May 31, 2013

Micro Macrame Bracelet Tutorials Available

Micro macrame bracelet tutorial by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I did it!  I finally sat down and wrote a tutorial for micro macrame!  I knotted this bracelet and took photos every step of the way and then sat down and wrote instructions for the photos.  This tut has 14 pages and includes a whopping 39 photographs.  I get lots of questions on how I finish micro macrame, so I spent four pages covering that in detail.  This is an example of the photos you'll find included:

Example of photo in tutorial with instructions and pattern for micro macrame jewelry bracelet

This bracelet uses only the double half hitch knot, except for the few knots to attach the split rings at the end.  That's it - you just have to learn ONE knot.  You can do that, can't you?  I didn't include instructions for that in the tut (it was already 14 pages!), but I did find loads of places online where it's covered, including a You Tube video by Ms. Joan Babcock (the macrame master!).

So go practice your knots and when you decide you're ready to try a bracelet, you can find the tutorial for sale here.  And that's not all!  There's a tutorial right next to this one... for this beaded macrame design:

Beaded macrame bracelet tutorial by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Yup.  It's been a busy week.  Oh, and for those of you who don't want to try knotting your own?  Both of these bracelets will be available in my shop soon.  I aim to please.

May 30, 2013

Year of Jewelry Week Week 22 and a Lesson on Bead Cord for Knotting

Micro macrame bangle by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Our theme for this week at the Year of Jewelry is Circles, Squares, Triangles and I found this great bangle with a square bezel to inspire me.  I used Superlon MICRO bead cord to make an itty bitty piece of macrame, and believe me, keeping that tiny stuff straight is a challenge.  I used 42 cords to make this piece and it's slightly under 1.5".

Micro macrame knotting in Superlon Micro Bead Cord S-lon

To give you some perspective, let me show you the four different weights of Superlon cord:

Superlon or S-lon bead cord in micro, fine, regular and heavy weight

The first spool in turquoise is the S-lon Micro Bead Cord.  It has a diameter of .115mm and there are 287 yards on that spool.  The next spool in blue is Superlon (or S-lon) Fine Bead Cord.  It's somewhere between the Micro and the plain old bead cord and has 118 yards on a spool.  The lilac colored cord spool is the stuff just called Bead Cord (no micro or fine in the title).  This is the weight that I usually use for micro macrame.  It's .5mm and there are 77 yards on that spool.  The last spool in chartreuse is the Superlon Tex 400 cord.  It's .9mm and comes in a 35 yard spool.
The bead cord was the first weight introduced and is available in the most colors.  It will go through most 11/0 seed beads once (as long as you are using quality seed beads like Miyuki or Toho).  The weight and size are really nice for the jewelry pieces I usually make.
The heavier Tex 400 cord is almost twice the thickness of the regular stuff.  It works well for pieces like multi strand necklaces and for bigger, chunkier pieces.  
Close up of different sizes or weights of bead cord for micro macrame
Fine bead cord isn't that much smaller than the regular bead cord, but it feels very different in finished pieces.  Bracelets made with this cord are more flexible and feel more "slinky", if that makes any sense.  
Micro cord is almost like thread.  It is really small.  I can't imagine trying to knot a whole piece using this weight of cord, but it is excellent for fine detail work and makes awesome focal pieces.  I did the same pattern for the pieces in the next photo, but used Tex 400 for the ecru colored one, regular bead cord for the one in purples and micro cord for the little piece. 
Pieces of macrame knotting in different cord weights
There.  Now you're an expert on bead cord and you can better appreciate the fact that the macrame piece on this bangle is 1" square.

Micromacrame knotting in micro bead cord set in bangle bezel

May 26, 2013

Year of Jewelry Week 21 - Cuffs for All

The theme for Week 21 of the Year of Jewelry was Cuffs for All.  I had difficulty coming up with a macrame piece without a closure/clasp, so my take on a cuff?  A bracelet that fits like a cuff.

