What to do, What to do…?

Today’s topic: macrame! (That’s “maac ruhh may.”  You know, that cool jewelry-making thing people do with knots? Weirdly enough, when I talk about it to people, they either don’t know what I’m talking about, or instantly associate it with 10-13 year-old girls. Hmmmmm.)

Anyway, I happen to think macrame is loads of fun. I got started out when one birthday (possibly Christmas) when I was about 10 or 11, I got as a gift a book on how to make “friendship bracelets”. Essentially, macrame. 

macrame bracelets, 4 different styles

At first, I was so excited to get into it, and the book came with some pretty colors of embroidery floss, as well as a few other helpful things, and the instructions were easy enough to follow, especially with the images on how the knots worked.  However, one thing the book wasn’t terribly clear on was how to close the thing once you’d finished it. Making jewelry is very cool, but without some nice-looking way to close the loop, it just doesn’t stay. So, I worked with it a bit, and I came up with a few alternatives through trial and error.  

If you’ll notice, the picture has 4 bracelets, and I’ll let you know just how you can make some nice macrame bracelet/anklets/necklaces/shoelaces/zipper pulls/keychains/etc.

I warn you, the lengths are purely trial and error. I’m sure there’s the possibility of a mathematical way to calculate how much string each knot takes, etc, etc, but I am bad at math, so I just use the trial and error approach.

Starting with the blue one at the bottom with the beads:

  • get one REALLY long strand of a color you like (and I do mean long, about a yard, I think) and  make sure you have your beads ready– long, thin ones work the best for the method I used here.
  • wrap one end around our wrist, giving about an inch or two to use as a tie at the end, and at the fold in the strand, tie a knot so that you have a loop
  •   like so—.
  •  <———-‘






So you have one really long strand and one strand that goes around your wrist comfortably with room to tie a knot at the end (you can include the length of the loop in this, but make sure it’s not too snug when the knot is tied)

  • Take the long strand, lay it horizontally across the short strand, and then pull the end (of the long strand) through the loop in between your knot and the spot where you’re doing this knot. (I will demonstrate with my earphones)
    like so

And then you just pull it tight. Not that I’ll do that with my earphones, but you get the idea. 🙂

So, you do this over and over, and there develops a line of bumps on one side of the thing. Now, if you’re pulling it tightly enough, it will spin into a cool little spiral around the short string, like threads on a screw. (you could just want to keep it flat, and that’s fine, I’m just telling you how I did it. All you’d have to do is do the knots a little looser and twist them to line up. It’s pretty easy, once you get the hang of it.)

Once you get a decent amount of knots done, to the point where it looks like a good spot for a bead, all you have to do is thread the bead on the short string, and put the next knot on the other side of the bead. That’s how I did it, but you could also thread both strings through the bead (if they’ll fit) and keep right on knotting until it’s a good spot for the next bead. However you think it should look. After all, it’s your bracelet! 😀

When you’ve finished to a length and knotfullness (really not a word, but oh, well) that you like, simply make 2 square knots at the end with the remaining length, or however you see best. Tie a knot in it, and then try it on for size. If it’s only a bit snug, odds are you can just wiggle it a bit and stretch it to the most comfortable fit. Macrame’s pretty forgiving.

Enjoy your new fashion statement! 😀

(I’ll post instructions on the other 3 styles soon, this is all I had time for currently.)

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