Friday, August 7, 2015

A Micro Macrame Primer and Upcoming KnotAlong!

by Sherri Stokey

Do you ever see a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry and get depressed?  Not because there's anything depressing about the piece, but because you think you'll never be "good" enough to make something that lovely?  Well, stop that!  This is a no-whining zone and self pity is counterproductive.  

Don't get me wrong, I've been there.  It's an easy trap to fall into, but basically you have two choices:  you can either admire the piece for its artistry and purchase it from the person who has probably spent countless hours creating it (and possibly several years learning before that) or you can take a stab at it yourself.  
 
I'm curious and I'm from a background where I want to try doing everything.  I wallpapered most every room in my house back in the 80s, learned how to give home permanents, make candles and can tomatoes just "because".  As you can probably guess, not all were wise decisions.  

 
(She's still mad at me about that one, by the way.)  Luckily, I'm now at an age where I know my limitations and instead of taking that as a personal failing, I'm getting better at appreciating the talent of others.  Even if I could make a polymer clay lotus pendant like the one from Staci Louise that I used in this necklace, I would probably never get the feeling she has in her piece. And that's okay - it means Staci is doing something right!


If you decide you do want to try something for yourself, find a good tutorial or class and then go into it with the right mindset.  Learn for the joy of learning and you will leave with a greater appreciation of the artist's process, even if you never use the technique again.  And if you do discover something new that you love, that's even better!

So, for those of you who've made it this far in the post (and hopefully the others are over shopping in my Etsy store), I'm going to give you a micro macrame primer.   I'm going to cover the tools and materials you will need to get started with micro macrame, then I'm going to give you a couple weeks to round up your "stuff".  While you're doing that, I'll be busy writing up/recording a special beginner project for us:  the world's very first KnotAlong!   I'm going to meet you back here  in two weeks (on August 21st) for your first "class".

Are you ready, kids?  I can't hear you! :)


If you want to play along with my KnotAlong (and why wouldn't you?), you have two weeks to gather up these things.  I've added some suggestions for sources* to get you started.

  • Pinning surface:  You can use cork or anything that will hold a pin.  If you want to purchase a foam board, here are some sources:   Amazon, Art Beads, Etsy, Walmart, Fusion Beads
  • Fray Check:  Fire MountainAmazonWalmart, my local Walmart carries this in the sewing aisle as do most fabric stores.
  • GS Hypo Cement:  Fire Mountain, Amazon, Walmart, Art Beads
  • Tex 400 nylon bead cord (I recommend C-lon or Superlon brand):  Bello Modo, South Pass Beads (they have Hypo Cement, too), Shipwreck Beads, Jewels in Fiber.  You will only need about 6 yards for our project, so you will have lots left on your spool for your next project.  Don't get hung up on the cord, either.  If you have some 1mm hemp on hand, it will work.  I don't recommend Rattail or other "slippery" cord.
  • Pins - straight sewing pins and/or T-pins:  can be found in fabric stores, the sewing aisle at Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby
  • Scissors
  • Something to straighten cord (hair straightener, curling iron, regular iron, etc.)
  • Approximately 60 8/0 seed beads. Inexpensive craft store beads will work fine for this project.

You won't find a better time to jump into micro macrame than this.  Here's a peek at what we're going to make:


I might even sweeten the pot a little.  I'm thinking maybe a giveaway for those who participate...  So?  Who's with me?



*Sources listed are US suppliers.  Some others to try:  UK - Knotting Ways
Australia - Benjamin's CraftsOver the Rainbow, France - Perles & Co.  


22 comments:

stacilouise said...

:) I came from a do it yourself home too! My mom did everyone's hair, she taught herself stained glass, painting, paper quilling, gosh....i could go on and on (creative peoples curse perhaps....lol)

I am heading to you tube to watch your video now. Though I KNOW I will never have the patience to complete my own macrame project, I still enjoy seeing how things are made! (I have no patience, nor the organization for it.)

Karen Z said...

Love what you say about 'trying anything'; I'm there too... and I have the stash to prove it! All supplies at the ready, just waiting with great anticipation. I've admired your stuff from afar for awhile; just needed the encouragement! Ready and excited!

