Macrame Bracelet with Focal Bead

Knotty Words
Leslie Rogalski
Editor in chief Step by Step Beads

Macramé was one of my teenage passions. I used soft cotton string from the hardware store to cover hanging fishbowls as planters, and I had more purses, belts and hats than I could wear.  My favorite macramé experiences were wall hangings. I learned all my knots from one book, and would simply start knotting, adding rows, wider, slimmer, stringing on beads, and making it up as I went along. The joy of not knowing what I would create was exhilarating.  I was in it for the journey, not just the destination. One of my pieces still hangs in my parents’ house.

Getting Back to Macramé
I've recently revived my passion for macramé.  Seduced by the hues of available fibers and what other artists were doing with them, I bought C-lon cords and waxed linen. (I know I'm not alone in buying something before I even know what I'll do with it!)  I knotted a few long necklaces, simply stringing beads between half hitch knots. But I needed more.

Big beads being so cool (and so cathartic for moi, the seed bead diva), I bought some resin–a  perfect match for macramé, with its saturated colors, plush finishes, and most importantly, larger holes.  I used beads from Natural Touch and C-lon for a new necklace that was a step up from simple stringing with knots.

To resurrect my macrame vocabulary, I took a macramé class with Kristine Buchanan. Her inspiring Kabuki project brought back all my knottiness!

Show and tell
Macramé allows for play. Add beads as you go. Change colors. Change knots. Add embellishment like beads or buttons, shells or twigs, keys or charms. It’s all very liberating. So go play, and bring your macramé to the Step by Step Beads forum for show and tell. See you there!  

New Project

My necklace used only one knot, the square knot. You can make something using only one single knot, such as our  Step by Step Beads project from Dottie Hoeschen, which uses a cool focal element to trick out a simple square knot cuff.  This project was free for Beading Daily members through August 25, 2008.  You may now purchase the instructions in the online store.

Leslie Rogalski has a degree in illustration and design, and she sold wearable art and handwoven beaded art at the American Craft Council Shows and Buyers Market before joining Interweave in 2005.  In addition to being editor in chief of Step by Step Beads, Creative Jewelry, and Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, she often teaches at Bead Fest and is a presenter on the PBS television series, Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.  If you have comments or questions for Leslie, please post them on the website.

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