Practicing basic macrame techniques

Macrame is the art of decorative knotting. To practice the techniques, you need some sturdy, even-textured cord, such as twine (yarn is too stretchy); scissors; T- or U-pins; and a rigid work surface that will hold pins. Heavy cardboard will do or you can buy a knotting board, available in different sizes up to 24 x 48 inches.

Cut eight cords, each 4 feet long, and one cord 6 inches long. Knot the short piece (the mounting cord) at each end and pin it firmly to the top of the board. Fold the long cords in half and attach them to the mounting cord with lark’s-head knots.

To start a double half hitch, one of two basic knots in macrame, anchor the far left cord (the holding cord) with a pin and pull it to the right. With the next cord (a knotting cord), work a halfh itch over the holding cord. Make a second half hitch to complete the stitch; pull it tight. Continue making double half hitches over six more strands, then pin the holding cord at the right and work from right to left.