Monday 30 April 2012

Monday Makery - Macrame Bangles - Supporting the Olympics

We've been thinking about what we could make for the Olympics prompted by a request from @RedTedArt (or who we call the master-of-crafts-Maggy - you must visit her website for a host of inspiring crafts). So, I printed off a picture of the iconic Olympic rings and explained to the girls the meaning behind the symbolism.

The Olympic games are held every four years and each time a different country will play host to all the athletes, their families and all the spectators who come to cheer them along. Each of the five interlaced rings on the Olympic logo represent a continent from which athletes come to compete in the games.

The five colours, blue, black, red, yellow and green represent a colour found in each of the countries taking part, united in Olympism. We talked about the hendiatris (the motto) Citius, Altius, Fortius, or for those non-Latin speaking Faster, Higher, Stronger' . Though I think we prefer the more informal but equally known version 'The most important thing is not to win but to take part'.

We wanted to make something that would show our support of the all the Olympic athletes taking part and also something that would be a lasting memory of the event. Something we could wear with pride as our home country hosts this years games.

As we looked at the rings Sophia suggested we make bracelets. One for each colour, matching the symbolism of the five rings.
So this is what we've been making; Olympic macrame bangles. We can wear them all summer long and always have something by which we can remember the year the games came to London. Summer 2012, a summer to celebrate together peacefully (though very excitedly) in the mutual enjoyment of worldwide sport. 

Macrame is a very simple form of textile making. Rather than weaving (like the rag rugs we made), or knitting which I've yet to learn myself, macrame is the craft of knotting and creating patterns with the knots. We use it here in its simplest form to turn un-loved bangles into much loved brighter ones.
It's as simple as over, under and through. which is what the girls kept saying as they knotted each one.

Here's what you'll need:
  • old / un-loved / unworn bangles - the thickness doesn't matter nor the colour or texture for that matter.
  • Wool/ string / embroidery thread
  • scissors

Here's how:
  1. Take one bangle and two lengths of wool. We cut 2 strands measuring 140cm each but this will depend on the thickness and size of your bangle as well as the thickness of your wool. 
  2. Fix the strands of wool to your bangle by tying a knot. 
  3. Now, this bit is harder to explain in words than it is to actually do. So, take one of the strands of wool, and move the other out of the way. You're simply going to make a loop up and over the top side bangle and then feed then end of the wool through and then repeat so you have a double loop and knot, and then pull.
  4. Now take the other strand of wool which will then lie across your first, This time you'll make a loop under the bangle over and through, repeating as before and then pull.
  5. Then for the 1st strand again, from the top, 'up, over and through, up over and through'. You'll notice that the first strand runs along the upper edge and the second runs along the bottom and if you've chosen two colours for your wool as with the first pictures above with our blue bangle, you'll see there is a a U shaped pattern beginning where the colours interlock and weave around eachother. You'll soon get in the flow of it. 'Up, over and through, up over and through' Switch. 'down over and through, down over and through', alternating between your two strands.
  6. When you've completed your circle. Tie a knot using both your strands together to the edge of teh bangle.. trying to make it sit on the inside of the ring. Then cut the ends and voila! Your first Olympic ring.
We experiemneted with different thickness's of wool and though the thinner wool and embroidery thread gave a smooth and more polished appearance to each of the bangle, the girls found it much easier to work with the thicker wool. Not only was it easier to feed through and make the knots it also gave a quicker result.

The girls love their bangles and the softness of the wool is beautiful. Now the girls are enjoying wearing them, their new found love of macrame and they're ready with their Olympic bangles to raise their arms and cheer for everyone!
Of course you don't need to make Olympic colours and you can mix and match as many different colours as you like, perhaps using more than two strands! Whatever your reason and colours you chose this a beautiful first macrame craft for children.

Happy Making

This is part of our weekly Monday Makery where we bring you a recipe to bake or a craft to create. Visit our Monday Makery when you're in need of inspiration for something to do on a rainy day or to use as interception of the words 'I'm bored', or just because being creative with your children is something you all love to do.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild.

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  1. Oh my word!!!

    This is fabulous, you are SO clever. x

  2. Ooooh these are LOVELY!!! What a nice craft idea for the Olympics. I think I will have a go.. great for wool scraps.


  3. Nice articles and your informatin valuable and good artices thank for the sharing information Bangles

  4. Nice article! Love this type of Jewelry!
    Currently working with GS Diamonds Engagement rings
    Also writing my own engagement rings and diamond rings blog about diamonds and diamond rings