Saturday 8 February 2014

Ombre Macrame wall hanging....

 ....with a copper pipe heart.
(my valentines project)

Being a nostalgic at heart, I love things that takes me back to my happy childhood in Norway.
And being a child of the 70's I remember very well my mums macramé plant hangers in the windows...Macramé was a craze of the 70's all over the world, and if you are still not sure what I'm talking about, it is the art of knotting.
For years this has been considered a passé art...left to the hippie generation of my parents, but in the last few years it has had a bit of a revival, with artists like Sally England and Pippa Taylor of Ouch Flower creating some beautiful and fresh looking
  macramé wall hangings...They've modernised macramé by bringing in touches of neon and techniques like dip-dying into the art...

It looks complicated, but having been taught a number of boat-tying knots by my granddad as a child, I thought: Lets give it a go!
I found a really nice tutorial from May of Himo Art on A pair and Spare, that got me started...
 ....and once I got going, I found that it got easier and easier as I got used to the knots!

So don't be daunted...this is something YOU can make:
I am going to show you how I made mine, using just 4 different knots...


Approx. 50 meters of cotton string/rope (I used 6ml curtain string for chunky-ness)
A dowel
measuring tape
Dye+salt (if you want to dip-dye, like me)
masking tape


....Some copper pipes.
I wanted to make this my valentines project, and originally I was looking for a macramé heart pattern to incorporate into my design, but couldn't actually find one (I did try making one up, but found it too complicated...this is my first go at macramé after all...) But when I saw this lovely macramé wall hanging, with copper pipes at A beautiful Mess, I knew I could make a copper heart shape in my wall hanging instead. Luckily my friends husband is a plumber, and he kindly donated me some copper pipe cut-offs. I simply sanded them down to bring out the coppery shine again!


The first thing to do is to cut your cord...You'll want an even number of cords: I cut my 50 metres of cord into 18 pieces at just under 3 metres each...

Double them over, then tie to your doweling using


...Pretty self the picture above!
When you have tied all your pieces of string to your dowel, hang it up on the wall at a comfortable working height....use some cheap adhesive towel hooks, if you don't want to drill a hole on your wall... 

The next knot I will show you is the


 The half hitch knot is the most commonly used knot in macramé, and the foundation to most macramé designs...
You are basically knotting one strand around another, keeping the strand you are knotting around tight and working across your row of strings from the right to left...


When you have finished this row of half hitch knots, but you find that it looks a bit messy (like mine, above)....simply pull on the string you where knotting around, and tighten the knots....

...then manipulate your macramé and the knots back into shape...

We will be using this knot throughout this design...

The next knot I did, was a


Doing The square knot you want to use 4 cords:

1. Bring the right cord over to the left of the two anchor(middle) cords, and place the left cord over the right cord.
2. Bring the left cord under the anchors and through the loop formed by the right cord.(Pull tight and you have now formed the first half of the square knot...but for the purposes of showing you, I have left the knot loose in the pictures above)
3. Bring the left cord over and to the right of the two anchor cords and place the right cord over it.
4. Bring the right cord under the anchors and through the loop formed by the left cord.
5. Pull the cords tight and you have finished the square knot.

Repeat this knot in a second row, like I did.

Then I added a row of half hitch knots (as before)

Next I did a diagonal row of half hitch knots.
When doing this, it helps to kneel down and pull the strings down as you work along...

 Then I added another 2 rows of square knots.

At this stage, I decided to dip dye the ends of my cotton (very important) ropes..
I prepared my dye (according to the instructions on the packet) in a plastic bowl, dipped the ropes in, then lifted tem out again half-way, leaving the ends in...

 ...This way gravity will help you achieve that gradual ombre effect.
I left it for 2 hours, then pulled the rope-ends out of the dye, and left to dry.

In the mean time, I cut my copper piping (using a pie-cutter) to size and sanded them back.

With my copper pipe heart shape ready to go, and my dip dyed rope dried, I continued to knot....

