Knotting and macrame has always been intertwined with the surfing world, probably because the pastime of decorative knotting began with the early mariners of the sea.
A wise sailor would learn various knots to get his job done well as a part of a crew, and practice was important to retain that critical knowledge. During a lull or break in the crew’s daily tasks, many sailors would hone their skills and make some money by using those utilitarian knots to make decorative items.
This goes for surfers, too. Many of us enjoy these knotting crafts when it’s flat, hot, or stormy outside. This craft is very useful to learn for anyone who spends a lot of time on the water. Surfing, SCUBA, boating, wake boarding, etc. all use knots to some degree.I put together this little cheat sheet on knotting for some of my macrame students. It’s a quick guide to basic macrame knots.
Using those basic knots, you can do lots of variations. I like browsing through macrameschool.com to get ideas and inspiration, but if you are learning to macrame, it’s also great resource since they have short how-to videos on a lot of basic to advanced styles.
My favorite cord to use is Linhasita since it is colorfast, available in lots of colors, and durable in salt water. Hemp cord is used often also, but when you get it wet, hemp loses the distinct knots and can disintegrate into a fiber mess.I also use C-Lon cord for some projects, but this is threadlike and delicate. Using this thin cord is called micro-macrame, and requires lots of practice.
I’m stocked up with cord now, ready to knot after surfing in the Summer afternoons when the thunderstorms roll through or when the hurricanes get too close to be fun anymore. I’m no sailor, but I have been long time friends with Cap’n Crunch and Captain Morgan….