Instructions for a Friendship Wheel

By Contributing Writer
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A friendship wheel is a device that facilitates the construction of friendship bracelets, those little tokens of devotion that children and adults alike have been exchanging for years. The usual method of construction requires significant patience and a fair bit of knowledge concerning different knots and patterns; the friendship wheel, which can be purchased at a craft store, provides a sort of pattern for you.

Getting Ready

Most friendship wheels come packaged with embroidery floss. If, however, you have a friendship wheel without embroidery floss, you can purchase some at a local craft or fabric supply store. Embroidery floss is available in any number of colors, but for the sake of simplicity, it might be best to limit your selection to the friendship wheel's primary colors until you become more comfortable with the product.

Before you begin, select the pattern for the bracelet that you’d like to make by lining up the center ring with the start “pedal” on the friendship wheel. After you’ve lined up the center ring with the start pedal, you’ll be able to see how many colors of embroidery floss you need for that bracelet. If, for example, you chose the heart pattern, you would need two colors of floss. Select your colors and then cut 10 strings of one color, each strand 20 inches long, and 6 strings of the second color, each strand 20 inches long.

Gather one end of all the strings and join them in a single knot by twisting the entire cluster and putting the end through the loop. Now divide the cluster in half, place a pencil between the halves, gather the two halves back together again, and knot the entire cluster of strings again, just as you did the first time. This creates a loop which you will later use to attach the bracelet to a friend’s wrist.

Making the Bracelet

Attach the knotted end of the strands to the center of the friendship wheel, then turn the wheel until the start pedal is at the top. The Friendship Wheel is composed of a series of colored pedals that determine string placement for a pattern. Hook each string into the notch above a pedal of the same color, putting single string on each notch. Once you’ve got the wheel strung, it’s time to start working your way through the pattern.

As you begin, remember the floss is always moved from the top to the bottom of the wheel, so once again find the start pedal on the wheel and place it at the top. Lift the strand that's located immediately to the right of the start pedal, bring it down to the bottom of the wheel–6 o’clock on a clock face–and hook the string into the notch on the right-hand side of the pedal, which will create a group of three strings on the bottom. Remove the left-hand string in the group and place it in the empty notch just vacated, the one in the 12 o’clock position. Rotate the wheel counter-clockwise and repeat the process with each pedal until the bracelet reaches the desired length.