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Saturday, January 30, 2010

I WON a Blog Giveaway!

I had entered the Loud and Wacky Street Team (LAWST) New Year's Blog Giveaway.  Entering was easy.  I had to visit each of 10 shops, and pick my favorite item from each shop.  I could have additional blog giveaway entries by blogging about the giveaway, purchasing from any of the 10 shops, or by following the blog.  Each of the 10 shops donated a prize.

Earlier this week, I was excited to receive a message stating that I was the winner of the blog giveaway.  On Friday, I received a big box, with all the wonderful prizes!

Here's what I got:
Thank you Meesh's Pieces for this fluffy scarf.  It's cold outside.  This is just perfect for the cold weather, and the scarf is so soft and comfortable.  It easily wraps twice around my neck.
Thank you Laughing Fridge for this colorful refrigerator magnet.  The fish is following me around with its one eye as I walk around the room.

Thank you Itz Fitz for this cute little squirrel bookmark.  It's so handy, and the squirrel will look like its popping out of the book.

Thank you Susan Williams Designs for this unusual glass pendant and necklace.  The cord feels so velvety.  It will go well with my gray sweater.

Thank you Donkey Says for this dainty necklace.  It has a convenient magnetic clasp that will be a snap to put on when I'm in a hurry.

Thank you Soul in Chains for this furry, fully-lined bag.  I've never seen novelty yarn like this before.  It's hairy and has white fabric and shimmering tinsel in it.  What an interesting conversation piece.

Thank you More Ideas Than Time for this pretty, fully-lined crocheted bag.  I've been meaning to reorganize my purse.  Now I'll have a place to keep my nick knacks when I go out.

Thank you Keychains By Design for this brightly-colored keychain.  I'll be able to spot my keys easily with this, and the gnomes won't be able to hide my keys from me ever again.

Thank you His Child for these sparkly crystal earrings.  They're cute, great for all occasions, and go with just about any kind of clothes.

Thank you Cassie's Creations 09 for these practical note cards.  I've already used one of them, between the time I took the photo and now.

Special Thanks go to Reflections for donating this embroidered gift bag for the finishing touch.  I like how the fish is blowing a bubble.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tutorial 9--Spiral Macrame Bracelet

This is a free tutorial for two-color macrame bracelet.  It is made with the Overhand Knot and Square knot, which were seen in Tutorial 4.  It will also include the Half Knot Spiral, which we will learn in this tutorial.  The Half Knot spiral is named such because it is half of the Square Knot, and, made repeatedly, results in a spiral.

I've included a few beads in the bracelet as well.  For this project, I have used cotton yarn which is about 1 mm thick.  You can use acrylic yarn, hemp, or any of the myriad types of string-like materials available.  I encourage you to experiment.

As usual, you can pin your work to a pillow or safety pin it to your pants, or tape it to a table to make it easier to work with.

Making a Spiral Macrame Bracelet, 7 inches (18 cm) long

Difficulty Level
Very Easy

Time Taken
15 minutes


  • 50 inches (125 cm) of red cotton yarn
  • 50 inches (125 cm) of white cotton yarn
  • 3 Beads with holes large enough for 2 lengths of yarn to fit though (I show 6 beads in the following picture, but only used 3)
  • Crochet hook for pulling yarn through the beads
  • Scissors

1)  Align one red end and one white end of the yarn, and straighten.

2)  Fold the yarn over 12 inches (30 cm) from the end.

3)  Leave a loop about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) long.  Tie an overhand knot.  This is part of the clasp.

4)  Tie 5 Square knots, using the 2 short ends as holding cords and the 2 long ends as working cords.  Thread the 2 holding cords through the bead.  I used the crochet hook to aid me in this.

5)  Now we will start tying the spiral.  Start as you would a Square Knot, by putting the left cord over the holding cords, then putting the right cord over the left cord and up through the space created by the left cord.  Note that the white cord is on top of the holding cords at this point.

6)  Tighten.  This is a Half Knot Spiral.  Note that the two working cords are on the outside of the bead.

7)  Ordinarily, to make a Square Knot, the white cord will continue to be above the holding cords; however, for a Half Knot Spiral, the white cord and the red cord take turns being above the holding cords.  In other words, to make a Half Knot Spiral, always put the left cord over the holding cords.

8)  Continue until you have 2 inches (5 cm) of Half Knot Spirals.  Thread the 2 holding cords through the second bead.

9)  Make another 2 inches (5 cm) of Half Knot Spirals.  Thread the 2 holding cords through the third bead.

10)  Make 10 Square Knots.

11)  Tie an Overhand Knot close to the final Square Knot.  If the Knot is not big enough to form a tight clasp, tie more Overhand Knots.  Trim the ends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tutorial 8--Striped Friendship Bracelet

Friendship bracelets were all the craze in the 1970s.  Kids would make them and give them to each other, and see who could go to school with an arm or two covered with these bracelets.  Many would wear them until the bracelets fell off.

Friendship bracelets are made by tying knots.  I'll show you how to make a striped friendship bracelet in this free tutorial.  I recommend that you try Tutorial 7 first, as we will be using the Double Half Hitch knot repeatedly.  I'm going to make mine in 6 different shades of brown, but you can make them in whatever color you like.  Here's a colorful striped one in wikipedia.  I'll show you how to make some of the other ones in wikipedia in another tutorial.

The main part of the bracelet is striped, and the ends have been braided to form ties, which are used for tying the bracelet to a friend's wrist.

As usual, I recommend pinning your work to a corkboard or pillow, or even taping it to a table while you work.

Striped Friendship Bracelet

Difficulty Level
Very Easy

Time Taken
1 1/2 hour

Embroidery Floss, 6 different colors, 50 inches (125 cm ) of each color to make a 7-inch (17.5 cm) long bracelet with 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) long ties.

