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Macrame Guides

The comprehensive guide to macrame

The comprehensive guide to macrame

The comprehensive guide to macrame

What are the most common macrame knots and how do I tie them? Where can I find macrame patterns and supplies? These are just some of the most frequent questions I receive.

Overall, I've broken the guide down into the following 3 sections.

  • Section 1 - Macrame knots
  • Section 2 - Macrame tips
  • Section 3 - Macrame patterns

I'll teach you all the common knots, I'll give you tips and I'll get you started on your first projects. Make your own macrame wall hanging. Or a plant hanger, for all you plant lovers out there. #plantsmakepeoplehappy

Section 1: Macrame knots

Macrame consists of a series of knots. In this section I will teach you all of the most commonly used knots in macrame.

Square knot

Square Knots are strong and one of the most common knots used in macramé. The square knot is done in 2 parts. Start out by bending the left working cord, cross it over the filler cords and then under the right working cord. Pass the right working cord behind the filler cords and pull it through the loop created by the left working cord. Gently pull on both cords. The knot is now half way done.

You finish the knot by doing the same, but in reverse. Bend the right working cord, cross it over the filler cords and then under the left working cord. Pass the left working cord behind the filler cords and pull it through the loop created by the left working cord. Now pull on both cords again. You are done!

Spiral knot

The spiral knot creates a beautiful helix or DNA spiral. It is especially well suited to use when creating plant hangers.

The spiral knot is actually a square knot, but tied repeatedly. The knot becomes offset, forming a spiral that twists down.

Start out by bending the left working cord, cross it over the filler cords and then under the right working cord. Pass the right working cord behind the filler cords and pull it through the loop created by the left working cord. Gently pull on both cords. Keep repeating the above steps until the spiral is the desired length.

Half hitch

The half hitch is the most versatile knot used in macrame. The possibilites are endles with this knot. In this article we will explain the most common used variations: Half Hitch, Double half hitch and the Horizontal half hitch.

The half hitch knot is great to create wavy patterns in a macrame wall hanging. It is the most simple knot in macrame.

The working cord passes in front of and then loops around the filler cord. Pass it through the loop created by the working cord. That’s it. Couldn’t be easier. J

Double half hitch

The double half hitch is the knot that can elevate your work to the next level. It is used to create different structures and shapes in macrame.

The knot can be tied horizontally, vertically, diagonally or in free form. I will be looking at the diagonal half hitch knot. Use 1 cord as your filler cord. You can use a cord in your work or use a new rope as your filler cord. Hold the filler cord at your desired angle. Use your first working cord to pass at the back of your filler cord and loop around. Now make another loop around your filler cord to create the double half hitch knot.

Diagonal Double Half Hitch

Horizontal Double Half Hitch

Vertical Double Half Hitch

Lark's head knot

To make this knot take 1 rope and fold it in half. Pull the folded end over the wood dowel and pull the the cord ends through the loop you just made.

Section 2: Macrame tips

Below I will share some of the more beginner tips with you. Are you more advanced? Go ahead and skip to section 3.

Use good quality rope

Craft and home stores have a variety of cotton, acrylic, nylon and twine cords with a rope-like twist that are suitable for macrame. Personally I prefer to work with cotton rope of atleast 3mm in diameter. Cotton rope comes in 2 types. Braided and twisted cotton rope. Braided cotton rope are 6 strands (or more) braided into a single rope. 3-strand rope (sometimes called 3-ply) where the strands are twisted around each other. I've seen it in 4 strands, but conventional rope tends to be 3-strand. I love it because it is easy to work with, is extremely strong and durable, and unravels at the ends to make a really lovely fringe. The rope I use can be bought here.

Keep it simple

There are so many different knots to use in macrame. A good first knot to learn is a simple square knot. There are 2 ways to do this knot: The square knot and the alternating square knot. This knot is the very basis of most of the macrame out there these days, and a wonderfully easy beginner knot to try.

Keep your tension even

This one requires practice. The strength with which you tighten the knots affects the consistency of their size. Practice over and over until you find a rhythm and see that your knots are consistent. You'll need to find a balance between knotting to loose and have you work look shoddy and knotting to tight.

Save your leftover rope

While you’re learning you will may have a few try, and try agains. And getting the length of the rope JUST right can be your biggest obstacle. The length of the rope required for a project will differ depending on the type of knots used, the pattern, the tension of your work and the dimension of the rope. You never want to little rope since it can be complicated to add extra to your piece. We always suggest you err on at least 10% more than you think you will need, just to be safe. There are lots of small project to do with your leftover rope. You can try macrame leaves, a key-chain or bookmark. You can also add the scraps as fringes to other work. The options are endless.

Get involved and have fun

The best way to do anything is to find the right support. The same goes for learning macrame. Join a community of fellow macrame enthusiast. You'll find answers to your questions, be inspired and share knowledge. Expressing your creativity through macrame is one of the best parts of the journey. Let your creativity free and create something that comes from your heart. 

 

Section 3: Macrame patterns

Every month I will release a new free pattern for you to enjoy.

Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern 'Rosie'

Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern 'Diamonds'

Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern 'Luna'

Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern 'Berry'

See the full tutorial here.

Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern 'IVY'

See the full tutorial here.

 

Macrame Wall Hanging Pattern 'Almaz'

See the full tutorial here.

 

Macrame plant hanger pattern

Click the link here for the macrame plant hanger pattern 

Macrame Plant Hanger Pattern

27 comments

Mar 06, 2021

Thank you for not using loud, silly background music. And thank you for really slowing down the techniques. Super easy to follow>

Dava
Mar 02, 2021

@Teresa

That’s right. The 2 cords on the inside are just filler cords and the 2 cords on the outside are doing the actual knotting.

If you make a leash you can make the 2 outside cords longer before you start knotting.

Robin Hendriks
Feb 15, 2021

I was wrong. It’s a square knot .the 2 outside chords are way shorter why?

Teresa
Feb 15, 2021

When I do double half knots for straight rope like dog leash, The 2 ropes on the outside are way shorter than the 2 in the middle. Am I making it wrong? Thank you

Teresa
Mar 02, 2021

I just purchased a kit from Prices Plus. The pattern says to cut 21 × 4 yard lengths of cord which I estimate is 84 yards however there is only 64 yards in the kit.
I am new to this craft and thought this would be an easy way to learn but it I do not have enough cord can you suggest a solution.

Carol
Jan 13, 2021

In response to Tracy’s question about working from the couch – you can buy a rolling clothes rack and hang your work from there. :-)

Maureen
Jan 07, 2021

I found your site when searching for tension and using extra cord as a beginner. Although I did a lot of Macramé in the 70’s-80’s, I only did plant hangers at the behest of my mom for all of her friends! I remember just thinking about what I wanted to make and “eyeballing” the amount of string. I did bang designs, double hangers, etc but now that I’m starting again, I’ve forgotten that. I’m struggling I think it must be my tension. I find that I may need to add 20% more rope/string to my projects. Thanks for your tutorials too!

Deirdre
Jan 07, 2021

Beautiful. I wish I knew of an easier way to macrame while sitting with my family, on the couch, in the evenings. Is there an easy way?

Tracy Trainor
Nov 20, 2020

Hie
Thanks for the well explained tutorials. I have learnt a number of knots.

Florida Malamba Banda
Aug 25, 2020

I have done the spiral knot a couple of times now and taken it out and tried again
I always wind up with the 4 strand of remaining cord being uneven. Two of the cords are much longer.
Is that the norm? Or am I doing something wrong ?
Thanks
Donna

Donna

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