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Macramé Monday: Getting Started

Featured image photo from Amy Zwikel Studio; click through because she’s amaaaaaazing! Plant hanger image from some vintage pattern book I found via Google Image search.

Okay so I clearly couldn’t keep up with my Kick Start posts, but I’ve just started really playing around with macramé, so I’m going to try to post about it with some frequency. Hope you all like knots!

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing macramé for awhile and just really started doing it in June. If you aren’t familiar with macramé, a) my money’s on you being under 25 years of age (not a judgment, it just means your mom maybe didn’t have macramé plant hangers) and b) it’s yet another way to play with string and potentially use up stash (or buy more yarn for it, like I did, because I’m an idiot).

Macramé is simply a series of knots tied in particular ways to form patterns. It was really popular in the ’70s and many plant hangers were made, but it’s seeing a resurgence of sorts now, mostly with wall hangings (don’t get me wrong, I’ve already made one very bad plant hanger and I have plans for more once I figure out more of what I’m doing). If you ever made friendship bracelets with embroidery floss, you were basically doing macramé!

You can make all kinds of things with macramé—one of the books I’ve been looking through has examples of curved collars and vests with macramé details. Just look at this Etsy search for macramé patterns (this was a bad idea, now I want to buy a bunch of vintage patterns) for the wide variety of projects people have made. You can also use a variety of fibers to do macramé projects. I used some nylon cording that came with a very basic kit I bought at Barnes and Noble (I don’t recommend it, if you want to join me in knot making), I picked up some very skinny hemp cord to play with, and then I bought a bunch of Berroco Indigo to eventually use, but what I should have done was just use my freaking stash yarn (though I don’t have a ton of cotton, and Indigo is recycled cotton and will look awesome in macramé, so that’s how I justified it—go me).

Take a look at some more inspiration, like Macro Macramé, this gorgeous scarab necklace, or these cute owls (owls are a popular project), and if you want to get in on this with me, here’s the starter kit that I do recommend:

  • Any string you want, though something that’s not very stretchy is probably best—you can get hemp cords at most craft stores, or nylon cording works too, or like I mentioned, raid your yarn stash of cotton yarn
  • Macramé Pattern Book. It has great illustrations on how to tie the knots, as well as some gorgeous patterns to play with and projects to make.
  • A macramé board is really, really helpful. You could probably use a sturdy clipboard if you have one handy, but I bought this Beadaholique version that’s heavy-duty foam core, so you can stab your T-pins into it, which is really nice.
  • Oh yeah, you’ll want T-pins. Amazon has “frequently purchased together” option if you click on either the book link or the macramé board link, so you could get your book, board, and pins all in one fell swoop (which is what I did).

I’ll show off my first terrible plant hanger (if I can find it, I may have chucked it) as well as my first successful project next week (or some following Monday)!

Categories: macrame

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