I added another row of half hitch knots at the ends of my diagonal square knots..

 Then straightened the pattern off with a straight row of half hitch knots.



I found the middle two of the ropes, then thread the copper pipes on , like in the picture above.
Then added the copper pipes on either side until it formed a heart shape..
I secured them in place by tying a simple knot under each pipe, then manipulating the knots for the correct positioning.

Next I tightened off the strings by adding another row of half hitch  knots straight across...


I then did another row of half hitch knots diagonally across my macramé wall hanging.

The next knot I did was a


The switch knot is basically a looser version of the Square knot.
1. Start with 4 cords
2. Tie the first knot like you did with the square knot. Tighten.
3. THE SWITCH: Bring the two outer cords over the anchor cords (The 2 in the middle), so they rest between the two cords. They will now become the new anchors and the previous anchors will be the new set of working chords for the next knot..
4. Tie another square knot over the two new anchors. Tighten.
5. Switch the cords again: Bring the two working cords over and rest them between the anchor cords.
Tie the final square knot. Tighten.

These knots may seem complicated, but will become easier as you get to know them...

The switch knots are looser in appearance that the square knots.


I then finished off the switch knots with a diagonal row of half hitch knots, then added another straight row of these to finish off my macramé wall hanging...

I then cut the remaining strings diagonally...


Attached some eye hooks to the dowel and threaded some rope through for hanging....and masked off and painted the ends of my dowel...

C'est ca....Voila!


I am really pleased with my very first attempt at macramé, even if it is a bit wonky here and there!
I love the dip-dye effect and the copper pipe-heart! 
What do you think??
Is macramé a step too far back in time? Still passé? Or does this modernized version of this age-old craft appeal to you??
Will you give it a go, or does it still seen too complicated?

Please post any comments or questions below!
I love to hear from you all!



Terri said...

Wonderful! Enjoy the blue and copper color combo! Thanks for sharing!♥

june olsen said...

Thanks Terri! Thanks for popping by!

Lisa Barton said...

Great tutorial , really clear and concise! It's been 30 years since I did macrame at school making a pot holder but times have changed and your project looks great :)

june olsen said...

Thanks Lisa ! Yes...its a bit of a throw-back art form! LOL! Thanks for popping by!

Neva Fels said...

A very detailed tutorial and clear pictures. I made macramé plant hangers many years ago and it was fun seeing your work progress to completion. Good Job.

june olsen said...

Thank you so much Neva! I am really pleased the tutorial feels clear and concise! Macramé is a hard thing to explain....I may have to try my hands at some plant hangers next! Thanks for popping by!

jendefig said...

Fantastic! This is the most intricate and informative, but not overly complex tutorial I've seen! Great explanation of the knots! Love the diagonals! Can't wait to try! Thank you!

june olsen said...

Thank you jendefig! glad you found the instructions clear!!

J9nKidz said...

This has to be the best recent macrame I have seen yet :D Absolutely stunning!!!! Pinned and google plus shared girl, amazing job

june olsen said...

Thanks Jeanine! Appreciate the share!! thanks for popping by!!

Ginnie said...

This is so gorgeous! I have to admit that the macrame trend has taken a while to grow on me, but now I'm loving it;) Thanks for sharing!

june olsen said...

Thanks Ginnie!! I fell in love with macrame straight away as it brings back memories of my 70's childhood in Norway!! LOL! This look is a lot fresher though!! I keep seeing these amazing textile wall hangings on pinterest, and think I will have to try weaving soon!! Watch this space!! xxx

Jane said...

Hey, this is really nice. Where did you get your cotton rope from?

june olsen said...

Hi Jane thanks for popping by! I got the cotton rope from Dunelm's actually a cord for blinds, and it comes in various thicknesses! I hope that helps!! xxx

Lahja ja Sisustus Juuttisäkki said...

kiitos hyvästä tiedosta meille kaikille
Lue lisää
Lue lisää
Lue lisää

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