How To Macrame

Crochet

Macrame was huge in the 60's and 70's. All sorts of things were made from macrame knots including jewelry, vests, plant hangers, and even small tables. Now it isn't nearly as popular, but some of the things made with it are coming back. Jewelry is one that is definitely working its way back into society. If, after reading this article, you'd like to learn more about different macrame items and patterns, I recommend checking out One Stop Macrame Shop for inspiration.

Here we will cover set up and two of the most basic of knots. There is a host of other types of knots, but most projects will have the majority (if not all of their knots) using these two types.

The Setup. The set up for any project is always cutting your cords. You will need at least two knotting cords and at least one anchor cord. The anchor cord will run down the middle and all your knots will be knotted around it. Most projects call for two anchor cords, and some even more then that. Your anchor cords can be short if they are always going to be your anchor cords (you can switch them with the knotting cords for fancy looks and even color changes). They should be about six inches longer than your finished project. Your knotting cords should be three times as long as your finished project.

Once you have cut your anchor cords, you will want to knot them together. Then you will either pin the knot to a macrame board (which most of us don't have in this day and age), or tape it to the table. It works easiest if you tie the anchor cords to your belt loop for a long project or pin them to your shirt for a short project. Your anchor cords should be in the middle with one knotting cord on each side.

The half knot. This is a knot that is circular or round in shape. It has one bold side that is created and this side will twists its way around the piece as you knot. You can use a lot of these for a fancy friendship bracelet or an interesting necklace, or you can mix them with square knots (or fancier knots as you learn them).

  1. Setup. You will want to make sure your set up is complete and that your anchor cords are in the middle with one knotting cord on each side.
  2. Cross the left knotting cord over your how to macrameanchor cords and under the right knotting cord. You will want this to make an L shape.
  3. Bring the right hand knotting cord under the anchor cords and up through the nook in the L. Pull on each knotting cord to pull your knot tight.
  4. Your left knotting cord has now become your right. You will now hold on to it with your right hand. Your right knotting cord has become your left.
  5. Repeat. For this knot you will continue the process. Each knot consists only of the one process. Over time you will begin to see the twist created by this knot (after about five knots).

The Square Knot. The other knot of great importance is the square knot. This knot has a squared off appearance and is made in two steps. It is very similar to the half knot and east to make.

  1. Setup. You will want to make sure your set up is complete and that your anchor cords are in the middle with one knotting cord on each side.
  2. Cross the left knotting cord over your anchor cords and under the right knotting cord. You will want this to make an L shape.
  3. Bring the right hand knotting cord under the anchor cords and up through the nook in the L. Pull on each knotting cord to pull your knot tight.
  4. Your left knotting cord has now become your right. This is how it is supposed to be.
  5. Take your Right knotting cord (which used to be your left) and bring it over your anchor cords and under your left knotting cord. This is the same movement, except in the opposite direction.
  6. Bring your left knotting cord under your anchor cords and up through the nook in the L. Then pull each knotting cord to bring the knot tight.
  7. These two knots complete the square knot. They are really just two half knots in opposite directions. You will repeat both of these knots to make each square knot.

With these two knots, you can easily get started making your own keychains, bracelets, necklaces, and other decorative objects. It might take a pattern to do anything bigger than that. You can also add beads to your project for making them fancier. They can go on the anchor cords or on either (or both) knotting cords. You are really only limited by what you can come up with!

 

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Comments

May
27

Thank you Raquel for the link. I am hoping to get some good pictures very soon and asking the editors to add them. I am not sure exactly when, but it should improve this article a lot!

By Danelle Karth
Mar
19

I definitely agree that pictures would help out a lot. Unfortunately this site doesn't allow pictures to be added and at this time I am not certain where a good picture for this topic can be found. I am hoping to get pictures up and connected to another article at which time I can leave the link here. If you have a good place to go...feel free to leave the link.

By Danelle Karth
Mar
17

I don't know what a Macrame looks like.. How 'bout a picture of a Macrame table?

By Anonymous