The basic knots of Macramé

The beauty of macramé is that the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a piece. To help you get started, I have put together this handy guide. There are a few important macramé terms you'll need to know before you can get started.

  • Working Cord: The cord or set of cords that you use to make the actual knots.

  • Filler Cord: The cord or set of cords that your knots wrap around.

 


1. Lark's Head Knot

The first knot you'll need to know is the Lark's Head Knot, sometimes referred to as a Cow Hitch Knot. This knot is for attaching your cords to an object, such as dowel, branch, hoop etc. Fold your cord in half and place the loop over the dowel rod. Bring the loop around the back and pull your two cord ends through the loop to tighten.

 

2. Square Knot

A square knot is one of the most widely used macrame knots. It is made up of 1 left facing and 1 right facing HALF square knots. Whether it is right facing or left facing depends on which side you start on.

 

Left facing

  1. Take the first cord (working cord A) and move it to the right over the middle filler cords and under the last cord (working cord B).

  2. Take working cord B and move it to the left under the two filler cords and over working cord A.

  3. Pull both working cords to tighten, keeping the filler cords straight.

   Right facing   

                               

The working cords have now switched places with working cord A on the right and working cord B on the left. 

  1. Take working cord A and move it to the left over the two filler cords and under working cord B.

  2. Take working cord B and move it to the right under the two filler cords and over working cord A.

  3. Pull both working cords to tighten, keeping the filler cords straight. 

  4. This completes your square knot.

3. Double Half Hitch Knots

Double Half Hitch knots can be horizontal, diagonal or any any angle you like . The direction and angle of the half hitches are determined by the 'anchor' or 'filler' cord.
These knots are great for outlining patterns or dividing your work into sections.


Double Half Hitches facing right

  1. Take your left cord, the filler cord, and hold it horizontally or diagonally across the other cords.

  2. Take the next cord (your first working cord) and bring it forward, up, and around the filler cord towards the left to form a loop.

  3. Take the same working cord and to the right of the first knot, take it up, over, and through the loop. There should now be two knots sitting next to each other. This is a double hitch or clove hitch knot.

Repeat the knots by using the next working cord around the same filler cord. Continue creating knots until you have the look you want.

 


 Double Half Hitches facing left.

  1. Take your right cord, the filler cord, and hold it horizontally or diagonally across the other cords.

  2. Take the next cord (your first working cord) and bring it forward, up, and around the filler cord towards the right to form a loop.

  3. Take the same working cord and to the left of the first knot, take it up, over, and through the loop. There should now be two knots sitting next to each other. This is a double hitch or clove hitch knot.

  4. Repeat the knots by using the next working cord around the same filler cord. Continue creating knots until you have the look you want.

4. Gathering Knot

 

The Gathering knot is mostly known for its use in plant hangers.

  1. Take a separate length of cord (this will be your working cord) and form a long u-shaped loop on top of the group of filler cords, with the loop facing down.

  2. Starting below the top end of your working cord—which is pointing up—wrap it around the filler cords and the loop. Make sure that you leave a little bit of the loop uncovered.

  3. Pass the end of the wrapping cord through the loop at the bottom of your wraps.

  4. Pull the end of the working cord—that's sticking up at the top—upwards, which will bring the loop under the wraps. Pull until the loop is enclosed in the wraps.

  5. Your gathering knot is complete! Trim both ends of the working cord for a clean finish.

Here are some of the most popular knot combinations, using square knots:

 

5. Alternating Square Knots

Create a row of Square Knots, then for your second row, starting with the 3rd cord, create another row of square knots. You will be combining the second half of a square knot with the first half of the next square knot.

6. Spiral Stitch

To make a Spiral Stitch, also called a Half Knot Spiral, you need to repeat either left facing or right facing half square knots, and soon your cords will start to spiral. Make sure you always stick with the same side.

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