Micro macrame bracelet in chartreuse green and purple by Sherri Stokey

I've been making some pieces use the Superlon fine bead cord - it's almost half the size of the cord I usually work with, which is pretty tiny.  It does, however, allow me to use more cords in my designs without the resulting piece being too big and clunky.  I made this design by adding a couple of cords running through the center of my zigzag bracelet and I really like the effect.

Micromacrame bracelet in chartreuse green and purple from Knot Just Macrame

I am loving the color combination, too.  I love to pair chartreuse with different things, but this green and purple is a classic.  I did do another bracelet in this design my usual size bead cord.  How's this for some summery color?

Superlon bead cord and glass seed beads

And from that, I made these:

Beaded macrame jewelry by Sherri Stokey - earrings and bracelet

Yes, I've been a busy bee.  And I still have lots more ideas, so stay tuned!

May 21, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

Baby sized distraction

I've been juggling quite a few things lately, not the least of which is this little guy - my grandson, Carter.  When it comes to choosing between making jewelry and playing with him, he wins ever time, so I've gotten a bit behind on posting my Year of Jewelry projects.  I have been making them, though, all except for the personal talisman one from several weeks ago that I'm still pondering.  Anyway, Week 19 was My Favorite Flower and I made an appropriately floral piece:

White bridal micro macrame beaded bracelet by Knot Just Macrame

I had June brides in mind when I made this bracelet.  It's knotted in white superlon bead cord and accented with white Toho seed beads in different finishes and sizes.  The cascade of lucite roses puts it over the top, I think.

The theme for Week 20 was Made in 10 Minutes.  Whew - this one was hard for me!  I can't even cut the cords for a pair of earrings in much less than that, so micro macrame was out.  I tried a couple different pairs of earrings and they were okay, but nothing special.  I just don't feel like I've put in an effort if it only takes 10 minutes - KWIM?  And then... it hit me...  

Tennis racquet string ankle bracelets anklets by Sherri Stokey

I made a prototype tennis racquet string ankle bracelet for my tennis playing daughter a couple of months ago.  Since then she's been wearing it non-stop.  She wears it to her morning workouts three days a week and to tennis practice every day after school.  She wears it in the shower and through all day tennis tournaments.  This baby has been through the wringer!  The clasp is magnetic, but also has a twist lock so it is pretty secure.  It has come unfastened a couple of times over the weeks, but given what it's gone through, I think that's pretty good!

So my Made in 10 Minutes Week 20 project was to make some non-prototype anklets.  I used three colors of string in different solids and combinations and made a handful:

Tennis racquet string ankle bracelets anklets with magnetic clasps

Which took longer than ten minutes *sigh*.  But I could have made one in ten minutes, probably, so I'm counting it.  Week 20 - Done!

May 13, 2013

Multi Wrap Macrame Bracelet Tutorial

Macrame wrap bracelet tutorial by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I had some folks request a tutorial for a macrame wrap bracelet like the ones I showed in post here and it's so easy to do, I thought I'd take a stab at it.  You will need:
  • 2 pieces of Superlon Tex 400 cord or C-lon Heavyweight cord in whatever colors you like
  • An assortment of interesting beads with holes big enough to get one piece of cord through
  • Some 8/0 and/or 6/0 seed beads
  • A button or bead for the closure
You will also need a very basic knowledge of knots. I used a lark's head, half knot, square knot and overhand knots, in this piece.  If you aren't familiar with them, check out my friend Donna's page here.   Keep in mind that there is no "wrong" here, so if you're not comfortable with one of the knots, skip it or do something different.  If you're an advanced knotter and you want the short version of these instructions, you can skip clear down the page to the bold part.  Otherwise:

Start with two pieces of cord 150" long each and fold them in half - this is where the loop will be.  Still working there in the middle, use one cord to make a series of larks head knots around the other cord.  Check it periodically by holding the four cords together and attempting to slip your button or bead (whatever you are using for your closure) through the loop.  You don't want to get clear to the other end only to find your loop is too small, trust me.  When you get the right length, pull all four cord together.  Hopefully your knots stayed fairly well centered on your cords and the four lengths left hanging are somewhere near the same.  Use the same cord you did the larks head knots with to make a series of square knots around the other two cords.

