To date the majority of the items I’ve made (with the exception of elastic bracelets) has been very much metal based. So I decided to learn something new and work in a different medium to create a completely different style of item than I have done previously. Macramé is the art of knotting material (a variety of different materials can be used to do this including, thread, ribbon, wool, leather etc) and has been around for centuries.
The first item I decided to create was a bookmark, as featured in the book The New Macramé by Katie DuMont, although I chose to go with a different colour scheme. The knots utilised in the design of the bookmark are the diagonal double half hitch and to finish off the ends the square knot. Unfortunately, for a complete beginner there is a lack of photos along with the written instructions, as there is only one picture of the finished item, which shows in the photo the opposite side of the one you see whilst creating it. For some reason, the pictures of the knots at the front of the book only show the diagonal double half hitch when going from left to right, and not how you should do it when working in the other direction from right to left, which I initially had trouble with.
Thankfully, the internet exists and I was able to figure out how to create the bookmark when I found the instructions (particularly pictures) lacking in aiding me to create the item. Demure Designs had lovely colourful instructions of the diagonal double half hitch showing how you create it in both directions. Which given that this knot is the main one creating the bookmark was extremely helpful to me.
I used a small cork notice board to help with pinning my project too. I also found that it helped to have a number of pins at the start to align the diagonal double half hitch knots (as the bookmark is created from the centre outwards). Plus, I had pins at the bottom of the cork board (shown in the right picture below) to help separate the embroidery threads used, as it made it easier for me to see which threads I needed to use next. The only pinning that was stated in the instructions was for holding the overhand knots used in the centre to hold the threads down to the working board (the large blue and red pins at the top of the left picture).
I also found Olga’s Macramé Hobby Site, which has a really useful picture of the Clear Edge Method which is utilised in creating the neat V shape at the ends (shown in the left picture just before using the clear edge method), before the bookmark is finished off with square knots (shown in the right picture).
The picture on the right also shows that the threads used to create the square knots are threaded back up the centre of the square knots. So to finish off, those threads are cut, and a small amount of glue is added to give a secure finish. Plus the ends of the bookmark are trimmed to create an even tassel look.
The finished item – the left picture is the working side, and the right picture is the underneath side that you don’t see whilst creating the bookmark.
The completed bookmark (as per the instructions) I feel gives a slightly too thick bookmark for my personal taste. So I created a second one, but without doubling up the thread as in the first one I made. I however, did add on two extra cords to help widen the bookmark up, as not doubling up the threads would have made the macrame bookmark not as wide. The thicker bookmark is for sale in my local Community Pop Up Shop and the thinner bookmark is now available for purchase in my online shop.