As a beginner, it's essential to start with a solid foundation, and that's where the three fundamental basic knots come into play: Lark's head knot, Square knot, and Double half-hitch knot.
Knowing how to tie these essential knots is of utmost importance for beginners, starting with Macrame.
These three fundamental knots are the building blocks of macrame art, providing a solid foundation for various projects.
Understanding these simple types of macrame knots is like unlocking the gateway to a realm of creativity and limitless possibilities in Macrame.
By mastering these basic knots, you can transition smoothly into learning more intricate and unique knots, unlocking their creative potential and improving their macrame skills.
9 Important Macrame Knot Terms for Beginners
Before we begin our macrame journey, let's make sure we're all on the same page by getting familiar with some essential knotting terminology.
Trust me, knowing these key terms will be like having a secret codebook to unlock the incredible world of macrame!
Here are some nine macrame terms that are essential for you to know:
- Knots: Macrame involves various knots, such as the Square knot, Double Half Hitch, Lark's head knot, and Spiral knot. Understanding these basic knot patterns creates the foundation of Macrame.
- Cords: Cords are the primary material used in Macrame. They are made of materials like cotton, jute, nylon, or synthetic fibers. Macrame cords come in various thicknesses and colors.
- Fringe: Fringe refers to the loose ends of cords that hang down, adding a decorative element to beginner projects. The fringe can be left as is or trimmed to a desired length.
- Tension: Refers to the tightness or looseness of the cords while working on a project. Achieving consistent tension is vital for maintaining a uniform appearance in your knots.
- Sennit: A sennit is a row of knots or cords arranged in a specific macrame pattern. Sennits are often used to create texture and visual interest in designs.
- Anchor cord: Refers to the fixed cord or structure to which other cords are attached or knotted, providing stability and support to the design.
- Working cord: This is the piece of rope that is actively used to create knots and patterns, manipulated and moved throughout the project to form the desired design.
- Mounting knot: This knot is used to secure the macrame project to a dowel, ring, or other support structure.
- Decorative knot: This knot is functional and adds beauty and visual appeal to your macrame designs, enhancing their overall artistic value. Ie, Berry Knot
6 Useful Tips for a Smooth Start in Macrame
To help you get started on the right foot, here are some valuable tips that will make your macrame journey enjoyable and successful:
- Start with the Basics: Begin by mastering the three fundamental knots in Macrame – Lark's head knot, Square knot, and Double half-hitch knot. Understanding these knots will lay a solid foundation for more complex designs later on.
- Mind the Tension: Pay attention to the tension while knotting. Too much tension can damage the threads, while too little can result in loose and unstable knots. Strive for the perfect balance to ensure your macrame creations are sturdy and visually appealing.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Practice with scrap materials before diving into your main project. It will help you gain confidence, refine your techniques, and avoid mistakes that might occur when working on your actual piece.
- Stay Patient and Persistent: Macrame is a skill that improves with practice. Don't get discouraged by initial challenges; instead, embrace the learning process and enjoy the journey of creating beautiful macrame art.
- Seek Inspiration: Explore macrame books, online tutorials, and social media platforms to find inspiration for your projects. You'll discover many designs and ideas that will spark your creativity and push your boundaries.
- Invest in Quality Materials: Opt for high-quality cords and threads for your macrame projects. The better the materials, the more refined and durable your final pieces will be.
Remember, learning macrame is an adventure filled with creativity and self-discovery.
Macrame Cord & Supplies
Getting started with Macrame is more accessible as it requires minimal supplies.
All you need is a roll of cotton cord and, if you wish, a wooden dowel for mounting your project (though this is optional).
I'll use 3mm cotton cords in my example, but choose any cord/rope that suits your preferences.
If you're interested in exploring more topics on macrame, I invite you to check out my comprehensive blog post:
There, you'll find valuable insights into different cord options, helping you make informed choices for your macrame journey.
Now, cord some cord and let's begin knotting!
3 Basic Macrame Knots & Variations
The Larks Head Knot
The Lark's head knot is a fundamental and versatile knot used in Macrame to secure cords to a holding rod or ring, creating a solid foundation for your project.
How to Tie a Larks Head Knot Step-by-Step
- Fold a strand of cord in half, and form a loop with the loose ends hanging down.
- Hold the loop with one hand and ensure the loose ends are of equal length.
- Place the loop behind the object, such as a dowel or ring, top down.
- Take the vertical ends and pass them through the loop
- Pull on the cord ends to tighten.
This knot serves as the starting point for various macrame designs, allowing you to attach multiple cords and begin crafting intricate patterns and textures.
Reverse Lark's Head knot
Also known as the Cow Hitch Knot, it is essentially the Lark's Head knot viewed from the opposite side.
Since these two common macrame knots are identical in their structure, deciding whether to use the Lark's Head or the Reverse Lark's Head knot boils down to personal preference.
How to Tie a Reverse Larks Head Knot Step-by-Step
- Fold a strand of cord in half to form a loop, and place the loop behind the object, such as a dowel or ring, bottom up.
- Take the vertical ends and pass them through the loop
- Pull on the cord ends to tighten.
Both knots serve the same purpose and offer equal efficiency, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your crafting style and project requirements.
The Square Knot
A square knot is a classic and essential in Macrame that involves crossing the left and right cords over the middle cords and then pulling them through the resulting loops from the opposite side. This process is repeated in reverse to complete the knot.
How to Tie an Square Knot Pattern Step-by-Step
- You will need four cord-ends to make the Square knot. The outer left and right cords are the working cords, whereas the inner cords are the anchor cords.
- Bring the left working cord over the two anchor cords and under the right working cord.
- Take the right working cord and pass it under the two anchor cords and up through the loop created by the left working cord. Note: at this point, a Half knot is formed.
