Macrame Wall Hangings

I guess it’s been about a month since I started my addiction to macrame.  In that time, I have managed to complete three wall hangings.  I wanted to share them with you and see what you think.

I did all the workings free-handed and I don’t have any patterns to share since I’m learning as I go.  Also, when I started pricing cotton cording specific for macrame I almost fell over at the cost.  I did order a small amount to work with on my second wall hanging, but material costs have pushed me to look for other mediums for projects.  I’ll give my reviews on the materials as I work with them.

So….what I have learned so far about macrame is that there are only a few basic knots to learn and once you master tying knots and how they come together it’s easy working from there.  You will need something to attach your macrame work on (in my case it is driftwood), you will need your chosen cordage and plan for about triple the amount of your completed piece size; and finally….bring your creativity.  You can add beads, cuffs, feathers, paper cutouts and more!

Alright, let me show you what I’ve made so far:

The first one is a double patterned hanging.  I used nontraditional cording for both sides of the work and I share it with mixed reviews.  I like how cotton clothesline knots straight and clean, but I don’t like the way the bottoms fray when the piece is cut.

The darker side was made using cotton thread I have used for some crochet projects.  I like the way the material holds together and there is no fraying on the ends.  The way I finished the ending knots has created a clumping of cords at the base of the piece, so I don’t love that either.

I guess for this piece my favorite part of it is the beautiful driftwood I used to hold the pieces together.  One of the perks of living by the Delaware River…..lots of free driftwood to work with 🙂

Macrame Double Wall Hanging

My second wall hanging is by far my favorite.  I found this wonderful piece of dark red driftwood with amazing ends on it.  I saved it specifically for working with true cotton cording for macrame.

This piece was made using 100 yards of 3mm natural cotton cord.  It was about $20 for the cord with shipping.  It didn’t take too much time to put together either.  I really do love this piece.  I found a vendor on Amazon that sells the cording from 1mm-6mm in large spools, so when I begin working on larger projects, I can order the cording in any size I need.  I didn’t do a lot of price comparisons, so I would encourage you to shop around if you are thinking about starting macrame projects of your own.

Just look how lovely the piece is:

Macrame Wall Hanging 1

 

Macrame Wall Hanging 1-A

I just love the ends of this driftwood branch!  I also love the color.   It’s not every trip I find driftwood with this color….I wish I did though.

Alright, the third wall hanging I made is for candles or even as another planter/sprout jar.  I wanted to work with jute cording since I can get my hands on it with out having to wait for shipping.  I’ll show you first and then tell you about it.

Jute Cord Candle Holder

So, I thought jute would be painful to work with since the cording has a rough texture to it, but that wasn’t an issue.  The cording works up very nice.  It holds a great knot that looks thick and beautiful.  The piece is sturdy and I can’t wait to put some tea lights in it and light up the porch when the weather gets warmer.

I could see making more jute corded projects, but they will all be for outside.  I don’t know if it was just this brand of jute I worked with or if I can expect all of them to have a putrid petroleum smell.  It was awful…..made me sick to my stomach.  I turned on the fan in the room and it helped, but it was still pretty disgusting.  After I hung it up and took photos, I hurried it out to the porch where three days later it still smells…….a lot.

So, I hope you found the post inspirational and informative.  I am still searching for some wonderful cord options to work with over the next month.  I ordered a bulk supply of rat tail cording in a variety of colors.  I didn’t have any real project in mind, but I hope to find some creative uses for it once I arrives.

If you are working with macrame in any form, I would love to hear your stories of success and failure in your pieces and in your choices of material.  I will be posting more creations this month, so if you aren’t subscribed, click the follow button and make sure you don’t miss a single post.

 

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These Japanese Knot Bags are Amazing!

So, yesterday I woke up with nothing pressing on my to do list and after quieting the household; I grabbed a fresh hot cup of coffee and starting scrolling my Pinterest boards.  Some days I will just scroll the home page boards until I find something interesting to do.  Yesterday I knew I wanted to make something for myself and I had already decided that I wanted to sew something so the project would work up within the day.

From my sewing board I found lots of wonderful ideas for things to make and sell at craft fairs or things I could make as gifts for others….I even found the cute items I could make for my kitchen…lots of things, but nothing got me excited until I came across a pin I created for a Japanese Knot Bag.

