Half Hitch Knot Tutorial
A half hitch knot is one of several types of knots used in beadwork. It is similar to an overhand knot. The primary difference is that the half hitch knot is typically tied around something (i.e. it hitches to something) while an overhand knot is usually just tied on a single cord. It is a very easy knot to make.
The half hitch knot is very small and very useful. It is most frequently used to tie off old beadwork threads and secure new threads. Using a half-hitch knot, you can add a small knot around the threads between the beads in off-loom beadweaving stitches such as peyote stitch, brick stitch, vertical netting, horizontal netting, and right angle weave.
This tutorial shows you how to make the half hitch knot on the outside rows of a sample of a peyote stitch tube bead for clarity. Typically, you would make the knot on the inner rows so they would not be seen as easily or exposed to wear which could make them weak and break.
Starting the Half Hitch Knot
Don’t wait until your beadwork thread is too short before you start tying half hitch knots. These knots work best when you tie several of them before and after weaving the thread through your beadwork. You will need to have several inches of thread available to weave in and tie the half hitch knots.
To start the half hitch knot, pass your needle under the thread where you want to make the knot. This is typically between two beads that are not on the edge of your beadwork. The exception is when you can tie it on the outside close to a bead and then pull the knot inside the bead.
Tying a Half Hitch Knot
Pull the thread slightly until you have made a loop about half an inch in diameter. That size is just a guideline. The loop just needs to be big enough for you to pass your needle through to make the knot.
Completing the Half Hitch Knot
Pass your needle through the loop to tie the half hitch knot.
Pull the Thread to Make the Half Hitch Knot
Pull the thread gently until the loop closes onto the thread bridge between the beads. You will have a small knot that attaches your working thread to the beadwork.
The Finished Half-Hitch Knot
Half hitch knots work better when you tie two or three between different beads. They secure the thread in place but the nicest part is that they are easy to hide inside of beads or in between beads.
To make additional half hitch knots, use your needle to follow the stitch path of the thread and add a couple of more knots.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
Weave in Thread Ends and Knots
Weave your thread into the beadwork following the thread path. If possible, pull the knot inside a bead to keep it hidden and protected. This usually just takes a sharp tug on the working or tail thread.
For a piece of beadwork that you expect will get a lot of wear and tear, you can also add a small drop of glue or clear nail polish on the last half hitch knot. Fast drying super glue or flexible E6000 jewelry adhesive are two that work well. Since you are applying the glue to such a small area, use a toothpick or the point of a pin to get it just where you want it.
After the last half hitch knot, you can trim the cord with a thread burner which leaves a small melted end of the thread that is a little larger than a regular cut end. This makes it less likely to slip out of the knot. The thread burner also allow you to trim the thread end a little closer to the beadwork.
But be careful! You’ve put too much effort into your beading to accidentally cut through a thread.