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Macramé Monday: Helene Bress

Last week was really busy and I didn’t have time to do any knotting, so I thought I’d tell you about a couple of books I’ve used. In addition to the Macramé Pattern Book that I mentioned in the last two posts, I found The Macramé Book by Helene Bress to be a great resource for both tutorials and inspiration.

The original copyright date on the hardcover is 1972, and the copy I checked out from the library had been very well-maintained. If anyone ever finds a copy of this book at a used book store or rummage sale or whatever, please let me know! You can find some used copies online but the hardcover is crazy expensive (the paperback version is more reasonable for an older, out-of-print book). I took a couple of photos from inside the book so you can get a peek. The illustrations of how to do the knots are all really, really good—better than most of the contemporary books I’ve seen—and are hand drawn.

They’re nicely laid out and make it really easy to follow along. Bress focuses mainly on the square knot (shown above) and the half-hitch stitches and then shows a ton of ways you can use those two knots to form a wide variety of patterns. The book also points out that you can use a wide variety of fibers to use in macramé projects, such as this piece worked out of a handspun wool yarn.

The Macramé Book also includes a couple of chapters showing many different pieces that had been made by various artists, such as the piece that’s on the cover of the book. Bress’s The Craft of Macramé seems to have all of the instructional information but none of the inspirational pieces, making it a much smaller book that is very affordable for used copies.

Hopefully next week I’ll have some new knots to show you!

Categories: macrame


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