INtro to Macraweaving
My name is Taylor Riley and I’m the fiber artist behind Myth and Moss. I’ve taught macraweaving workshops to almost 100 students across several states and I’m so excited to share this craft with you!
Below you’ll find the information I share with my workshop participants on how to create a wall hanging using rope and fiber.
Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
If you have purchased one my macraweaving kits, you will find the following materials inside. If you are using your own materials, the following list includes my recommendations for a 2-3’ long and 1’ wide wall hanging:
12” copper pipe
100 ft of cotton macrame rope (3/16” diameter)
0.75 oz merino wool roving
50 ft super bulky yarn
1. Cut your 100 ft bundle of rope into the following lengths:
11 ft x 7 pieces
15 ft x 1 piece
5 ft x 1 piece
2. Find a surface to hang your copper pipe or dowel from. The 5 ft piece of rope is for hanging by double knotting each end of the rope around the pipe to secure. You can use a door knob, the back of a chair, or a clothing rack as a hanging surface. I like to use these adjustable height clothing racks for my workshops and personal work.
To begin your wall hanging, attach seven 11 ft strands of rope to your copper pipe or dowel using the lark’s head knot (see below).
Attach your 15 ft strand of rope to the left of the other seven strands of rope - this will be your “leading cord.”
Once all eight strands of rope are attached, you can begin your square knots (see below). Your first row will have four square knots. You can use the square knots to create patterns in the wall hanging. By finishing with a complete row of square knots, you can create a linear pattern. By finishing with an incomplete row, you can create a more asymmetrical or wave-like pattern.
Once you are happy with your square knots, complete one row of double half hitches, starting from the left side, where you’ve placed your leading cord (the long one).
Using your leading cord, complete another row of double half hitches (see below) in the opposite direction, leaving an open space to weave in your fiber.
For the next section, you can either add more square knots or use the vertical half hitch (see below).
Complete 1-2 more rows of double half hitches - one row to complete the wall hanging or two rows to add another space for fiber.
Trim the ends of your rope and unravel the three-strand cotton as desired.
See “Weaving Techniques” below for three different techniques I love to use to add fiber to my work.
Tuck any lose ends into the back of your work.
Hang on your wall!
Lark’s Head Knot
1. This is the knot you will use to attach your rope to the pipe. First, fold the rope in half to form a loop.
2. Place the loop over your pipe or dowel, so that it rests behind the two cords.
3. Pull the two cords through the loop to form a knot and tighten.
1. Start with four cords hanging vertically. For this knot, you will only be moving the two outside cords. Position the right cord over the middle two cords and under the left cord.
2. Passing under the middle cords, pull the left cord through the loop created by the right middle cord and the right cord and tighten. This is a half square knot.
3. Position the left cord over the middle cords and under the right cord.
4. Passing under the middle cords, pull the right cord through the loop created by the middle left cord and the left cord and tighten. This is your full square knot.
To create the lattice pattern seen below, use two cords from one square knot and two cords from the square knot directly next to it to make a new square knot. After your first full row of square knots, start your second row using this method. You will have two “extra” cords on either end of your row. For your third row, you will start your first square knot with two of the “extra” cords and the two cords directly next to them. Repeat this pattern for as many rows as desired.
Double Half Hitch
1. Position your leading cord across the other cords in the direction that you want your knots to lie. You will be encasing the leading cord in double half hitches.
2. Wrap the cord next to your leading cord over and around the leading cord, pulling tightly to secure. It is helpful to hold your leading cord and vertical cord perpendicular to each other to tighten and then slide the knot as desired.
3. Wrap the same cord over and around the leading cord again, pulling tightly to secure the second half hitch. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with each cord across the row.
Vertical Half Hitch
1. Starting with four cords, wrap the left two cords over and around the right two cords.
2. Tighten or loosen to achieve the desired height of the knot. This knot can also be tied using any even number of cords (by wrapping one cord around another cord, wrapping three cords around three cords, etc).
The soumak weave is my favorite for wool roving - it creates the illusion of a braid. Start by separating your wool roving into two pieces. Smooth each piece with your hands to remove any stray fibers.
Place the end of your first piece of roving between the second and third strand of rope. Tuck the end over the rope into the back, so that it lays on top.
Weave your roving over 4 strands of rope and then backtrack under 2 strands, bringing the roving out on the bottom.
Continue this pattern for as long as desired.
Place the end of your second piece of roving on top of the first, tucking the tail between the second and third strands and then wrapping it around to the back, coming out underneath.
Weave your roving over 4 strands of rope and then backtrack under 2 strands, bringing the roving out on the top.
Continue this pattern for as long as desired.
The tabby weave is your basic “over/under” weaving. You can either use your hands or a tapestry needle, depending on the thickness of your yarn.
Start by placing your needle under the first strand of rope, then move your needle over the next strand. Repeat in an alternating pattern for as long as desired.
For your second row, place the needle over each strand that you went under in the first row. Place your needle under each strand that you went over in the first row.
Continue this pattern for as long as desired. You can press the yarn down as you go to create a tighter weave and hide the rope. For a looser weave with some rope showing through the yarn, do not press down the yarn as you go.
Cut 3 or more pieces of yarn approximately 1-2 inches longer than you would like your rya knot to be. For thinner yarn, you may need many pieces to create a knot that looks “full.”
Place the center of your yarn in line with your first two strands of rope.
Bring the ends of your yarn on the left side around the back in between the two strands of rope.
Bring the ends of your yarn on the right side around the back and in between the two strands of rope.
Repeat steps 1-4 for each set of two strands of rope.
my favorite Supplies
Not an #ad - this is just a list of businesses I have frequently purchased supplies from. Full disclosure: Neighborhood Fiber Co. is based in Baltimore and I do teach workshops in their shop, but I am not employed by the company.
Knot and Rope Supply – Natural cotton and nylon rope
Modern Macrame – Colorful three-strand rope, supplies, and kits
Niroma Studio – Single strand and three-strand cotton rope
Nova Mercury – Colorful rope, supplies, and kits
Divinity Fibers – Wool roving and sari silk yarn
Neighborhood Fiber Co. – Wool Roving and super bulky yarn
Wool and the Gang – Super bulky yarn
Knit Collage – Unique super bulky yarn and cotton fabric yarn
Design Talented One – Sari silk ribbon
Also not sponsored…. These are resources I have found helpful in learning new macrame and weaving techniques.
Elsie Goodwin – Free instructional videos for macrame knots
Hello Hydrangea – Online courses in weaving and macrame
Copyright © 2019 by Taylor Riley. All rights reserved. This information is intended for personal use only.