Friday, January 10, 2014

Macrame Bag Project - Part I

Just started a macrame project. These handles are older than me. They belonged to my mother.  She never got around to using it. When I started taking an interest in needlework, she gave them to me. I finally found the right yarn to start a project. I have absolutely no idea how this is going to shape up.

Figuring out what the length of a cord should be for a project is a major deterrent to those aspiring to start something including me. I decided to experiment.  As with knitting and crochet a lot depends on tension. Some people tend to make tight knots while others not so tight. So, you can only arrive at a rough estimate.  The important thing is to ensure that you don't run short.

Here's how I arrived at my estimate
  • I based my calculation on a hammock project in "Macrame- The Craft of Knotting" by Jacquline Short.
  • The finished length of the hammock is 6 feet. She has used 25 yards  per length. 
  • 1 yard = 3 feet.  Therefore, the length of each cord is 25 * 3 = 75 feet. (Each cord is folded in half for the lark's knot). 
That's for the hammock.  But what should be the length for a bag 2 feet high approximately?
Here's where some high school cross multiplication comes into play.
If you need 75 feet of cord for a 6 foot project, how much would I need for a 2 foot bag?

The answer is 25 feet per length.

Calculation Based on Macrame Section in Dilmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework
As per this book,
Cord Length = 2 * (finished length * 6)
                    = 2 * (2*6) =24 feet
This is about 1 feet short of the hammock estimate. The book also recommends allowing some extra length if the using bulky yarn or cord.

My Doubts about this
Even folded in half for making the lark's knot on the handle, I'll still have 12 feet per length of cord. That's twice the height of a man. For a 2 feet bag? I don't know.  What if a lot of yarn goes waste. They'll be too short for use in any other project.

I also remember reading somewhere a long time ago that the length of yarn should be 8 times the length of  the project. That is simply
2 * 8 = 16 feet = 192 ".

Since this is an experiment and I don't mind having a shorter bag, I decided to go with this. Each length I cut was 16 feet.

When I finish this bag, I'll have some credible answers.

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