I recently attended a macrame workshop and have fallen in love with a new woolly/ropey craft.
I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a few weeks but I’ve been so busy it’s just been hard to find the time. But I’m here now, brew in hand, looking at a freshly strung up branch ready to knot the hell out of it.
But first, the workshop… it was great. It took place at Wild Flowers florist in Standish, Wigan – which made for a lovely calming and creative environment (and I’ll actually be teaching crochet there in just a couple of weeks). The course was run by Lucy from Little White Attic, who was great at showing us the ropes, quite literally. (She does fantastic hangings for backdrops at weddings!)
Eight clothing rails were set up in advance of our arrival with a pre-strung wooden ring; ready for us to get stuck right in. The clothing rails were perfect to work from as the height is adjustable – one super handy tip we learnt was that you should always work with your hanging just below shoulder height – as you quickly realise the strain that this craft puts on your shoulders, arms and lower back! It’s also worth taking a wide stance when standing up to take the strain off your lower back.
We each made a macrame plant hanger using square knots and half square knots. The half square knot gives you a lovely decorative twist in your rope, and the square knot creates a nice sturdy decorative knot which is great to use at the top and base of where the pot will sit.
The square knot and the half square are the core knots in macrame so they stand you in good stead for any macrame decoration. The other knot that we didn’t learn on the day but I quickly went away to google, was the hitch knot – and variations of. This is also a core and very popular macrame knot worth knowing.
To finish off our hangings we made an aptly named finishing knot, which sits at the base of the plant pot; bringing all of your rope together in a lovely tidy wrap without any bulky knots or loose ends on show.
The loose ends can be left as they are, cut to the same or differing lengths, or (as I opted to do) you can unwind the individual strands that make up each length of rope to create a really nice fringe effect. It just takes a while to unwind every strand – and once you start you’re committed – so if you’re in a rush maybe don’t opt for this design feature!
Another good tip is to buy good quality macrame rope. Your fingers really take the brunt of it so a coarse or rough rope will cut your fingers to shreds, a nice soft rope is a lot easier to work with and less harsh on the skin.
Since the workshop I’ve gone onto make a couple of hangings, which are for sale on my Etsy store.
But my most exciting macrame project has just started. I found the most amazing branch on a walk recently (yes, there is such a thing as an amazing branch). It’s been scrubbed down, bleached, and polished, and I’ve just strung up my first layer of rope ready to be knotted. I’ll make sure I share the progress pics!
And I’ll now leave you with one final tip that was passed on from Lucy; layering is key! And it really is. The more you layer your rope the more depth you create, and you can be a lot more detailed and intricate with your designs, which really pays off when you’re looking for a quality bohemian effect.