Japanese Knot Bag.jpg

Isn’t it fantastic?!?

I love smaller purses.  I have a giant bag that I carry every important thing I could possibly need while away from home; buried inside that monstrosity I normally carry a smaller bag with essentials for a quick run into the store or a day out and about.

I found the free template pattern and directions for putting it all together here.  It’s a nice template, everything prints well and the directions come with photos to help.  The link is to a direct pdf download….that is how I found it on Pinterest.  I am sure there are more patterns and photos at Show Your Workings, however I wanted to get right to making this bag, so I haven’t had time to go back and see what’s there.

Here is a photo of it laid out after the final sewing.

Japanese Knot Bag2.jpg

For this pattern I did use a lining of fleece to give it some thickness.  It worked up well, but that added layer of fabric to work with for a first try threw me off more than once and a pattern that I should have worked up in an hour or less took me most of the day.

Maybe I was just having an off day….maybe I wasn’t able to pay attention to the directions like I would normally if I wasn’t so distracted with other things on my mind…..well, no matter the excuses, it was a tough pattern to finally put together.

In the end I was so tired of fidgeting with the pattern that I wanted to avoid the hand sewing aspects of this pattern at all costs……so, I ended up with a rough edged short handle.  It is on the inside of the work and barely visible, but I know it’s there.

Having said that, I do love this bag!!  I have been thinking about replacing my store bought purse since summer.  I couldn’t wait to stuff all my things into my new bag.  I’m happy to report that everything fits perfectly!!!!

After a quick photo shoot with the new bag and I wanted to jump online to find another free pattern for a larger size of the same bag.  My thought was I could use a larger one to replace my other store bought bag or if that wasn’t feasible; I could always use it to carry my crochet projects around with me.  When it’s a “can’t lose” project, I normally can’t wait to get started and this was no different.

Check out the second bag that I made yesterday…

Japanese Knot Bag Medium Size.jpg

Come back tomorrow and I will share the free pattern I found for this medium sized bag.  This one looks more professional than my first bag and it was easier to put together also….I’ll tell you all about it….tomorrow 🙂

I would love to see your Japanese Knot Bag if you make one.  The smaller one could be done in a day or less if you are faster with patterns and sewing than I.  So, if you are thinking about one for yourself; Do It!!!  You won’t regret it!  Then come back and tell me all about it!

Happy Hooking!

Last Minute Gift Creation In Under 30 Minutes

With almost no days left to spare I have finished my Christmas creations!!  Most of the time I am up late on Christmas Eve stressing out about finishing up gifts for Christmas morning; which is why this year I am feeling pretty proud of myself!  I can credit my awesome new sewing machine and tons of free patterns for my success.

After getting everyone out the door this morning I sat down to find a project I have been putting off…aka. scrolling Pinterest.  I lost a whole hour drinking coffee and typing in different search words to find some wonderful patterns….maybe too many patterns…

I’m stuck with an idea and I can’t match a pattern with it…..yet…..

While I sort out which object I want to make, I’m going to take a few minutes to share a pattern that I created just this fall for a Travel Mug Cozy.   This pattern is quick, easy and it’s a beginner pattern, so even if you haven’t been working with yarn for long, you can make something beautiful to gift as handmade!

To finish off the beauty of the gift, I’ll provide a link to a printable for wrapping your cozy around.  Just print it on some nice card stock of your choice and it’s ready to go!!

Travel Cup Cozy.jpg

Aren’t they great?!!?

The buttons are part of a multi-pack I bought from Wal-Mart.  The one on the left is wood with painting on it and the other is made from coconut shell.  You can add any kind of embellishment you want.  If you know that the recipient loves flowers, charms, bling or plain; you can add anything to the piece you want to make it unique!

Grab your cotton yarn and your favorite hook…..heck, grab any yarn you have on hand….this pattern will work up right if you stick to the measurements…

Travel Cup Cozy

Cotton Yarn

H Hook

Button or other embellishment

Fabric measuring tape

Tapestry needle

You will need to know the following stitches:

ch-chain

sc-single crochet

dc-double crochet

sl st-slip stitch

*If you choose to work with a smaller yarn thickness or a different sized hook, you will need to adjust your beginning chain.  Chain your beginning chain until your piece measures approximately 3″.  Be sure to turn your piece and begin your work on an odd number (ie., ch 17, turn and begin in 2nd ch from hook).  This way you are working the stitch pattern on an even number of stitches. 

