Blast from the past. I haven’t made one of these since elementary school. And you can see that people aren’t making them a lot these days because I barely found supplies for it. These silicone strands used to be everywhere but now I found only two packages in one shop.
Making these lanyards was really popular in elementary school, and while it was mostly girls who were making them, that didn’t bother me very much, I just liked making them cause it was fun. Nowadays kids make bracelets out of small rubber bands but I’m glad this was the trend when I was a kid because it seems more fun than those rubber band bracelets.
The thing is, once you learn the basics of something, you can easily upgrade that knowledge. When I was a kid, I knew only two stitches as they’re called, the square stitch and the circle stitch. So for this week, I decided to find and make more different and harder stitches. And thanks to YouTube, it was really easy to find tutorials for some fun stuff to make. Here is the channel that had most of the tutorials I used. Also, since I knew the basics, it was really easy for me to learn these new stitches.
I love muscle memory. Even though I haven’t made one of these in the last decade, I didn’t even need a reminder of how to do it. My hands were doing it all on their own. It’s really not a complicated process but it’s still amazing how many memories the body holds. And this is one of those activities you can do while watching Netflix or something like that so that’s a plus too and I did just that for most of these.
The material of choice is these silicone strands, or Fashion Strings as they’re apparently called here. It’s a really grateful material because it’s cheap and mostly easy to work with. There is no problem with the simple stitches but with more complex ones it was a bit difficult because the strands would be a bit slippery and wouldn’t tighten nicely.
First I made the simple square and circle stitches just to remind myself of how it’s done and also because those are the only ones I knew how to make.
For some reason, I decided to make them both pink, but after making them I realized that it’ll be hard to see the difference between them in pictures so I made two more with mixed colors to illustrate the difference better.
For a bit of flair, I made the square pattern with alternating blocks of color. Also in circle one, the spiral is alternating direction, although you can’t really see it well in the photo since the colors I chose aren’t great together. After that, I made the simplest one of all I made, the butterfly stitch..
I liked this one because it’s nice and easy but the end result isn’t really impressive. Next comes the bestagon stitch.
Unfortunately, I had only 4 different colors here and I’m sure it would look way more fun with 6 different colors. As you can see in the photo, I messed up a bit at the top so the end section is a bit twisted. Here is where the problems with silicone strands started. It was hard to start and hard to continue but it was manageable. But the next one was way more difficult.
The twisted brick. This one was a nightmare to get started because the silicone strands would slip away and wouldn’t tighten nicely. But when you get past that and find a technique, you can get into a rhythm, and then it isn’t too hard to do. It looks a bit scary, but it’s basically the same as the circle stitch, but with two extra strands. This one is definitely one of my favorites. And the last but not least – mother cobra.
I like this one because it’s a combination of multiple techniques. It’s a simple square or circle stitch wrapped into a twisted cobra stitch.
Another fun thing about learning new things is that you also learn a lot of new vocabulary from that niche. Mother cobra, twisted brick, they sound like nonsense, but if you’re talking with someone who is also in your niche, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.