Crochet is a type of fiber craft that commonly uses yarn. But modern crafters continuously explore many other possible materials. Find out here if the macrame cord is a workable crochet material for you.
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Can you crochet with macrame cord?
Crochet is a versatile fiber art where you can use any string, including a macrame cord. Macrame cord is an ideal material if you are crocheting tote bags, hats, baskets, rugs, wall art, and even jewelry.
You will recognize a macrame cord as a braided or plied string made from a wide variety of fibers. The types of macrame cord are divided into two categories, natural and synthetic. Natural fibers used to make macrame cord include cotton, linen, hemp, jute, paper, or leather. They make great options for those who are into eco-friendly fiber crafting.
Artificial materials used to make macrame cords include polyester and polypropylene. Synthetic fibers are made into nylon, acrylic, plastic and parachute cords. These are ideal choices for crochet projects that you can use outdoors.
You can also find a macrame cord in different sizes, which can suit any crochet project you want. You can choose from macrame craft cords ranging from diameters of 2mm to 12mm. You can also find it in a wide variety of colors, looks, and textures.
A macrame cord seems like an ideal material to crochet. You can swap your yarns with cords anytime. But before doing so, please read on first for some of its advantages and disadvantages.
Most macrame cords are usually lightweight and easy to work on. Only a few natural fiber cords can be a bit heavy. Most synthetic macrame cord types are ideal for making lightweight crochet bags.
- Smooth and Uniform
One of the best advantages of using a macrame cord for crochet is being smooth and uniform. You would want less friction while pulling loops when you crochet. Macrame cord can make flawless and even crochet stitches. The artificial cords are smoother than some natural cords. Natural cords like jute have tiny protruding fibers.
Macrame cord has stiffness or softness to it, giving benefit to the kind of crochet project you want. The diameter, composition, and density of the macrame cord determine its stiffness or softness. Stiff macrame cords like cotton cords can hold their shapes. These cord types are ideal for making crochet purses. A soft macrame cord is excellent for making foot rugs.
The variety of colors, thickness, and textures of the macrame cord allow you to be more creative. The variety of macrame cords available allow you to make various wonderful items.
Macrame cord tends to fray. But this is usually observed mostly on synthetic cords.
When crocheting using a macrame cord, the thinner ones are most often used. You would need more cord to finish a crochet project than if you were using crochet yarn. Some of the natural fiber cords can break the bank if you need a lot.
Crocheting is a slower process than macrame. Especially when you use the thinner cord types, it would need more stitches and would take more time to finish a crochet project.
How do you know what size crochet hook to use?
When crocheting a macrame cord, use the rule of thumb for crocheting with yarn. Use a small crochet hook for a thin cord and a big crochet hook for a bulky cord.
Thin macrame cords commonly used for jewelry and accessories need small crochet hooks. Chunky macrame cords are usually made into bags, rugs, or wall art. You would need a big crochet hook to crochet a bulky cord.
The issue with using a macrame cord for crocheting is that some of the spools or rolls of the macrame cord do not have labels. They will not be able to recommend what size of hook to use as the detailed labels on yarn balls would. Some do not even have labels on them like the jute cord.
You can consider yourself lucky if your macrame cord label includes the diameter. From there, you can compare with yarn weight and category then chooses the right hook size that can work with it.
If your cord label does not show the diameter, you can manually measure the diameter of your cord. Then, match it with the appropriate crochet hook size.
You have the size of your crochet project in mind, say for a table runner. You can make a gauge swatch using your macrame cord and the crochet hook you choose. The size may not agree with how you want your crochet stitches to look. So, you can either use a smaller or bigger hook to achieve the look you want.
Is macrame the same as crochet?
The main difference between the two fiber crafts is that crochet uses a tool, while macrame is purely done by hand. Crochet and macrame may have some things in common, but each craft has its own distinguishable features.
Both are practical crafts to make. Crochet only needs a hook and yarn (in this case, a macrame cord) to create various crochet items. Macrame handmade art needs a macrame cord and sometimes an accessory like a wooden bar to mount your work into.
