Hi Everyone! Happy New Year – I guess I can just say that before January ends!
It’s still school holidays here, although the carefree days are drawing to a close.
At the beginning of the holidays, I thought it would be fun to try a few new crafts together, with one of them being macramé. Unfortunately, I couldn’t whip up any enthusiasm for it.
However, even if no-one else was interested, I thought I’d do some.
It’s not my first time doing macramé. I tried it when I was about 10 or 12. I made a macramé dog lead in the hope that my parents would buy us a dog, but they didn’t, so I gave the lead away to some friends who did have a dog.
I’d bought some macramé cord, and Tracy of Knit-Spin-Weave kindly lent me her archive of 1970s macramé books. These books are amazing – the instructions are excellent. As anyone over the age of 50 knows, the 1970s were a renaissance time for macramé, and all sorts of other crafts too.
I borrowed some books on modern macramé from the library as well, but they were mainly home decor macramé.
I saw a belt in one of Tracy’s book and though I’d give it a try. The instructions were brief but there were good how-to illustrations for making the actual knots.
But I didn’t really know how to actually get started. I dithered a bit on Youtube before going back to the book and taking a better look at the photo, and thought I should just try.
Once I got started and was about 8cm in, I hit the groove. It’s kind of addictive in the way tapestry is “just one more row”.
Just over half way through, I had a horrible feeling I didn’t have enough rope left. I continued on anyway, not feeling very good about it.
But then I made the happy discovery that macramé stretches, so I did have enough and didn’t have to make the belt as long as I first thought.
By the way, I hope you’ve noticed I’ve photographed these on our deeply unfashionable faux-wood laminate kitchen table, which is the same era as the macramé books.
The belt in the book didn’t have a buckle or fastening – the ends were just tied together in a knot, as a tie belt.
I like this belt!
- I found macramé easier to get the hang of than knitting or crochet – if you can already do these, macramé’s a breeze.
- It’s a big time saver to wind up each cord and secure it, rather than pulling metres and metres through with each knot.
- Unpicking sucks. You have to undo each knot.
- It’s not something you can easily pick up and put down. It’s best to set it up somewhere where it can stay, and devote a slab of time to it. I had to pack mine up for dinner.
- Specs: my belt is 75cm/30″ long not counting the 50cm long ties at each end. I used 8 strands of 3mm cotton cord, each 4.80m and had some length left over. It took maybe 4 hours?
In the interests of nostalgia, here’s a gallery of some of the macramé projects in the 1970s books. Many of these could be re-made, re-photographed and be published today (and some not).
I didn’t know that Kaffe Fassett designed macramé as well.
Have you done macramé, either lately or a long time ago?