Late last year I took a macrame class. Yes, you heard right – macrame. Those of you around my age and older probably remember knotting hanging plant holders – or the ubiquitous owl wall decoration – back in the 1970s. I’m fairly sure that I’d learned the basics in a school holiday class when I was around 10 years old. Like most other crafts, macrame is back, albeit with some tweaking.
Handmaker’s Factory offered a project based class to make a dip-dyed cotton macrame necklace, and Anna put out the call on Instagram to see who would be interested in joining her. My hand went up immediately! The class was taught by Kate Gordes, who sells the macrame items she’s made through her etsy shop Scout Gathers, and her enthusiasm for the craft was infectious.
All the materials were provided to make a necklace the same as the sample. Kate had a number of other necklaces with her for future inspiration – I took quite a few photos to get ideas. The cotton rope is sash cord, and can be found at Ropes Galore. The cotton was nice to work with and of course can be easily dyed. Brass fittings came from the plumbing section at Bunnings, and we also used natural wooden beads. I’m not sure where Kate sourced those – they had a lovely large diameter central hole, which is definitely needed. It’s hard to get all that rope through the hole otherwise!
With the help of practical demonstration and written notes, we learned three different knots. I was rather amazed to discover that I had quite an affinity for macrame and tying knots! I was very quickly knotting away – mad skillz! It was a great deal of fun, and very enjoyable to see the necklace taking shape. I also found it fairly meditative.
After the necklace had been completely knotted, we chose a colour for dip-dying. Eventually I went for teal, and after a dip in a bucket of dye and a blast with a hairdryer, the last of the ends were woven into place and sealed with a hot glue gun. I was done!
I’ve bought further knotting supplies. A couple of different thicknesses of natural rope, coloured cotton rope (found in etsy shop Lost Property Hong Kong) and some different brass and copper fittings. I’ve had a bit of a search for beads with large diameter holes, but those have been harder to find! It’s nice to make something just with hands as tools.
And yes, the necklace is a rather bold design, but yes, I really like it and have worn it!