Lori said...

I'm in, Sherry! I've been admiring your beautiful macrame for a long time now, especially the variations on the Drunkard's Path Bracelet. I hope I can get to that point some day soon. I will be purchasing these items this weekend! Looking forward to being creative again. Just what the doctor ordered. :-) Thank you. - Lori Robinson

Jesse/Lisa said...

How pretty! I would love to attempt to make something. Key word being *attempt*. I need stronger glasses.

VickySophon said...

I'm going to give it a go, too. I love your work and this should give me the kick in the shorts I need. Thanks for doing this.

Donna Geurin said...

BTW, BelloModo has all C-Lon on sale 25% off right now.

About two years ago I needed to make a change due to damage to my right hand after working with heavy gauge wire and found Sherri and never looked back. I have that idea I can do anything. LOL Sherri is great and so helpful. Her classes are easy to follow and so thorough. I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Sherri in person this summer as were traveling through Nebraska. We had dinner and had a blast. The highlight of my trip. I am also going to "KnotAlong" to be sure I am doing this right. Cannot wait. Good luck everyone.

Tina McLerran said...

I have also looked at your beautiful creations and have delayed since I have so many WIPs now. However, I'm going to give it a go and try it!! Thank you for the opportunity!!

Jeannie said...

I have attempted micro macramé before so I probably have most of the supplies. I have done the larger macramé but have never finished a piece of the micro macrame. Hopefully I will learn some pointers and be able to finish a piece of the micro macramé.

Debra said...

already ready! see you in two weeks ... looking forward to it and appreciate your willingness to share

Barefoot Lindy said...

I'm in! Just have to get a couple things that I don't have but I'll be ready! Can't wait!

Heather said...

I'm in I've been wanting to learn this so now I can so excited to get started, I'm getting the supplies today. Thank you so much for offering this tutorial , Heather

Audra Sieber said...

I have already enjoyed your tutorials, so I know I'll learn something here! Can't wait!

shanon gibbs said...

Awesome, bought your book, but haven't had a chance to use it yet, life and tons of unfinished projects got in the way. I have been doing good on finishing whats started before I try anymore, but these opportunities don't come along very often. Can't wait.

stregajewellry said...

This is just way too exciting! I've admired your work for so long and yes, I've been jealous, LOL and your work does make me depressed! This will be so much fun to follow you as you make a piece! Mind you, I have no intention of making macramé a large part of my skill set but I have always wanted to learn more than the 3 basic knots that I know. I've wanted to experiment and see how it would work with wire (my first love). So I am definitely going to be back. I'm also sharing this in my beaders group on FB. I think I have some friends who would like to join in. Hmmm. Maybe I'll tweet this too!

Linda A. said...

I'd LOVE to!! Count me in!

Ann Schroeder said...

I'm in! This is very exciting. I have done a little micro macrame but admit I do think "I can't" and "later" way too often. I've looked at your tutorials and didn't feel ready. So I'm doing the KnotAlong and then picking a tutorial. I already have most of these materials! Thanks for doing this. Looks like there are a bunch of us out here who needed just this sort of push. :)

Toni G said...

I wanna play. :)

Paige said...

You may have failed at some things, but it's still awesome that you tried! And this looks like a fun project too!

Kelly E. said...

I'm looking forward to this - I am having a tough time learning how to do it on my own, so this will be awesome! Looking forward to it. :)

Alicia said...

Oh, I'm absolutely in! Although August 21st will be incredibly hard for me to follow, I hope you do it in this offline fashion :) Anyhow, I wanted for a long time to start a micro macrame project. I, too, come from a DIY family, we made almost everything ourselves (including most of the clothes) and I still do most of our house everything myself; I just like it that way better. In my youth I did knotting and macrame, never tried micro macrame, but I know I'll have fun.

Peggy Urban said...

I love your work and can't wait to Knot Along!

Linda said...

I'm in! The lesson is on the 1st day of Bead Fest, so I won't be able to follow along on the 21st. But I'll jump in when I get back home. I already have all the supplies!

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