Macrame is the art of knotting cotton, twine, hemp or leather for decorative purposes. Most macrame patterns utilize the square knot or hitching to create intricate, detailed designs. The art began in 17th-century Arab communities and was spread throughout the rest of the world by sailors who would make macrame pieces to sell and barter once back onshore.
Lark's Head Knot
This knot is used to mount cords and throughout designs, and it is the most commonly used knot in macrame. First, take the cord you would like to knot and place it, in a loop shape, under another cord, ring, dowel or even your toe. Now, take the two ends of the looped cord and pull them over the surface and through the loop you have made. Pull the two ends tight to secure your knot to the surface.
The Hanger Knot
The hanger knot is used in design and at the ends of pieces in order to hang them or create a loop for tying up bracelets or necklaces. First, take your cord and secure it to a flat surface, at the center, using pins, needles or tape. Take the left remaining cord and make a counterclockwise overhand knot. Leave the knot loose. Next, make another overhand knot, this time in a clockwise direction, using the right strand. When knotting, from front to back pass the end of the knot through your first knot, linking the two knots together. Now, pull the ends of the loop, as well as the loop itself, to tighten the knot, while leaving a loop on one end.
The Square Knot
The square knot often serves as the basis of many other more complicated knots. Take four cords and knot them, using the lark's head knot, to a surface. The two outer cords will be the cord you work with; the middle cords simply fill the knot. First, take your left cord and place it over the middle cords and under the right cord. Then, take the right cord and place it under the cords. Pull it out in the loop that is formed between the middle cords and the left cord. Now, repeat these steps, pulling the right cord over the middle cords and the left cord under and through the loop formed by the right and middle cords. Pull the ends of the two outer cords to tighten the knot.