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Lesson Plans

Hemp/twine, and directions....long post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Tue, 19 May 1998 19:51:27 -0700

Okay.....I'm being swamped with questions again about macrame which I do
with 8th graders.

Marsha asked the difference between hemp and twine.,
definitely...someone else could answer this question better than I.
However, if a kid asked me this, I'd probably GUESS the hemp is like a rope
texture, like jute, coarser and usually darker, and keeps a knot better
because of it's consistency, but not smooth because the edges unravel
easily. Hemp is slightly smoother than jute but similar in color. I would
also guess that twine is more like string, softer, more flexible (so it
doesn't keep a knot as well), maybe stronger because the edges stay intact,
and usually lighter in color. All this is just a fairly, slightly educated
quess (the most dangerous kind?). Ha.

Directions....This is REALLY hard since this is totally a visual thing to
explain. I'll try to stumble through this. I, however, CANNOT try to
explain the knots. You'll have to find a macrame book for that.

There are 2 simple bracelets we make. The first is the square knot one
which lies flat around the wrist.

Materials...ball of hemp, scissors, masking tape, one bigger bead
for the end, several (5-6) pony beads (natural color or
other wise), one human wrist with 5 fingers.

1. Cut two strings 18" long. Lay them flat on table.

Measure from one end approx. 10 ", lift up the group of strings at this
juncture, pinch them and make a loop (all 4 strings together) wide enough
for bigger bead to fit through. Make an overhand knot leaving this loop.
Now strings are uneven (2 long ones, 2 short ones) and a loop at end. Lay
them again on the table with the 2 short ones inside. Tape loop to the
table. Start doing the square knots. Do 4 FULL knots and add a bead for
smaller bracelet (5 full knots for larger one). Pull the two short, inside
strings through the bead, two longer strings go around the bead and then
change the strings putting the middle ones on the outside, etc. Repeat this
with 4-5 bead/string changes till you reach the end. Add bigger bead. Tie
an overhand knot at end and leave about 3/4" of string. Cut off string.
Unravel the ends.

The second one we do is a spiraling one and done with all 4 strings laid
out evenly. Do a half knot (only one side of a square knot...left side...
continuously). Use only a bigger bead at the end, none in the rest of the
bracelet because the spiraling effect is pretty enough on it's own.

Students make other things after learning the basic knots like necklaces,
rings, eyeglasses holders which loop around the neck, keyrings, blah, blah.
The art room can sure get quiet when they do these.

Check out macrame instruction booklets at your local arts/crafts store.
There's so many ways to filagree, add to these basic instructions.

These instructions I gave are inexpensive 'cause you don't need to buy
"findings" to close up the bracelets...just a loop knot and a bead to
close. You can also do these with regular twine and dip them in tea to
stain. Reg. string will not hold the knots as well after wearing them for
awhile. The hemp ones will.


Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd.
Danville, California 94526