So, how do you know how much cord to cut for your new Macrame piece? Let’s take a look.
It’s a really common question and one that doesn’t have an easy answer as the types of knots and patterns in Macrame are pretty infinate in possibility. While wasting cord is not ideal, running out of cord is an even worse situation, potentially wasting hours of your beautiful work! Getting a good estimate to start with is key.
As far as I can tell there are at least four styles of working with macrame:
- Familiar patterns – There will be certain macrame patterns that you get used to doing frequently in different combinations. So its a good idea to keep notes of what types of patterns use what length of cord. For example, if you want to include a repeating diamond knot pattern often used in layered macrame, this uses 4-6 times the length required (then fold and double the total length taking into account you will be attaching it onto your dowel with a larks head knot). There are variations on this including knotting within the diamond, leaving it open and weaving the cords. Once you are familiar with this pattern you can mix it up and include it in your work in a variety of ways.
- Unfamiliar patterns – Now if you are making a piece that includes a pattern you are unfamiliar with its advised to do a small ‘sampler’. Basically a mini version of what you are making. This need not be a waste of rope as you can always keep or sell this as a small wallhanging. Once you have figured out how much cord a pattern will take then you can multiply this by the size wallhanging you are wanting to create.
- Working from a pattern/ video – So this goes without saying, if you are working with a pattern then it takes the guess work out of how much cord to cut as someone else has already worked that out. This is great for beginners or for tackling unfamiliar patterns.
- Freestyle – So this is a very enjoyable style as you don’t have to bother too much with measuring cord. Start of with long cords and just see where the knots take you. This is great when doing random dense big pieces. If you start to run out of cord you can either add cord with fringing or decide to finish off the piece there. This is great if you are flexible about the end result, as if you end up with a smaller piece than you envisaged, then simply cut more next time.