see what you create!

Peace, love & neon,
Marisa

10 Comments

  1. Krin on May 9, 2019 at 6:16 am

    How do you know how much macrame or embroidery floss you’ll need?

    • the neon tea party on June 25, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Hi Krin! Thank you for your question! You want to measure approximately 3x the length you want your finished project to be, so a 12″ friendship bracelet will call for 36″ of string. 32-36″ is the amount we recommend for an average bracelet for a woman’s wrist. Always better to cut more than less! I hope this helps! -Marisa

  2. Camille on June 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you so much! Plus, your website name is FABULOUS! I can now read and use friendship pattern bracelets! Thanks!

    • the neon tea party on June 25, 2019 at 11:53 am

      Hi Camille! Thank you so much for you kind comment! I’m so glad you found this post helpful!! Be sure to tag @theneonteaparty on Instagram so we can see what you create after learning how to read friendship bracelet patterns! Happy crafting 🙂 -Marisa

  3. Skyler on July 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    What about patterns with rounded ends?? Do I still leave them out for that row?

    • the neon tea party on July 15, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Hi Skyler! That’s a great question! Though I’m not sure what types of patterns you’re referring to… Feel free to email me a photo at marisa@theneoneteaparty.com and hopefully I can help! 🙂

  4. elif on July 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    thank youuu i love this blog and i try now bracalet again thank you :DDDD :****

    • the neon tea party on July 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Thank YOU Elif!!! So glad you found it helpful!!!! Have fun making friendship bracelets!! -Marisa

  5. Bianka on July 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    If I finish a bracelet and it isn’t long enough do I start from the beginning with the current string colors or do I match them up with the colors I started with?

    • the neon tea party on August 5, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Hi Bianka! You can always tie a new piece of string in the same color onto the end of the too-short string, then keep making your bracelet as usual! You’ll have a little knot in your friendship bracelet somewhere but it will be discrete and allow you to finish your bracelet to length. I hope that helps! -Marisa

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