- Pull both working cords to tighten the first half of the square knot. Repeat the process in the opposite direction: Bring the right working cord over the two anchor cords and under the left working cord.
- Take the left working cord and pass it under the two anchor cords and up through the loop created by the right working cord.
- Pull both working cords to tighten the second half of the square knot.
Alternating Square Knot
An Alternating Square Knot is a popular knot pattern made with the classic square knot. A square knot pattern is simply two or more continuous rows of square knots.
This knot pattern is often used to add visual interest to macrame designs, such as wall hangings, plant hangers, and bracelets. It's a versatile knot that can add a touch of elegance and complexity to your macrame projects.
How to Tie an Alternating Square Knot Pattern Step-by-Step
- Make 2 Square knots side by side
- In between and underneath the 2 Square knots, make an Alternating Square knot.
Square knots are commonly used in Macrame to create a flat, woven pattern, and they are beneficial for making plant hangers, wall hangings and hand bags.
Mastering the square knot opens up a world of design possibilities and allows you to add texture and structure to your macrame projects.
The Double Half-Hitch Knot
The double half hitch knot is a fundamental and highly versatile knot in macrame. It serves as the building block for many intricate knot patterns, making it an essential technique for creating beautiful macrame designs.
I'm going to show you how to make a double half-hitch knot and it's different variations.
The Double Half Hitch knot can be tied in several directions, namely horizontally, diagonally and vertically. I will go through each of these directions below.
Variation 1: Horizontal Double Half-Hitch Knot
How to Tie a Horizontal Double Half Hitch Knot Step-by-Step
- Place a separate horizontal anchor cord across your vertical working cord(s).
- Take the far left vertical cord, as a working cord, and make a half-hitch knot
- Then bring the same cord back through the top and through the loop to complete the second half-hitch knot
- Pull on cords to tighten
Repeat for as many knots until the desired pattern is achieved.
Variation 2: Diagonal Double Half-Hitch Knot
How to Tie a Diagonal Double Half-Hitch Knot Step-by-Step
- Take the far left cord, as anchor cord and place it diagonally downwards to the right.
- Take the cord beside it as the working cord and make a half-hitch knot.
- Pull on the working cord to tighten
- Bring the same working cord to the top and through the loop on the left to complete the second half-hitch knot
- Pull on the working cord to tighten
- Repeat these steps until desired knot pattern is achieved
Variation 3: Vertical Double Half-Hitch Knot
How to Tie a Vertical Double Half-Hitch Knot Step-by-Step
- Use a separate strand of cord as the working cord and place it horizontally and underneath the vertical anchor cord.
- Take the right end of the horizontal anchor cord and make a Half Hitch knot by wrapping it above, through the left, to the back and to the right.
- Wrap the same cord-end underneath, through the left to the back and through the right loop.
- Pull on the working cord end to tighten.
- Repeat a few more times.
- Repeat until the desired pattern is achieved.
The Double Half-Hitch knot and the different variations can be challenging and a bit tricky to knot when first beginning your macrame journey, but stick with it and you'll master this knot in no time!
This simple knot is versatile, you can explore a wide range of possibilities and craft beautiful wall hangings, plant hangers, and other decorative pieces.
Macrame Knots for Beginners Video Tutorial
Utilizing the 3 Basic Macrame Knots for Beginners: Real-Life Macrame Projects
You can create a wide range of beautiful macrame patterns and projects using just the three basic macrame knots – Lark's head knot, square knot, and double half hitch knot. Here are a few examples:
- Macrame Wall Hanging: Combine the square and double half hitch knots to create intricate patterns and textures in a stunning wall hanging. You can experiment with different knot combinations and lengths of cords to design unique and eye-catching wall decor.
- Macrame Plant Hangers: The Lark's head knot and square knot are perfect for crafting plant hangers. Use Lark's head knot to attach the cords to a ring or dowel, then create a series of square knots to form a sturdy and stylish hanger to hold your favorite plants. Learn more.
- Macrame Bracelets: Utilize the square knot to create trendy and customizable macrame bracelets. You can add beads, charms, or gemstones to enhance the bracelet's design and personalize it to your taste.
- Macrame Keychains: Combine the double half hitch knot and square knot to make charming and practical macrame keychains. You can experiment with color combinations and knot variations to add flair to your essential accessories. Learn more.
- Macrame Coasters: Use Lark's head knot and double half hitch knot to craft intricate coasters. The knots will create a solid and durable structure, protecting your surfaces stylishly and creatively. Learn more
- Macrame Dream Catchers: Employ all three knots to design elaborate dream catchers. The Lark's head knot can secure the base hoop, while the square knot creates decorative patterns around the ring, and the double half hitch knot forms beautiful tassels at the bottom.
- Macrame Earrings: The square knot is excellent for making macrame earrings with various cord colors and lengths. Add your favorite embellishments, and you'll have unique and chic accessories.
The possibilities with these basic macrame knots are endless. As you gain more confidence and expertise, you can combine these knots and explore more complex designs to create stunning macrame masterpieces that showcase your creativity and skill.
Looking to advance your macrame knotting skills?
I have compiled a series of knots into my free ebook, "50 Macrame Knots & Sennit Guide," that goes over step by step with pictures on how to make 50 popular macrame knots and sennits.
This guide will assist you in learning the knots and provide insights into creating unique knot sequences and pattern designs.
Have questions? Join the Knotter Trotter Macrame Community!
I hope you find value in this article. Should you have further inquires, please join our private macrame group. This community was established with your needs in mind, providing a platform for sharing pictures, exchanging knowledge, and supporting one another on your macrame journey.
We look forward to having you as part of our thriving community.