Macrame earbuds

look familiar?

I heard about this thing that people are doing to stop their earbuds from tangling, and when I found out how they did it, I was delighted.

It’s macrame, of course! How cool is that?

Macrame is someting that I did a LOT of (and I do mean a lot) when I was a kid, so covering my earbud cords with macrame was a breeze, and I think you’ll think so, too.

What you do is this:

  1. starting at the plug end, take the end of your macrame material of choice (I like using embroidery floss, but you could use crochet thread, or just whatever you think will be thin enough to be workable) and just tie a square knot aound the first bit of cable after the plug part.
a square knot around the cord

2. use a basic macrame loop  and pull tight around the cord. It’s easiest to just make loops big enough to put the skein or ball of whatever you’re using through the loop. Keep the tail flat against the cord, so that it gets tied against the cord, and doesn’t stick out.

The tail of the original knot is shown in blue.

 3. You’ll take the material first behind the cord, then around clockwise to the front, then through the loop you formed. Repeat this knot indefinitely, keeping the material reasonably tight, so that the ridges on the side of each knot will form spiral “threads” around the cord, like the threads of a screw.  You can reverse the direction of the spiral by just making the knot in the other direction. This can make some cool zigzags, too.

 4. When you get to the split, (if you haven’t run out of material. I usually use about 2 things of whatever I’m using) you can just go up one side, cut off, and then go up the other side.

The method I like even better is just to cut off at the split, then to start again at the end that you stick in your ear, right at the base of whatever’s there, and just go down to the spit, then straight across the split and on up the other side.

After you’re all done, you’ll have something like this:

I love this so much, I’ve been doing all my earbuds this way. They NEVER tangle. Even if they get to where they could, they don’t grip in the same way, so you can just get them apart without any trouble.

Let me know how it works out for you! 🙂

 

 

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.)