Did I lose you?  It's not hard, really.  And if the larks head loop thing has you worried, just make a loop the right size and tie an overhand knot and move on.  Your closure won't be as fancy, but it will work just fine.  I had to be different, so I added beads to the knotting cord between each knot, but that's entirely up to you.  Now pat yourself on the back, because if you got this far, it's easy sailing from here on out.  If you're still worried about the knots, I did a little pictorial tutorial here - click on the photos to see the written instructions.  Channel your inner girl/boy scout.

Macrame wrap bracelet tutorial by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Now all you're going to do the rest of the way down is knot those four cords.  In the example above, when I knotted with the green cord, the navy was hidden inside.  Then I switched to knotting with the navy cords around the green ones, and an easy way to switch is to put all four cords through a bead.  Then you can start knotting with the other color without the transition showing.  You will want to switch your knotting cords from time to time or you will run out of one color and end up with a short bracelet!  Another way to transition is with an overhand knot, and I like that between beads.  In the example above, the green diamonds are Czech glass and the hole was only large enough for one cord, so I put the one cord through and the other three behind the bead and tied a knot.  No problem.  There is no "wrong", remember?

To get the two-look in the knotted section after the diamonds, I used one green and one blue cord for knotting square knots.  It's kind of fun and different.  Then after the white bead (hiding my transition), I did square knots with blue cord around the green.  I slipped an 8/0 white seed bead on the outer (knotting) cord on each side between the square knots.

The funky striped bead you see next is a Kazuri bead.  The hole was large enough to get all four cord through and again, it hides my transition to knotting a half knot spiral with the green cord. 

Macrame wrap bracelet tutorial by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Still with me?  Ready for more?  If it seems like your bracelet is getting really long, that's good.  Mine was about 30" finished, which allows me to wrap it around my wrist  four times.  My wrist is only 6" so you would think this would be too long, but it isn't.  You have to allow some for the bulkiness of the beads and for the bracelet wrapping over itself on your wrist.  As you're going along, try wrapping it on your wrist to check the length now and then.

So, back to the instructions.  Green spiral, then some lampwork beads with overhand knots in between followed by another spiral, this time using one green and one blue cord (when you're choosing the cords to knot with, choose the longest ones - a couple will be shorter if you did the two color knotting up above).  Overhand knot at the end of that section, then beads with a couple square knots between.  Bead to hide transition and back to knotting with the other color.

OK, now we're to the circle.  I took one green cord and one blue cord down each side of the circle and made larks head knots alternating colors.  So I did a blue larks head and then pulled the green cord from behind and tied a larks head with it.  When I got enough to cover the ring, I pulled all four cords together and started square knotting again.  You can totally skip this part if you don't have a ring the right size or if you're still not sold on larks head knots.  Totally up to you.

When you get a couple of inches from the length you want, it's time to add the button.  In this case I used a plain old four hole button.

Macrame wrap bracelet in blue and chartreuse

I took both green cords up through one hole and down through another and did the same thing with the blue.  Now pull the button down the cord or pull the cords tighter - whatever it takes to get the button in the right place for the length you want.  Now you should have your long knotted strand and then the four bare cords showing AND the four cord ends hanging around in the same place, then the button on the very end.  Take two of the longest cord ends you have left and use those to make another square knot length - this time starting up by the button and covering all those loose cords.  Make sense?  This part will be a little fatter, since you have more "filler" cords, but this whole look is about imperfect, so don't sweat it.  Once you've knotted an inch or so, you can cut off the loose ends of your filler cords (it won't hurt to add a dab of glue in there if you're paranoid like me) and finish knotting until you meet the knotting where you left off, covering up all the bare cord.  Tighten the last knots up well and hit them with a little glue.  Trim off excess.

