Knots To You—An Ancient Handicraft Revived
February 1971

“Knots To You—An Ancient Handicraft Revived,” Ensign, Feb. 1971, 77

Knots To You—An Ancient Handicraft Revived

That did it! Thirty-five dollars for a belt of knotted rope! Not for me! I don’t know if they sold any belts, but I was not going to pay that much for a piece of rope. I would make my own.

Macrame is an ancient handicraft that is enjoying a modern revival. A few simple knots produce varied and interesting patterns.

First I made a belt using clove hitches, with a monkey’s fist for a fastener. That was easy.

Then I proceeded to start a belt of Josephine knots. I was carried away and ended up with a most interesting length of patterned rope. I think I shall hang it on the wall by the fireplace.

A more ambitious project was forming in my thoughts. Would I dare tackle a room divider? It would need to be eight feet wide to hang above a planter. I assembled the materials: a rod from which to suspend the macrame, nylon rope, and a bunch of rubber bands (to hold the bundles of rope ends). At first I spent more time pulling knots out than tying them. But with practice I learned, and gradually the hanging macrame took form. I experimented with varied patterns in the panels.

Such fun! I may make my daughter a fringed vest … and my drapes are looking a little tired.

Simple belt: clove hitch knots, with monkey fists for fasteners. Wider belt: Josephine knots, with half hitch knot and monkey fists for fasteners. Clove hitch knot in interesting combinations makes patterns in divider. Pattern at base of divider uses flat knots (square knots). Although author sometimes uses a shuttle, she generally works with stiff rope, using glue to keep ends from fraying. (Photos by Eldon Linschoten.)