While browsing through the Hobbies section of my local branch recently, I came across a book that looked interesting enough. I had no idea when I checked it out that it would completely change the way I look at beads and thread.
After a few minutes of browsing through Micro-Macramé by Annika deGroot, I was instantly transported back to high school, when my sister and I spent hours weaving intricate friendship bracelets using colorful embroidery floss. At the time, we had no idea that the techniques we were using had stemmed from traditional macramé art. If I had known then what those little knots could do, I might be a completely different beader today.
Micro-Macramé offers a fantastic assortment of jewelry and accessory projects that combine beads with traditional knotting techniques. Thirty full projects feature three levels of macramé skill, with ten simple designs for beginners like a ring, keychain fob and gorgeous earrings. The final ten projects are much more complex, and definitely something worth striving for.
Like all great beading books, Micro-Macramé begins with an in-depth look at materials that you can use to create your own variations of the projects. Included in this section are detailed descriptions of 11 different cords that beaders can try in their own designs, with helpful tips for making the most of each one.
Basic techniques are covered in plenty of detail, including a tutorial on creating a padded clipboard for easy macramé work, and a simple embroidered cabochon tutorial. Then it’s on to the knots! Annika’s step-by-step photographs feature extra large cords in different colors, so it’s easy to understand the placement of each strand or loop. Five knots are explained in detail, with some handy variation tips.
My favorite project is the Mariposa Necklace, which features a gorgeous beaded butterfly. If I had known all those years ago that macramé could do this, I would have kept at it. The amazing creativity behind this book makes me wonder if I chose the wrong calling!
Micro-Macramé finishes with a recap list of helpful tips from throughout the book, and some extra advice for working with knots and cords. It is a truly thorough and inspiring guide to getting started and succeeding with a fascinating medium. If you’ve been looking for one more way to make sensational items with beads, this is worth a try!
Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
St. Martin's Press and Annika deGroot
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