How to Macrame a Hammock
Macrame, the traditional sailor's skill in knotting, has been used in a very simple form for this garden hammock.
A wonderful place to relax on a hot summer day, this hammock is a lovely addition to your patio furniture.
Take it camping or make one for a child's bedroom or make a hammock on a smaller scale to hang those piles of stuffed animals in.
The basic design of this hammock could be used for a number of items, all you need is a little imagination and some material to work with.
The basic fabric of the hammock is traditional netting.
Other knots used are the reverse double half hitch (or reverse lark's head knot), half hitches, marling knot and collecting knot.
Don't worry if you have never heard of these knots, I have them illustrated below to use as a guide.
If you are new to the craft, you might want to practice these knots on spare threads first, and I have explained the basic knots in my other article on Macrame - How to Tie Basic Knots & Make Chains, Braids & Cording Patterns
Items You Will Need to Make Hammock
- 2 Strong Metal Rings (2 inches in diameter)
- 2 - 20 Inch Lengths of Wood, 1 Inch by 3/4 Inch
- 150 Yards Hammock String
- 10 Feet Thicker Edging String
- 85 Yards Thinner Fringe String
- 78 Colored Wooden Beads
- Large Blunt Needle
- 2 Long Knitting Needles or 2 Lengths of Dowel
- Extra Strings, If Needed For Practice
Preparing the Wood
- Sand down the rough edges and mark ten points on the 1" surface.
- Start 1" in from the end and space them 2" apart.
- Drill 3/8" holes, using the sandpaper to widen the hole out at each end.
- If the hammock is for outdoor use, varnish the wood to give it a weatherproof finish.
The End Supports
- Hang one metal ring from a hook.
- Draw the length of edging string through the ring until the ends are level.
- Mark a point 16 inches down on each side.
- Take one piece of wood and thread one end of string through the first hole, the other through the last.
- Tie a knot in each under the wood at the 16 inch mark.
- Take a 30 foot length of hammock string and tie one end to the ring.
- Bring down the thread through the first hole.
- Place the knitting needle or dowel underneath the wooden bar and parallel to it.
- Bring the string under the needle or dowel, back through the hole and up to the ring again.
- Bring the string down and repeat all along the bar, through all the holes in turn.
- Coil the remaining string tightly around the strand at the top for about 2 inches.
- Thread the ends into the back of the coil as shown in Figure 1.
Working the Hammock
- Take the ball of hammock string and thread it through the first loop on the knitting needles, leaving the first 10 feet free.
- Measure off 8 inches and then thread through the second loop.
- Leave another 8 inches and thread back through the second loop again.
- Repeat this along the bar to the ninth loop; leave another 8 inches and thread through the tenth loop.
- Leave this end and go back to the 10 feet loose piece at the other end.
- Thread this around the edging cord and measure off 10 inches from the first loop.
- Then tie a hammock knot with this to the middle of the 8 inch strand that joins the original first and second loops on the knitting needle.
The Hammock Knot
This is how to tie the hammock knot.
Make a loop with the upper cord. Take the lower cord around underneath the loop, back over itself and down through the loop as shown in Figure 2.
When you have tied the first hammock knot of the row on the hammock, leave 6 inches free.
Tie the next knot to the middle of the next 8 inch loop that has come down from the row above.
Repeat this knot at 6 inch intervals in the middle of each 8 inch loop as shown in Figure 3 below.
Finish this line by tying the strand to the main hammock string 4 inches down from the top.
Would you macrame your own hammock?
- For the third row, you are now working from the right hand side, measure off 10 inches.
- Thread it through the edging string and tie hammock knots all the way along at the middle of the 6 inch loops that have come down from the second row.
- Leave 6 inch gaps between knots in this row too.
- Continue in this way until you have finished 25 rows.
- Take the other piece of wood and thread the loose ends of the edging string from the worked end of the hammock through the first and last holes.
- Leave 7 inches free under the wood on both sides where two more rows of hammock knotting will be worked.
- The ends will hang 16 inches from the ring as before.
- Prepare the rest as you did at the other end.
- Then work row 27 first, in the same way as row 1 on to the knitting needles or dowel loops.
- Finish with row 26, attaching it with hammock knots, alternately to rows 25 and 27 and ending with a knot 4 inches down from the knitting needle loop.
- Remove the knitting needles or dowels.
Decorative Bead Fringe
- Cut 56 lengths of the fringe string, each 4 feet long. These will make the tassels, 28 for each side of the hammock.
- Mount each tassel to the edging string in line with the hammock knots with a reverse double half hitch shown in Figure 4.
- To tie this knot, make a loop in the string and place it with the loop hanging downwards, in from of the edging string.
- Take the two ends down behind the edging string and tuck them through the loop.
- This knot is also called the reverse lark's head knot, when it is used to mount or set on thread to a holding string.
- On the hammock edging string, the knot bearing strand of each should measure 9 inches.
- Work 30 half hitches to form a spiral on each tassel like shown in Figure 5.
- On the first and last tassels on each side, thread a bead and knot underneath, about 1 inch down.
- Pair off the remaining tassels by tying longer strings of each together in a loose hanging hammock knot.
- Thread a bead on each of the knot bearing cords and tie underneath, as before.
- Cut of ends to a uniform length and fray out like shown in Figure 6.
Bead Decoration at Each End of Hammock
- For the bead decoration at each end of the hammock take a 4 foot length of string for each.
- Attach it above the wood to the three end strings with a marling knot (see figure 7) and a collecting knot (see Figure 8)
- The first cord in the marling knot remains straight and dormant and the other is tied around it.
- Take the second cord under the first one, out in a loop, over the first cord, under itself in a loop, over the first cord and through the loop. As you can see from Figure 7, this knot is easier to tie than explain!
- In the collecting knot, one cord of a group is wrapped around all the others, pulled tightly and into a loop (see Figure 8 again).
- Thread the bead between these knots and work across each set of strings to the other side like in Figure 9.
Find a nice place to hang your hammock, grab a good book and enjoy!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.
Thanks for stopping by & Happy Crafting!
© 2013 Dawn