Whew.  Making this is WAY easier than talking you through it, lemme tell ya.  Short recap:

Two 150" cords, fold in half and make a loop (any kind you like).  Knot your bracelet, alternating colors and knots with random beads or whatever strikes your fancy.  You can make long sections of the same knot or you can make short ones or you can mix them up.  Beads are handy for hiding places where you switch knotting cords.  When you get the length you like, add your button or bead and fine tune length.  Continue knotting under the bead or button back toward the bracelet to cover the cords.  Glue.  Cut.  Wrap it around your wrist, throw your first in the air in victory and go show everyone you know what you made.  

And come back and show me what you do!  Or swing by my Facebook Page and post a photo.  Or just say hi.  Or heck, mock my tutorial - whatever feels right :) And if you find yourself wanting to continue playing with macrame, you can find tutorials in my Etsy shop for bracelets that look like this:

Micro Macrame bracelets in hydrangeas pattern by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

May 12, 2013

It's a Wrap

Macrame wrap bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I've been experimenting a bit with S-Lon Tex 400 cord again.  It's what I used to make the multi-strand necklaces I wrote about here and here.  I'm a big fan of stacks of bracelets and wrap bracelets that mimic the look of a stack, and I thought the heft of this cord might lend itself well to that kind of piece.

Close up of ladder, square knot and woven beads section

I kept everything kind of random to get the look I wanted.  I started with a ladder of Czech beads in a cool matte metallic finish in between my Tex 400 cord and I finished that section with a knot and a lampwork bead.  For the next section, I added some gold Tex 400 cord and did square knots with the beads on the outside.  Then came some woven fiber beads I dug out of my stash, and a section I wrapped in some blue cord (the .4mm size).

Czech glass beads spiral knotting, antler button, glass dice beads

Next I threaded on some rough Czech beads and did a simple knot between them and followed that with another length of square knots, this time in light gray.  I added a black and white striped trade bead and then a little pop of blue cord again, this time in a spiral knot pattern.  I love the Czech glass dice beads and I have some in sort of an old antique looking finish, so I stuck a couple of those in.  I used a button my Dad made for me for the closure - a slice of antler.

Macrame wrap bracelet by Knot Just Macrame

This piece is 30" long and goes around my wrist four times.  My wrist is only about 6", so if you decided to make one of these, be sure to make it plenty long.  I do love how it turned out.  So much, in fact, that I decided to try another.

Knotting, Czech glass diamonds, Kazuri bead

I went with a color theme of chartreuse, capri blue and white and used some funky diamond shape Czech glass beads and a Kazuri bead as well as some seed beads.

Assorted knotting and knot covered hoop

I also used some random lampwork beads and one stray metal hoop - I just continued my knots all the way around it!  A simple white button finishes the whole thing.

Wrap bracelet in blue, white and chartreuse

I love these colors.  They just seem so crisply summery to me.

Blue, chartreuse and white macrame wrap bracelet by Sherri Stokey

I'll definitely be making more bracelets in this style!

May 4, 2013

Year of Jewelry Week 18 - Pantone 2013

C-lon bead cord in Pantone Vivacious fuchsia range

The "assignment" for this week in the Year of Jewelry was to make something in one of the Patone colors for 2013.  I chose Vivacious, a bright shade of fuchsia which is part of the  Pantone Fall 2013 Color Report.  I wanted to do some ombre shading, so I chose the cord range in the photo above.  So far, so good.

Micro macrame bracelet in progress by Sherri Stokey

 I messed around with the curvy pattern again - its sinuous lines really intrigue me and the shading is such fun.  If you follow my blog and saw my last crash and burn on this pattern, you'll be glad to see I started with LOTS of cord this time.  (If you don't read my blog regularly, you can find out what I'm talking about in this post.)

Micromacrame knotting with ombre shading by Knot Just Macrame

Micromacrame knotting with ombre shading in fuchsia Vivacious

Oh, and the "failure" piece?  You don't have to worry about him any more - he found a home with a lady who has a 5.25" wrist.  All's well that ends well.

Two micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...