Introduction: Ladder Bracket or Trilobite Paracord Bracelet
This Instructable is my variation of the Ladder Rack or Trilobite bracelet. Thanks to Mark_Well of paracordguild.com and Stormdrane for getting me started.
This how-to made an 8-3/4" bracelet for an 8" to 8-1/4" wrist. I would suggest measuring your wrist and adding 1/2" to 3/4" for the beginning loop measurement. I had about seven inches of each color cord to cut off.
Feel free to use whatever color you want.
7 feet BLACK 550 paracord and 7 feet GOLD 550 paracord. Alternatively, use 14 feet of one color.
2 S-Biner carabiner clips or equivalent to hang cording and weights.
Something to use as a weight to hold bracelet steady whilst weaving. I used a small tape measure and a small flashlight.
GOOD scissors or SHARP knife for clean cuts on cord.
Instruction or knowledge of tying a Friendship/Diamond/Lanyard knot.
Step 1: Tie Lanyard Knot and Set Length
For a two-color bracelet, cut the appropriate lengths and finish the ends by melting them with the lighter, then tie the cords together with a lanyard knot close to one end.
For a single color, fold the cord in half and either;
A) cut it in half and finish the ends and tie the two cords in a lanyard knot close to one end, or,
B) simply tie the lanyard knot on the looped (halved) end of the cord.
You can form the ends with your fingers while they're hot, but WARNING: they will be hot!
Hang the cord on the carabiner, measure from the top of the loop on the carabiner to the inside of the knot (not the cut end of the knot) - 8-3/4 for the bracelet I made here.
I taped the loop on the carabiner after getting length right to keep it from sliding, as this weaving method starts at the bottom, and there will be no knot at the carabiner to hold the cord(s) to length.
Hang the weight on the knotted end. Make sure it's not so heavy that it will make the cord slide through the tape.
Note how the cords are hung on the carabiner.
Step 2: Beginning Weave
Please be patient with my descriptions and terminology, I'm much better with things mechanical and electrical than things textile. I made sure to take lots of pictures.
Before starting, remember I did this with the carabiner perpendicular to me so the cords are stacked, not side-by-side, on the carabiner.
Start by crossing the BACK (black) cord on the carabiner over the top of the other three.
Then bring the FRONT (gold) cord up and through the loop of the back cord. Then bring it around (over) the back cord and thread BEHIND the two center cords, then Back OVER itself. The ends of both cords should be to the same side of the bracelet as the FRONT cord(right side in this case).
Step 3: Weave On, Weaver.
Take the BACK (black) cord and;
1) weave it around (behind) the FRONT (gold) cord,
2) in front of the center cords,
3) then behind and around the back (black) cord,
4) behind the center cords,
5) finish in front of the front (gold) cord.
Take the FRONT (gold) cord and follow the same pattern as above.
Alternate cords, back and forth, until you get close to the top.
This is a weaving braid more than a knotted braid, for lack of a better terminology on my part, so the weave for both cords begins and ends on the same side.
Step 4: Weave to Loops
Run the weave up to the loops, leaving a little slack in the weave. It might look like you're running short on cordage, but we will pull the slack out and tighten the weave next step.
I pulled the bracelet off the carabiner just for picture purposes in this step.
Step 5: Pull Slack Out of Weave
Pull down on the woven body of the bracelet to pull it down on the knot. This will open up more room on the loop end to finish the weave and make sure there's not too much cord showing by the knot.
Start pulling the cord out at the bottom of the bracelet. Alternate cords and sides as you move up. Pull at a downward angle to keep the weave right. You might have to repeat pulling the same places a couple times to get it consistent. Patience, Grasshoppa!
A surprising amount of cord slack will probably pull out by the time you're done.
Weave the slack back into the bracelet, pulling the cords firm as you go.
Step 6: Size Loops to Fit Knot
Weave the cords up until the knot barely fits through the loops.
You might have to adjust the weave a couple times to get it right.
Be sure to pull the body down and keep the weave tight.
Step 7: Tie Off Bracelet
Finish off the bracelet by tucking the ends through the weave, cutting, and fusing together with the lighter.
Mark_Well and Stormdrane have instructions on other methods of finishing the ends. I wanted to try this way as something different and I didn't have a cord fid to tuck the ends correctly.
Refer to the pics as I am at a loss as to how I'd explain. It might take a couple times to get it right.
Pull the ends a little extra tight to get enough room to cut and fuse the ends without burning the other cords. There will be enough slack in the rest that it will relax over use quickly.
Step 8: Wear It!
Here's the finished product and how I measured the finished bracelet.
I haven't made enough bracelets to figure out a "conversion factor" for how much cordage to use for specific sizes, but I all my measurements for this particular bracelet are in the Instructable.
Thank you for viewing. Good luck.