Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Macrame Formula

When I teach a basic macrame knotting class (to make a bracelet/necklace/anklet), I like to provide this formula for those interested in using it.

I created my own system to fairly simply figure out how far to space the beads while working so everything is spaced out evenly. This is especially important if you have a focal bead that you want to center. I made this formula during a summer when I making lots and lots of macrame necklaces and bracelets and kept having to back out my work due to guess-timation.

I recommend jotting down these measurements in decimal format to make the math easier.

Length of clasp/sliding knot/closure = ____in
Length of beads (line them up on a strand) = ____in
Length of 2 knots (if you like to make a knot before and after your macrame) = ___in
Add these three numbers together and call it A.

The desired finished length = ____in
This desired length minus A = ___in
This is the total length minus everything that will NOT be a macrame knot. Call it B.

The number B divided by the number of beads in the piece plus 1 (For example, a bracelet with 5 beads will have 6 spaces to fill with macrame knots. If you draw a quick sketch, you will see what I mean.)

This final number is how far to knot before you add each new bead! It is usually a small decimal, and not exactly a fraction that easily makes sense in terms of inches. I work to the nearest distance. For example:

Length of clasp/sliding knot/closure = 1.00 in
Length of beads = 3.25 in
Length of 2 knots = .50 in
all these added together gives you...
A = 4.75 in

The desired finished length = 7.00 in - A gives you...
B = 2.25 in

B / (number of beads +1...I'm using 5 beads, so I will divide by 6) = .38 in
.38 is 3/8th of an inch. That's how far I will work knotting before I add each bead.

I hope this is useful for some of you!

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