I've been itching to add a few new jewelry making skills to my repertoire and this one has been on the list for quite some time. Hand knotting pearls (or any other beads) on silk is one of those uber-traditional crafts with enough of historic edge that these strands fit perfectly in with my existing Relic stock.
I use this bead knotting tool, from Fire Mountain Gems which works like a charm. I've found that Purely Silk thread in size D and these needles work well with most of my pearls. Purely Silk is a DREAM to work with as compared to carded silk cord with included beading needles (which is all my local shops seem to sell. Boo!!!). The carded silk is twisted, making it snag when I try to glide a knots towards a pearl. If you're interested in trying this, get the Purely Silk! Trust me!
Fire Mountain's video instructions for the Bead Knotter are here. Once I watched the video a few times, I was prepared to take on my first strand, which came together simply and easily. My first strand was passable. My second was close to perfect. Knotting pearls is a simple craft in which you can achieve stellar results with a minimal materials investment. The possibilities are endless. I've already applied the technique using coral instead of pearls . . . and I'm getting ready to try it out using teeny metallic crystals interspersed with pearls.