Macrame is a craft that involves tying knots into decorative patterns. A variety of materials including string, silk, yarn or hemp can be used depending on the desired finished look. Any of these will work well for decorative pieces. Owls look fantastic when done with macrame. This one is an all-natural owl, constructed using jute or hemp fibre rather than synthetic and using wooden beads for the eyes.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 4mm jute or hemp
- Driftwood, or dowels at least 15 inches long
- 2 inch brass rings
- 1 inch brass ring
- 32mm round wood beads
- Project board
Cut the cords you’ll need for this pattern. Twelve cords will be six yards long; four cords will be 90 inches long; three cords will be five yards long; and three cords will be 15 inches long. Use glue or wax on the ends of all of them to prevent fraying.
Attach the four 90-inch cords to the 1-inch ring with Larks Head knots, leaving you with eight cords. Tie two eight-inch Spiral Stitch sennits using four of those cords each. Use double half stitches to attach each strand to the driftwood or dowel at the top of the owl, four strands on each end. Tie a barrel knot in each behind the driftwood or dowel and trim the extra.
Attach the twelve 6-yard cords to the middle of the driftwood or dowel using Larks Head knots, leaving you with 24 cords. Tie Alternating Square Knots starting below the Larks Head knots. Use four cords per knot. Continue tying Alternating Square Knots to create a V shape. Each row of Alternating Square Knots will reduce the number of cords used by four, leaving two additional cords from each side untied at the edges of each row.
Take the cord on the far left and lay it along the edge of the V shape made by Alternating Square Knots. Use Double Half Stitch to attach the eleven cords on the left to it one by one. Now repeat for the cord on the far right by laying it along the right edge of the V shape and attaching the eleven cords on the right with Double Half Stitches. Attach the two cords you just laid down the edge of the V shape together with a Double Half Stitch. Use those two cords plus one from each side to tie a Square Knot.
Take one of the two-inch rings and set it to the left of the V. Take the seventh cord from the left and attach it to the top of the ring with a Double Half Hitch. Take the fifth and sixth cords from the left and attach them to the left of the ring with a vertical Double Half Hitch. Take the eight and the ninth cords from the left and attach them to the right of the ring with a vertical Double Half Hitch. Take the other two-inch ring and set it on the right of the V to repeat this process. Take the eighth cord from the right and attach it to the top of the ring with a Double Half Hitch. Take the sixth and seventh cords from the right and attach them to the left side of the ring with a vertical Double Half Hitch. Take the ninth and tenth cords from the right and attach them to the right side of the ring with a vertical Double Half Hitch. Slide a bead over the seventh cord from the left and the eighth cord from the right and then attach these two cords to the bottom of the rings with a Double Half Hitch.
Mentally number the cords from 1 to 24, left to right. Take cord 12 to the left until it is horizontal and taut. Use a Double Half Hitch to attach cords 11 through 5 (in that order) to cord 12. Next, take cord 13 to the right until it is horizontal and taut. Use a Double Half Hitch to attach cords 14 through 20 (in that order) to cord 13. Mentally renumber the cords again. Tie four Square Knots with cords 11 through 14. Make the nose for the owl by positioning the ends directly beneath the first square knot tied. Tie one more square knot to secure it. Use cords 1 through 4 to tie a sennit of square knots until the last square knot tied is even with the row of Double Half Hitches made at the beginning of this step. Make sure it’s long enough to curve out slightly. Repeat on the other side using cords 21 through 24.
Take one of the five yard cords and tie the centre of it between cords 12 and 13, beneath the nose. Extend the ends out horizontally and taut in both directions. These are your holding cords. Use the Double Half Hitch to attach cords 12 through one to the holding cord on the left side, and cords 13 through 24 on the right. Mentally number the cords one through 26 and extend cord 14 towards the left at a slight diagonal down. Use the Double Half Hitch to attach cords 12 through one. Extend cord 13 to the right at a slight diagonal down. Use the Double Half Hitch to attach cords 15 through 26. Renumber and repeat. Use another five yard cord and attach it with a reverse Larks Head Knot to the left holding cord. Place it at the left edge of the owl. With another five yard cord, repeat this on the right. Renumber again one through 30. Extend cord 16 to the left at a diagonal down. Use the Double Half Hitch to attach cords 14 through one. Extend cord 15 to the right at a diagonal down. Use the Double Half Hitch to attach cords 17 through 30.
Use 6 strands for Alternating Square Knots to follow the angles formed by the Double Half Hitches in the previous step. Keep about a half inch to an inch of space between each row of Alternating Square Knots. Tie one Alternating Square Knot with cords 13 through 18 for row 1. Tie two Alternating Square Knots with cords 10 through 21 for row 2. Tie three Alternating Square Knots with cords seven through 24 for row 3. Tie four Alternating Square Knots with cords four through 27 for row 4. Tie five Alternating Square Knots for row 5. Use the Alternating Square Knot to tie three more rows with the same spacing between them.
Take the second dowel or piece of driftwood and set it near the bottom of the owl. Use the Double Half Hitch to secure the filler stitches from the Alternating Square Knots. Hang the owl with the top ring. Tie a row of Alternating Square Knots below the wood. Take the 18-inch cords to make Wrapped Knots about one and a half inches long around three groups of 10 cords each. Use glue or wax on the knots to firmly secure them. Once it is dry, trim the ends of the 18-inch cords.
Attach the five-inch cords around the eye rings with reverse Larks Head Knots as often as desired. Unravel each and trim.
Tips and warnings
- Securing the cords to a working surface will keep them taut while you work.
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