Start:  ch 9.

Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from the hook, *dc in next stitch, sc in next st*, Repeat to end, ch1, turn.

Row 2:  sc in same st, *dc in next st, sc in next st*, repeat to end, ch1, turn.

*Repeat row 2 until your piece measures 8″ or it fits around your travel mug without too much stretch.  At the end of your last row, ch1, turn.

Last Row:  Bring both ends together and sl st through both your 1st row and your last row at the same time.  Fasten off and weave in your ends.

Align your embellishment to the opposite side of your piece from the seam you created and attach using yarn or embroidery thread with a complimentary color.

That’s it!!!!  Beautiful, right?

Let’s finish the piece with a beautiful printable to wrap it around and gift this baby like we worked on it all day!!!

If you like the cup cozy printable I wrapped my work around, you can find the link here.

This Southern Girl Can has patterns for her cup cozy too and they are beautiful and work up quickly too.  She also has a ton of other patterns and printables, so go check her out and give her some love for the freebies!

If you decide to create some mug cozies of your own, please post some photos below.  I would love to see what you make.  If you notice any problems with the pattern, give me a heads up.  This is one of my first patterns, so I hope you love it as much as I do.

Happy Hooking!!

Aqua Beach Tote

I definitely have summer on my mind.  It’s a little surprising given that the weather here has gone from sunny and in the 80’s last week,  to a chilly rainy mess.  Still, it is spring and that means that the pool will be open in just a handful of weeks.  About the pool….

It’s rare that I go to the pool by myself and even if I plan a solo trip for some sun Aqua Toteworshiping I pack for everyone just in case.  Last summer I carried this wonderful oversized duffel bag that I had purchased from my friend’s Thirty-One Purse party.  It held everything!!  When I say everything, I mean it held four beach towels, pool toys, sunscreen and not sunscreens, drinks and snacks…everything.

I love it and I will use it again this year, but I’d like to have a duffel to put the wet items in and know that they will dry out quickly.  I followed a wonderful pattern for a market tote that you can find here.  While you are at Daisy Cottage Designs, check out more of her free patterns and find some great inspiration for another project. I modified the design slightly to create a larger bag for my pool needs, but I will be making the market tote size in this pattern as well.  It’s great for a beginner just starting out and it’s got the repetition of stitch work that I like.  If you want to make the larger version, just follow her pattern and use t-shirt cotton yarn and a K Hook.

Although this bag is beautiful in its simplicity, the picture of the market tote displays a large color contrasting flower.  I admit I was inspired to add one to my beach tote and after a quick search through my bookmarks, I found the pattern I love the most for its size.  You can find the Triple Threat Flower here.  It’s a lovely flower that pairs well with a button in the middle and enough size to really makeTriple Double Flower an impact.

 

After one day of work and a skein and a half of Bernat’s Home Décor Yarn, I’m ready to tackle the pool or the beach with this lovely soft unique beach tote.  I hope you will give these two patterns a try; make yourself a beach tote, a market tote, or just a pretty flower to embellish a headband you already own.

Perfectly Pretty Pouches

Necessity is the mother of all invention, right?  Well, that’s how this cute little pouch pattern came about.  I work in the restaurant industry and often have trouble keeping my cash in my apron.  One busy afternoon I was fighting to shove the wadPouches of loose bills deeper inside the pocket when I realized that it was only a matter of time before some of my hard earned money would slip out and hit the floor, so after a few failed attempts…..a perfectly pretty pouch.

The pattern is simple for beginners, can be made in a variety of sizes and the use of buttons/baubles is endless.  I wanted this particular pouch to be stretchy and durable so I opted to use worsted weight acrylic yarn.  Of course, there are several mediums that would work for this pattern and purpose.  If you choose cotton yarn, it will be durable and survive through endless washing, but it won’t be as stretchy as the acrylic yarn.  Using t-shirt yarn could be the best of both worlds and I will be trying that medium on the next pouch I create. Continue reading