The word "macrame" conjures ideas of 70's plant hangers and wall art, but the techniques can be framed into all sort of aesthetics. These necklaces are made with double half hitch knots - essentially the same way that a lot of friendship bracelets are made. By varying the way the strands are worked you can create two very different kinds of stripe patterns. The repetition of one knot creates a nice texture for making patterns pop.
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Step 1: Supplies and Equipment
- straight pins
- sharp scissors
- cork tiles or other pinnable surface
- 4 skeins of embroidery floss (per necklace)
- needle with a large eye
- large jump rings
- jewelry making tools
For the navy version I used 4 standard DMC floss skeins - 2 skeins of 823, and one each of 931 and 415.
For the sand and blue version I used 4 standard DMC floss skeins - 2 skeins of 738, and one each of 3811 and 3808.
Step 2: Navy and Light Blue - Part 1
Start out by cutting each skein into 8 equal pieces - half, then half, then half again.
Fold one in half, and pin it down as shown in the photos. Knot each additional strand into place following the diagram and photos below, ensuring that the center of the strand is at the center of the knot, so you have an equal tail on each side.
It took me a few tries with this knot to get it right and centered. Just keep knotting then taking it apart if it's not right - you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly!
The order is 15 strands of dark, 4 medium, 8 light, and 4 medium. Experiment with other patterns - all kinds of stripes would be pretty on this necklace!
Tie the two carrier strands together at the top.
The diagrams are not accurate to the strands/colors in the photo, fewer strands are show for convenience.
Step 3: Navy and Light Blue - Part 2
Bring the lower most strand up, that's the strand you'll be knotting around.
Make a double half hitch knot with each remaining strand over the strand you just laid across the work. It might be easier to knot if you turn so the threads you are working are hanging down - this is a personal preference.
When you've knotted all the way up the first strand, allow it to join the other strands at the top of the piece. Continue bringing up the lowermost strand, knotting over it, and adding it to the strands at the top until the strands are too short to work with.
Repeat the whole thing on the other side.
Step 4: Sand and Blue - Part 1
Start out by cutting each skein into 4 equal pieces - half, then half again.
Fold one strand in half and pin it down at the half way point. Half of the strand should go to your right, the other half you'll be knotting over it.
Tie a double half hitch knot, being careful to keep the center of the strand at the pin. If you have trouble just untie it and try again!
Tighten the knot into position.
Find the half way point on the next strand. Tie it with a double half hitch.
Put a pin into your board, loop the other half of the strand around it, then tie a double half hitch with that side. Be careful not to leave a loop where the pin is or you'll have a loop on the edge of your finished piece.
Repeat this process with all of the remaining strands. To duplicate my piece you'll need 5 tan, 2 light blue, 4 medium blue, 2 light blue and 3 tan.
Step 5: Sand and Blue - Part 2
Take the farthest left strand and lay it across all the other strands. Make a double half hitch over this strand with each of the remaining strands, except for the first one (the one that everything has been knotted over so far.) Do not allow the strand you've knotted over to rejoin the vertical strands at the right side - just leave it out of the way and stop using it.
Continue working this way - farthest left strand laid across, knot over it - until you've done this with all of the strands (the last one will just be left hanging vertically.)
Now repeat that process, but this time it's the top strand (farthest right if you've turned your work.) Do the same thing, working all the way across.
Same process again, right to left. You'll do it one more time, top to bottom (left to right if you turn the work.)
Step 6: Finishing
You may want to leave fringe at the sides, but I chose to weave my tails in. If you leave fringe it would be smart to use some fray check or fabric glue on the back near the edge to keep the work from loosening up.
To finish the tails flip the piece over and work them in with the needle (making sure to weave into a neighboring row so you don't accidentally undo any knots) and trim the tails.
I know, this is a totally different piece, but the concept showed up most clearly in this palette.
Step 7: Add the Chain & Wear It
Work the jump rings through near the top corners and attach your chain.
It's a good idea to measure the chain length you want in front of a mirror. Better yet, do it while wearing a shirt you would wear with the necklace. These are relatively large, so planning ahead for how to style it will make life easier later.
Once the chain and clasp are in place the necklace is ready to wear!