Emily and I have been working on our macrame for a while now. It started when she got the Klutz Hemp Bracelets book. It made learning some of the basic knots really simple and came with hemp and some beads. Then for one of our 4-H meetings, I asked a local homeschooler to come teach our group about macrame. She has won prizes in fairs around the state and also at the Virginia State Fair, so she knows her stuff!
One of the books she brought was "Hemp Masters: Ancient Hippie Secrets for Knotting Hip Hemp Jewelry," by Max Lunger. She left it at the meeting by accident, and I brought it home to hold onto for her. While I had it, I made one of the chokers. I was getting hooked!
When I signed up our family to attend the upcoming Live and Learn Unschooling Conference, I saw that people could volunteer to hold "Funshops." I thought it would be a great way to meet people, so I offered to hold one on "Hip Hemp Jewelry." I decided that this justified buying my own copy of the Hemp Masters book, as well as his other book, "Hemp Masters - Getting Knotty: More Ancient Hippie Secrets for Knotting Hip Hemp Jewelry."
I also needed to have the supplies. Most important would be the hemp itself. It's incredibly expensive, in my opinion, at Michael's craft store. I found two sources online, and ended up ordering from Hemp Basics. The other is the Macrame Super Store. I ordered several of the 20 lb cord balls. I already had a couple of the 48 lb balls of hemp. Some designs call for one or the other, some it doesn't matter, and some use both sizes. The 48 lb cord is about a 2mm diameter, which you need to know if you want to string any beads, especially if you're working with anywhere from 1-4 cords to bead onto, depending on the project. The 20 lb cord is about 1mm in diameter.
After working through some designs in the first Hemp Masters book, I started flipping through the second one. Most of the designs in this one really require different colored hemp in addition to the natural color. Back to Hemp Basics for more cord! I got my order today--one each of 20 lb cord in natural, white, black, red, blue, green and purple, and one more 48 lb ball just in case. I can't wait to start with the colors!
Since I'm planning to sign up for the tribal belly dance funshop at the conference, I made myself the Good Fortune Belly Chain from book two, Getting Knotty, in natural hemp--my order hadn't arrived yet.
I also added a string of bells to the alternating square knot anklet I had made earlier. They teach that knot in the first book, but there aren't any designs using it, so I just kept going till I had something long enough!
I also had a lot of fun making Karma's Love: Car Mirror Charm (from book one), although I don't plan to hang it from my car mirror.
Emily made several bracelets and necklaces back when she was in the Living Earth School, for the trading blanket, and used a lot of different beads in those.
Now she is working on mastering the Pretzel Knot, which looks Celtic. She's been very interested in her Irish heritage lately. The knot is hard to get right, especially if you need several in a row all looking the same.