1)  Cut a 50-inch length of each of the 6 colors.

2)  Align the 6 ends of the cords.  Tie an Overhand knot 6 inches (12.5 cm) from the end, using all 6 cords.

3)  We will now braid from the Overhand knot towards the end of the 6-inch (12.5-cm) length, using 3 pairs of cords.  To braid, pick up the pair of cords on the right, and place them in between the other 2 pairs of cords.

4)  Pick up the pair of cords on the left and place them in between the other 2 pairs of cords.  Steps 3 and 4 complete one iteration of a braid.

5)  Repeat steps 3 and 4.  Here's a picture of what it looks like at this point.

6)  Continue braiding, keeping the braid tight, until you have 2.5 inches (7.5 cm) of cord left.  Tie an Overhand Knot.  Turn the cords around so that the long cords are now towards you.  Steps 2 through 6 form a tie about 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm) long.

7)  We will now make the striped portion of the bracelet.  Separate the 6 cords.  Place the rightmost cord over all the other cords.  This is the holding cord for the next 5 Double Half Hitches.  The other 5 cords are the working cords.

8)  Lift the current rightmost cord and wrap it around the cord from Step 7.

9)  Tighten.  Lift the same cord from Step 8, and wrap it around the cord from Step 7 a second time.  Tighten.  Steps 8 and 9 form the Double Half Hitch, just like the one from Tutorial 7.  Make sure that the holding cord is straight, while the working cords wrap around the holding cord.

10)  Continue making Double Half Hitches, using the same holding cord, and each of the working cords.  There will be 5 Double Half Hitches.  In this firs row of Double Half Hitches, there is a tendency for the Double Half Hitches to be tied farther and farther away from the Overhand Knot.  This is fine.

11)  Repeat Steps 7 through 10, using the current rightmost cord as the holding cord and the other 5 cords as working cords.

12)  Continue in this manner until the bracelet is of the desired length.  I made mine 7 inches (17.5 cm) long.

13)  Tie an Overhand knot close to the last row of Double Half Hitches.

14)  Braid 3 pairs of cords to form another tie.

15)  Tie an overhand knot at the end of the final braid.

16)  Give it to a friend :) .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tutorial 7--Macrame Bracelet

So far, all the knots I have been using in the knotting tutorials have been square knots, or overhand knots.  This tutorial introduces the Double Half Hitch.  This knot is also sometimes called the Forwards Knot, as well as the Backwards Knot (two different versions of the Double Half Hitch).

Double Half Hitch Macrame Bracelet
Difficulty Level 
Very easy

Time Taken
10 minutes

2 colors of Yarn, 70 inches (178 cm) each (string, hemp or embroidery floss work as well)
Large Bead, with a hold large enough for 4 pieces of yarn to go through
1)  Measure 15 inches (38 cm) from the end of each piece of yarn, and fold.  Tie an overhand knot near the fold (depending on the size of the bead), so that the bead can just go through the loop created.
2)  Separate the cords so that the two short ends are in the center.  These will be the holding cords.  Separate the longer ends so that one is on the left and the other is on the right.  I have bundled up the longer cords so they will be easier to work with.
3)  Put the right (pink) cord over the holding cords.
4)  Turn the end of the pink cord under the holding cords, and up through the space created in Step 3.
5)  Tighten.  Repeat Steps 3 and 4.
6)  Tighten.  You have completed a double half hitch.
7)  We will now do a mirror image of Steps 3 through 6, this time using the left (green) cord as the working cord.  Put the left (green) cord over the holding cords.
8)  Turn the end of the green cord under the holding cords, and up through the space created in Step 7.
9)  Repeat Steps 7 and 8.
10)  Tighten.  Steps 7 through 9 form another Double Half Hitch.
11)  Repeat steps 3 through 10 until you have a length of double half hitches of desired length for your bracelet.  I made mine 7 inches long.
12)  Tie an overhand knot close to the last Double Half Hitch
13)  Thread all 4 ends through the bead.  Push the bead close to the overhand knot from Step 12.  Tie another overhand knot close to the bead.  The bead and loop work together as a clasp.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tutorial 6--Macrame Dragonfly

This is an easy-to-make macrame Dragonfly.  It only uses one type of knot, the Square Knot, which I demonstrated in Tutorial 4.  I found a tutorial called Dragonfly Knot which shows how to make the dragonfly without the beads.  I decided to write my own tutorial, showing how to incorporate the beads into the dragonfly's eyes.

Making a macrame dragonfly, with beads

Difficulty Level
Very easy

Yarn, string or hemp, 28 inches (70 cm) long
2 beads with holes large enough for the cords to pass through
Optional--crochet hook for getting the yarn through the beads

1)  String the yarn through both beads; I used the crochet hook to help with that.  Make an M-shape with the yarn, where the valley of the M-shape is 3 inches from the top of the M-shape.  Adjust the beads so they are on the top of the M-shape.  Adjust the yarn so the ends on the left and right are of approximately the same length.

3)  Tie 2 square knots tightly, using the 2 center cords as holding cords and the 2 ends as working cords.  

4)  Tie a 3rd square knot, leaving the top loops on both the left and right sides loose.  These will form the first pair of wings.  Adjust the top loops so they are of about the same size.
5)  Tighten the square knot without tightening the top loops.  Push the square knot so it is next to the previous square knot.

6)  Make a 4th square knot by repeating Steps 4 and 5, this time making the top loops smaller.  These top loops will form the second pair of wings.

7)  Make 2 more square knots.

8)  Trim the ends.   

9)  If necessary, apply glue to the last knot to prevent it from unraveling. 


Here's a macrame dragonfly I made.