Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:macrame
In late 2022 I prepared a batch of drawstring backpacks in cotton as reusable wrappers for Christmas gifts; however I didn’t know what cord to use, didn’t want to use paracord, and couldn’t find anything that looked right in the local shops.
With Christmas getting dangerously closer, I visited a craft materials website for unrelated reasons, found out that they sold macrame cords, and panic-bought a few types in the hope that at least one would work for the backpacks.
I got lucky, and my first choice fitted just fine, and I was able to finish the backpacks in time for the holidays.
And then I had a box full of macrame cords in various sizes and types that weren’t the best match for the drawstring in a backpack, and no real use for them.
I don’t think I had ever done macrame, but I have made friendship bracelets in primary school, and a few Friendship Bracelets, But For Real Men So We Call Them Survival Bracelets(TM) more recently, so I didn’t bother reading instructions or tutorials online, I just grabbed the Ashley Book of Knots to refresh myself on the knots used, and decided to make myself a small bag for an A6 book.
I choose one of the thin, ~3 mm cords, Tre Sfere Macramé Barbante, of which there was plenty, so that I could stumble around with no real plan.
I started by looping 5 m of cord, making iirc 2 rounds of a loop about the right size to go around the book with a bit of ease, then used the ends as filler cords for a handle, wrapped them around the loop and worked square knots all over them to make a handle.
Then I cut the rest of the cord into 40 pieces, each 4 m long, because I had no idea how much I was going to need (spoiler: I successfully got it wrong :D )
I joined the cords to the handle with lark head knots, 20 per side, and then I started knotting without a plan or anything, alternating between hitches and square knots, sometimes close together and sometimes leaving some free cord between them.
And apparently I also completely forgot to take in-progress pictures.
I kept working on this for a few months, knotting a row or two now and then, until the bag was long enough for the book, then I closed the bottom by taking one cord from the front and the corresponding on the back, knotting them together (I don’t remember how) and finally I made a rigid triangle of tight square knots with all of the cords, progressively leaving out a cord from each side, and cutting it in a fringe.
I then measured the remaining cords, and saw that the shortest ones were about a meter long, but the longest ones were up to 3 meters, I could have cut them much shorter at the beginning (and maybe added a couple more cords). The leftovers will be used, in some way.
And then I postponed taking pictures of the finished object for a few months.
Now the result is functional, but I have to admit it is somewhat ugly: not as much for the lack of a pattern (that I think came out quite fine) but because of how irregular the knots are; I’m not confident that the next time I will be happy with their regularity, either, but I hope I will improve, and that’s one important thing.
And the other important thing is: I enjoyed making this, even if I kept interrupting the work, and I think that there may be some other macrame in my future.