Crochet and macrame are both easy to learn. You can create beautiful handmade crafts knowing a few basic stitches using either method. Crochet is done by looping the yarn around itself using a hook to push, pull, and work with the thread. The resulting fabric is something similar to knitting.
You make macrame by tying the rope or cord together in knots. You will notice that stitches are farther apart in macrame. Spaces between crochet stitches are smaller. So, you may need more macrame cord to complete your crochet project.
Can you crochet with rope?
You can create gorgeous and useful items by crocheting with rope. One of the best examples is rugs made from different colors and textures of rope. Crocheting rope makes beautiful and soft rugs.
Personalize your rug by using crochet stitches of your choice. A square or rectangular rug is a perfect item to practice your basic stitch patterns. Cluster or shell stitches would make excellent choices for a crocheted rug. A combination of these and other stitches can also create a gorgeous design for your rugs.
If you are a newbie at crochet, using rope as your material may even be helpful for you. as you can work up your crochet project faster using a larger rope with a larger crochet hook. It is also easier to handle crochet stitches if you use a large hook with a chunky rope.
You can use single-crochet stitches for the whole rug. That is if you are not yet skilled enough to crochet other stitch patterns. Or you can try half-double crochet. It has a bit of distance between the stitches as very tight stitches may not feel very comfortable on your feet.
You can try other rope materials such as clothesline rope if you want to keep your rug outdoors. You can also use rope from natural fibers to make rugs if you want a biodegradable alternative. But it would be better to find sources where you can buy in bulk as some natural fiber ropes can be expensive. Also, a good tip is to find a rope that is not only nice to look at but also feels good to your feet.
Can you crochet with paracord?
Paracord belongs to the synthetic cord types used for macrame. So, it is also an excellent material that you can crochet with. Paracord is a sturdy and hard-wearing type of rope. It is usually used by hikers and backpackers for emergencies.
The common way to keep a large length of paracord available for emergencies is to work it into knots using macrame. You can make them into belts, straps, or bracelets that would be easier to carry around. But in times of emergency, your stored paracord should come undone easily. Crocheting your paracord into a strap, belt, or bracelet may be an excellent choice. It will provide you the ease of undoing the cord during life-threatening situations.
Another benefit of crocheting your paracord is to convert a very long cord into a shorter strap. Crocheting would make it easier to handle and transport the cord.
If you want to make your paracord compact, you can use single crochet stitches or the basic Tunisian stitch. You can make a nice strap or belt using these stitches. You can also crochet paracord into a bag or guitar strap. Paracord has a nice texture, convenient, and is strong. It is the perfect material for these items.
How do you crochet a macrame cord basket?
One of the easiest and fastest to crochet with a macrame cord is a basket. A macrame basket is a great way for a beginner to practice crochet stitches and techniques.
You can use a craft cord with a medium diameter such as 6mm, which is common for cords. You will find it most available in craft shops, groceries, or even the hardware store. But you can always choose any size and type of cord depending on what size you want your finished item to be.
Here are a few easy steps to crochet a macrame cord basket.
- Gather your crochet materials. You will need a 6mm macrame cord (clothesline cord, craft cord, or any cord of the same size) and a 19mm or size S crochet hook.
- Create a magic ring. Make seven single crochets inside the magic ring. Slip stitch to the first stitch to complete the round.
- For round 2, chain one, then make two single crochet stitches in each stitch on the round. Slip stitch to complete round 2.
- For round 3, make a pattern of 2 single crochets then one single crochet. Then, slip stitch to complete round 3.
- For round 4, make a pattern of 2 single crochet stitches then one single crochet on the next two stitches. Slip stitch to complete round 4.
- For the next round, chain one, then place one half double crochet in each stitch around the basket. When you get back to the beginning of the round, continue making half double crochet stitches. Instead of closing the round with a slip stitch, make continuous double crochet. Do it on each stitch until you reach the desired height of the basket.
- To finish your macrame basket, shift from half double crochet to single crochet. This step will create the top border or the brim of the basket. Then slip stitch to complete the round, then fasten off.