Knot Connector: Friendship Bracelet Construction Lessons for Life and Work

In the final few months of 2015, my husband and I slowly whittled down our belongings to prepare for our move 825 miles to the west. We combed through our life histories in cardboard boxes and donated, tossed, repacked and refiled years of memories. As I cleared out one corner of my parents’ basement, I felt particularly reflective. My mom savedĀ everything, including friendship bracelets I made decades before. In those cathartic moments, I traced my problem solving/reverse engineering roots back more than 25 years to my tween days of colorful embroidery floss collections safety-pinned to the knee of my (probably French-rolled) jeans. And I decided to try it again. This time around, with each knot, a new connection came to mind.

  • Have a plan
  • Line up your strings before you get started
  • A well-defined method now saves you big tangles later
  • The strings depend on each other
  • Order matters but there are lots of ways to get there
  • The first may not be the best
  • Having the right strings in the right numbers creates winning designs
  • Too many strings can be chaotic when they aren’t in the right positions
  • Let a different string take the lead periodically
  • Start with a vision, design a path to get there and execute, but don’t be afraid to take a fork in the road when it makes big picture sense
  • Experiment
  • If you make a mistake, own it, fix it and get back on course quickly
  • It takes all the knots to create a beautiful end result
  • Be present
  • Celebrate when you’re done