Macramé Forever!

Andy N. is at it again! This is Andy’s second macramé workshop post. (Here’s the first: Macramé Rocks.) Don’t miss the how-to video at the bottom of the page for instructions on how to create your very own piece.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

OK, that title may seem a little zealous, maybe even a little theatrical, but that’s how I feel. If you read my previous post, “Macramé Rocks!” then you, dear and patient reader, know the whole back-story of how macramé came into my life and gave me something to be passionate about at a very young age. Yes, I know, some kids dream of playing on professional sports teams, and some dream of being in a band. I dreamt of square knots and half hitches and the next wall hanging that I would create in my macramé studio in my parents’ basement.

Let’s just say that macramé gave me an identity and a purpose all through the 70s and when 1980 rolled around and the macramé scene was over, I moved on with the rest of the crafting world. (I can’t believe I’m calling macramé a craft. When I was knotting my little heart out in the 70s, the word macramé was too pedestrian. I preferred “fiber art.” La-di-da! Pretty uppity for a junior high geek who rode the bus and thought Donny and Marie Osmond were the height of musical sophistication.)

You can imagine my surprise when I started to hear our trends team (those crazy millennials) talking about the new trend of macramé. WOW. Did my ears perk up! They wanted to do a workshop, and word got back to the trends team that I possessed, if you will, some modest experience in the fiber arts. I taught a workshop (see “Macramé Rocks!”) and several macramé protégés were born. Really! The artists that were part of that workshop spread the word, and the rest is history.

I’m like a proud parent. If I meet you on the street get ready for me to whip out my phone and show you my Hallmark clan and their amazing feats of macramé!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

OK, on to the workshop! First let me say that I can be kind of a mess. I mentioned in my last blog post that I am always dirty. Well, I also have a tendency to lose things that were right in front of me and I can render simple devices inoperable faster than Linda Blair’s head swiveled around in “The Exorcist.” Case in point, I received a new 10lb spool of cord in the mail and as I took it out of its box I accidently tore part of the cardboard protector off of the top and then dropped the whole spool. This photo shows the result.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Dad to the rescue. Have I mentioned that my dad is 87? When will he stop having to rescue me? Dad did a drawing of a contraption he had made for me when I was doing macramé many years ago. Then he built this macramé -spool-thing-a-ma-jiggy and I have to say, everyone that does macramé needs one.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

I get a lot of questions about where I find the cord I use. My standard answer is that I look everywhere and I might find it anywhere. I found the material in this photo through Amazon.com. It’s a 10lb. spool of cotton welt cord. I send students to any on-line sources they can find, but also to hardware stores, craft stores, fabric shops, farm supply stores, and the list goes on. If you can tie a knot with something then you can macramé with it.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

My friend, Theresa, found some authentic, hand painted, 1970s mushroom beads at a local garage sale so she donated them to our most recent macramé class. Theresa RULES!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Here are some photos of me working on a wall hanging during our most recent class. I tie the strings up in what we call “butterflies” (a professional macramé term, please use it sparingly), so that the very long strands stay untangled as I am working. (See photo of tangled mess above.)

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

We had some of our amazing and talented Hallmarkers working on projects during a recent workshop. I do have to brag on them for a minute. Each participant came to the photo studio to take the class in the morning, they learned the basic knots before lunch, went to lunch during which time they found any supplies that they would need for the afternoon, came back after lunch and started working on real projects. They are BRILLIANT!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

When I heard about the renewed interest in macramé, I found myself smiling for days. It was like an old and dear friend had come home. I smiled some more as I found myself in my basement with ropes and dowel rods hanging from the floor joists, once again spending hours tying knots. But this time it wasn’t about me or my “art.” It was about sharing this odd craft with a new generation, and seeing their creations, and seeing them smile.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

In this day and age where we seem to be ruled by technology and social media, it does my heart good to see young people excited and calmed by something as simple as spending their valuable and precious time creating something with their own hands. The world will change but the act of creating, whether it be my 87 year old dad painting a landscape at his easel in his senior living apartment, a five year old gluing macaroni to a piece of construction paper, or a trendy millennial tying one square knot after another, creating something out of their imagination, I relish the idea that I can pass on something that brought me so much happiness and that there are people that are interested.

If I am lucky I will always be a teacher and a student. If I am lucky I will always find a reason to have a smile on my face. If I am lucky I will always find myself surrounded by younger people that make me feel relevant…even if that relevancy is the art of macramé.

Macramé forever!

Show us your macramé pieces! Tag us on Instagram, @think.make.share!

Photograher: Kevin Cozad

Director: Mark Morton  |  Videographers: Mark Morton and Kevin Cozad  |  Producer: Jennifer Dreiling  |  Video Editor: Molly Nemer

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  1. 7.7.16 | Reply
    Terri montgomery wrote:

    That’s sooo awesome, Andy! Not only are you a talented artist but you write beautifully as well.
    I, too, was knotting away in the 70s. I made a hanging table for plants!!

    • 7.14.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      Terri, it is bringing me so much joy to find all of these 70’s friends that were also knotting up a storm making all kinds of things out of jute and wooden beads.

      Thank you for your kind words and keep watching and reading the Think.Make.Share. blog. More macrame’ to come!

  2. 7.26.16 | Reply
    gretchen wrote:

    Bonjour Andy! You are such an inspiration and a hilarious writer. (Or is it “an” hilarious writer?) Thank you for the smiles and the talent. If you ever had a workshop for non-Hallmarkers or Hallmarker wanna-bes, I would be there!

    • 7.27.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      oops. Sorry Gretchen, I just had a workshop for non-Hallmarkers. It was hosted by Golden & Pine and Hallmark. I don’t have any other non-Hallmark plans for another workshop anytime soon but hey, you never know. Keep watching!

  3. 8.12.16 | Reply
    miriam wrote:

    Your creations are beautiful! Can you tell me if there’s a special way to tie those “butterflies” or do you just wrap it around your hand and secure it with a rubber band?

    • 11.1.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      Miriam, the important thing to remember when making a butterfly is to start wrapping the cord you are using around your hand from the top end of the cord not the bottom end. If you start wrapping the cord around your hand from the bottom or end of the cord it will become a big knot.

      Once you have your string or cord mounted, leave about a foot of material to work with and start wrapping the cord around your hand, when you get to the end of the cord put a rubber band around the middle of the butterfly to secure it. When you have knotted for awhile and need more cord just tug on the butterfly and it will release the amount of cord that you need.

  4. 11.1.16 | Reply
    Marney wrote:

    Andy, do you sell any finished pieces? I adore your work!

  5. 1.5.17 | Reply
    Berthg wrote:

    I am so glad I found your You Tube Andy. I did macrame in the late 70s and 80s. Like you I donated all of my books to the library when it died. Now I want to make one for my long wall in my new house that I waited for 65 years to purchase.:) I am so glad you even mention where to buy the cord since I have been having a hard time finding books and cords. I hope you put some more stuff on macrame.
    Bertha

  6. 1.7.17 | Reply
    bonnet wrote:

    Merci pour cet article

  7. 2.24.17 | Reply
    Linda Miller wrote:

    I’m just discovering macrame. I can’t wait to do some large wall hangings. Your videos are very helpful. I hope I find workshops in the San Diego area. Thanks for sharing your talent……Linda, San Diego CA