Monday, 11 April 2011

Macrame Monday: Measuring and Project Start

Are you ready to actually start our first macrame project? Yay!

Hmmm... I guess I'd better teach you how to tie off or begin a project. We're going to be starting our project from a dowel. You can also take all of your cord and tie it together in a knot and start. Or you can pin it to a board and start knotting. There are so many different ways to start actually. Tie your cord around a doorknob and start. Place the cord under your foot and start. Tie the cord around a dresser drawer handle or slam it in the drawer itself and start.

For our purposes, I'll show you a basic knot to start hairbands, bracelets, belts etc.

This is called a Lark's Head knot. It is used to start projects on a dowel, curtain rod, twig, length of braided cord. I guess you could even mount a project on a broomstick if you so choose hehehe

1) Take your cord, fold it in half. Place the top loop behind the dowel.

2) Take the two loose pieces of cord and bring them around in front of the dowel and through the top loop.

3) Pull tight around the dowel.

4) Place your other cords in a neat row.

Easy peasy! You have now mounted your first project!

But wait.... how do you know how much cord you're going to need?

This is a tricky thing. I've read ton of books about macrame and they all have different suggestions to know. It really depends on how tight you're going to knot your project. The tighter you knot it, the more cord you will need.

The best suggestion I've found seems to be to count 4 times the measurement you want your final project to be. So for example: I've decided to make a headband for my first project. I measured around my head where I want my headband to sit. The measurement was 22.5 inches. Then I decided that I want it to overlap a bit (for a button) or tie at the bottom of my head so I added a few more inches and made it an even 25. That would mean that my cord would have to be 100 (25 x 4) inches.

Remember that we are starting our project on a dowel and using the cords folded in half. Therefore, each cord I have to cut will be 200 (100 x 2) inches.

I decided that 16 cords across would give me plenty of width for my headband. So I cut 8 cords that were 200 inches long. If they end up being too long, we can always cut them at the end of the project. If they are too short, there is a way to add cord along the way as necessary (I'll show you how to do that in a later post).

Here is my cut practice string for my headband.

I'll be practicing a few different macrame knots to make some pretty headgear in future Macrame Monday posts. You can choose to make a belt or a bracelet as well if you would like to follow along.

Here are my mounted cords ready to start knotting!

Stay tuned for the horizontal clove hitch (doesn't that sound daunting?) in the next Macrame Monday post. :)

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