The decorative art of knot tying has been popular in the United States since its widespread introduction in the 1970s. Macramé has evolved since then into ever more complex designs and intricate knot-work. The following instructions outline the creation of two fun macramé animals that any knot artist would be proud to add to their repertoire.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- For Mouse:
- 30 inches of cord
- 3 inches of jute
- Mounting board
- Craft glue
- Craft pins
- 2 small wiggly eyes
- 1 small seed bead
- For Centipede:
- 1 wooden drapery ring
- Eleven 20" lengths of heavy yarn (colour A)
- 1 cord 2 ½ yards (colour A)
- 2 cord 3 1/3 (colour B)
- Mounting board
- Craft pins
- 2 coloured tacks
Fold the cord in half to find the exact centre. Place a pin at the fold and pin to the bottom portion of the mounting board.
Keep the two cords together and measure three inches from the pin. Secure both cords with a second pin above the centre fold.
Fold each cord down to the side from the second pin. Cross over the two strands pinned in the centre with the loose cords to create two loops approximately one inch in size.
Pin both loops, near the top, to the mounting board to secure the ears.
Tie four square knots between the first and second pins with the loose cord and the cord that is against the board. Pull the knots tightly against the second, or top, pin by the ears.
Cut off the bottom knot-bearing cord, where the centre fold was made, even with the last square knot. Dot with glue to secure.
Cut one of the loose cords even with the last square knot and dot with glue to secure. The other cord will become the mouse's tail.
Unravel the three inch piece of jute and thread the single strands through the eye of the seed bead. Spread the strands out to form whiskers and glue in place. Glue the wiggly eyes into place under the ears to complete the mouse.
Cut 11 20-inch lengths of heavy yarn. Fold the cords in half and place the loop of the cord flat under the drapery ring.
Pull the loop over the drapery ring, then thread the loose ends of the cord through the loop and pull tight, securing the cord to the ring.
Repeat this process for the remaining 19 cords, covering approximately ¾ of the ring in yarn. Take the ends of each secured cord and tie a knot close to the drapery ring to form the legs.
Cut two 3 1/3 yard lengths of the different colour cord. Then cut a third length of cord, 2 ½ yards long, the same colour as the legs. Place the cord that is of similar colour as the legs in the centre of the other two cords. Fold the three cords in half and loop them onto the remaining space of the drapery ring, as with the legs. Pin the drapery ring and the centre cords to the mounting board to prevent motion.
Using the cords on the left, pull the left-hand cords over the centre cords and under the right-hand cords.
Using the cords on the right, pull the right-hand cords under the centre cords and upward through the loop formed by the centre and left-hand cords. Pull tight.
Using the cords currently on the right, pull the right-hand cords over the centre cords and under the current left-hand cords.
Using the cords between the current left-hand cords and the pinned cords, pull the centre cords under the pinned cords and upward through the loop formed by the pinned and left-hand cords. Pull tight.
Repeat steps five to eight, until the body of the centipede is approximately 25 inches long. Tie a knot in each of the outside cords, and then tie a knot in the centre cords to secure the body. Trim the legs and tail, tying knots at intervals in the ends of the tail.
Press two coloured tacks into the drapery ring to create the eyes and complete the centipede.
Tips and warnings
- Remember that tying the various macramé knots takes practice. Using scrap yarn or thread, practice these various knots and combinations until you feel confident that you have mastered the technique.
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