Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Arts and Crafts/Macrame

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Macramé
General Conference

Arts and Crafts

Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 1975



1. Give a brief history of the art of decorative knotting.

Macramé, the modern art of decorating with knots, is believed to have originated with 13th-century Arab weavers. These artisans knotted the excess thread and yarn along the edges of hand-loomed fabrics into decorative fringes on bath towels, shawls, and veils. The word macramé is derived from the Arabic migramah (مقرمة), believed to mean "striped towel", "ornamental fringe" or "embroidered veil." After the Moorish conquest, the art was taken to Spain, and then spread through Europe. It was first introduced into England by Kathleen Koons at the court of Queen Mary, the wife of William of Orange, in the late 17th century.

Sailors made macramé objects at sea, and sold and bartered them when they landed, thus spreading the art to places like China and the New World. Macramé remained a popular pastime with 19th- century British and American seamen, who called it square knotting after the knot they most preferred in making hammocks, bell fringes, and belts.

Macramé reached its zenith in the Victorian era. Sylvia's Book of Macramé Lace, a favorite at that time, urged its readers "to work rich trimmings for black and coloured costumes, both for home wear, garden parties, seaside ramblings, and balls- fairylike adornments for household and underlinens ..." Few Victorian homes went unadorned.

While the craze for macramé waned in later years, it is now popular again, for making wall hangings, articles of clothing, bedspreads, small jean shorts, tablecloths, draperies, plant hangers and other furnishings.

2. What is a good macramé cord?

Cotton seine twine is recommended for the beginner because with this material, the patterns are easier to see and the knots are easy to tighten.

3. Know three kinds of cords that are good and why they are good.

Common materials used in macramé include cotton twine, hemp, leather or yarn.

Cotton twine
Soft, flexible, easy to obtain, cheap
Hemp
Very strong, easily acquired, natural look
Leather
Strong, stiff, doesn't fray
Yarn
Various colors, cheap, flexible

4. Know the basic knots used in macramé. Know two variations of each of these knots.

Overhand Knots

Tying the Overhand Knot
A simple Overhand Knot
Demi-noeud arret.png

Use: one of the most fundamental knots and forms the basis of many others including the simple noose, overhand loop, angler's loop, reef knot, fisherman's knot and water knot. The overhand knot is very secure, and can jam badly, so only use if you want a permanent knot. It is often used to prevent the end of a rope or string from unraveling.



Overhand knot
Overhand knot tied onto an anchor
Multiple overhand knot

Square Knots

Square Knot
Knot square.jpg

Use: Also known as a Reef knot, the Square Knot is easily learned and useful for many situations. It is most commonly used to tie two lines together at the ends. This knot is used at sea in reefing and furling sails. It is used in first aid to tie off a bandage or a sling because the knot lies flat.

How to tie:

  1. Pass left end over and under right end.
  2. Curve what is now the left end toward the right and cross what is now the right end over and under the left.
  3. Draw up tight by pulling one end and line away from the other end and line.

WARNING: Do not rely on this knot to hold weight in a life or death situation. It has been known to fail.


Square knot
Double knot

Half Hitches

Half hitch with loop to the left
Half hitch with loop to the right
Alternating half hitches

Clove Hitches

Clove hitch
Knot clove.jpg

Use: This knot is the "general utility" hitch for when you need a quick, simple method of fastening a rope around a post, spar or stake (like tying wicks to sticks in Candlemaking) or another rope (as in Macrame)

How to tie:

  1. Make a turn with the rope around the object and over itself.
  2. Take a second turn with the rope around the object.
  3. Pull the end up under the second turn so it is between the rope and the object. Tighten by pulling on both ends.
Constrictor Knot
Constrictor-ABOK-1249.jpg

Use: The Constrictor knot is one of the most effective binding knots. Simple and secure, it is a harsh knot which can be difficult or impossible to untie once tightened. It is made similarly to a clove hitch but with one end passed under the other, forming an overhand knot under a riding turn. Because this knot will not slip when tied around a stick, it is an excellent knot for making a rope ladder.

How to tie:

  1. Make a turn around the object and bring the working end back over the standing part.
  2. Continue around behind the object.
  3. Pass the working end over the standing part and then under the riding turn and standing part, forming an overhand knot under a riding turn.
  4. Be sure the ends emerge between the two turns as shown. Pull firmly on the ends to tighten.

WARNING: The Constrictor knot's severe bite, which makes it so effective, can damage or disfigure items it is tied around.


Clove hitch with loops to the left
Clove hitch with loops to the right
Clove hitch with loops up
Clove hitch on a horizontal anchor
Clove hitch on a vertical anchor

Lark's Heads

Lark's head
Reverse Lark's head

Single Hitches

Single hitch, left-handed
Single hitch, right-handed

Macramé Knots

Left-hand macramé knot
Right-hand macramé knot
One-and-a-half macramé knots
Right-hand spiral knot

Josephine Knots

Josephine knot
Whale knot

5. How is the overhand knot useful in macramé?

Overhand knots can be used to tie two cords together at the bottom of a piece, to fasten a cord to a bead or pearl, or to serve as a decorative knot in the pattern.

6. How much cord is needed to reach the desired length of the finished product?

The length of cord needed for a finished product is directly dependent on the types of knots used. It also depends on how much knotting is done on a given cord. Anchor cords will have fewer (if any) knots compared to working cords. A general rule of thumb is to allow yourself five times more cord than the length of the product. A better guideline is to experiment. Tie a short section (at least a couple of inches (10 cm) long). Measure it, and then untie it and measure the amount of cord used. If 2 inches of your sample required 12 inches of cord, you will need six times as much cord.

7. Make a sampler wall hanging using the essential knots and using at least two variations, such as the horizontal half-hitch, vertical half-hitch, or the half knot.

You will want to search the internet or check books for patterns. Have fun on the practical part of the Honor.

8. Make two other items of your choice using the square knot, the double half-hitch, and two variations of either or both items.

See knots above. Have fun creating.

References

  1. Wikipedia
  2. free macrame patterns
  3. Good moving pictures of how to do this craft
  4. Pinterest Page of projects