You might have a stash left over from a previous decor project, or just picked it up on impulse in the store, but can you crochet with macrame cord? Yes! Macramé cord has advantages over traditional yarns for a variety of projects. It is especially good for crocheting durable, functional items, such as dishcloths, baskets, and even floor mats. But there are some things to consider before you get started. So before you pick up your hook, take a look at these tips.
- Can you crochet with macrame cord?
- Why macramé cord lends itself to crochet
- Is using macramé cord a good idea for a beginner crocheter?
- Types of macramé cord, and how to choose between them
- Choosing your hook
- Are there any downsides?
Can You Crochet With Macrame Cord?
One of the wonderful things about crochet is that it really lends itself to experimenting with different materials. In truth, you can crochet with just about anything that bears a passing resemblance to yarn. I’ve seen cute storage baskets crocheted from old t-shirts, jewelry crocheted from wire, and even totes crocheted from old plastic shopping bags! So yes, you can crochet with macramé cord, you just need a big enough hook, and a suitable project. In fact, there are several advantages to crocheting with heavy cords rather than traditional yarns.
Why Macramé Cord is a Good Choice for Crochet
- It’s durable. It is ideal for functional crochet projects, such as foot stools, storage baskets, and even mats and rugs.
- It doesn’t stretch as much as yarn. So it will sag less when used for projects like bags.
- It comes in a huge variety of colors and thicknesses, as well as both natural and synthetic fibers.
- Crocheting with macramé cord might also be really helpful for the beginners, as we’ll see in the next section.
Is Crocheting With Macramé Cord Suitable For Beginners?
Definitely, yes! Macramé cord is very easy to manipulate and control, making it a perfect textile to use while you master the basic crochet techniques. This is especially true of synthetic cords, which are uniformly smooth and easy to move on and off the hook. Other benefits include being able to see your work and the parts of each stitch clearly. A common problem with learning to crochet is understanding which stitch is what. Crocheting with cord creates easy-to-see stitches.
Last but not least, it’s next to impossible to accidently put your hook through the macramé cord itself, unlike some plied yarns.
Types of Macramé Cord
Macramé fans will tell you that you can make a beautiful artefact with anything you can tie a knot in. But cord sold in stores for macramés usually falls into one of the following varieties:
- Synthetic cords, ideal for projects destined to be used outdoors, such as cushion covers, patio rugs, table mats.
- Cotton cords, which have a smooth, processed finish, making them a sophisticated choice for indoor projects such as plant pot covers, table runners or decorative wall hangings.
- Hemp cords, which have a more rustic finish, and look good both indoors and out.
Choosing a macramé cord for crocheting with
When choosing what kind of macramé cord to use, consider:
- What are you going to use the finished item for?
- Does it need to be waterproof?
- Does it need to be washable?
- Which crochet stitches do you need to be able to work?
It’s important to consider the thickness of the cord, as well as yardage. If you’re following someone else’s pattern, it’s a good idea to try and choose a cord roughly the same diameter as the yarn they recommend. And it’s wise to do a test swatch first, to make sure the gauge matches.
Can You Crochet With Macrame Cord Using a Regular Crochet Hook?
You sure can, but it will need to be a big one! One advantage of using macramé cord for crochet, is that you’ll use a larger hook, and the finished item will work up fast. This is very satisfying! Most projects won’t specify what needle size to use with macramé cord, so you might need to experiment with a couple of hook sizes, and decide which one gives the results you prefer. If you’re using a natural fiber macramé cord, it’s a good idea to choose a hook with a textured silicon handle, to give you a good grip.
If you are unaccustomed to using really large hooks, it may take some getting used to. What I have noticed is I have to pay more attention to where I am putting the head of the hook, since working with extra-large stitches does not feel the same to me. The handle of the hook is also easier to hold because it has a larger girth. Large hook crochet doesn’t require so much fine motor movement – advantageous to the older, avid crocheter.
Other useful things to have are:
- Big, strong scissors
- Thread to secure the ends of your work firmly
- Large stitch markers – single binder rings come in a variety of sizes and work nicely
No Big Hooks? No Problem!
If you’ve got a modest quantity of macramé cord to use up, but no big hooks, don’t worry. That amount of cord wouldn’t have gone far anyway, and it’s not worth spending money on a new hook, if it negates the thriftiness of using up leftover craft supplies.
Try looking up patterns for crocheting around cord instead. These use yarn and smaller hooks to create things like rope baskets and mats. It’s a little tricker to master, but a great way to experiment – you’ve got nothing to lose but a bit of old rope!
Are There Any Downsides of Crocheting With Macramé Cord?
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of the potential for macramé cord in crochet projects. But nothing is perfect, so I think I owe you an honest list of the drawbacks too:
- Most projects aren’t written for macramé cord. This means you’ll need to work out the right needle size and check the tension before you start.
- Not all crochet stitches look equally good in macramé cord. Cord is great for projects with simple flat stitches, but tends to look bulky and awkward when used for decorative three-dimensional stitches.
- The friction! Crocheting with cotton, hemp or jute cords can be tough going. The fibers are tougher than traditional yarns, and pulling the hook through your work with the cord on it can be tough work.
Can You Crochet With Macrame Cord? Summary
The answer to this question is a definite ‘yes’ from me! Choosing to crochet with macramé cord could be the boost you need to try something completely different with your craft. Macramé cord works up more quickly than regular crochet yarns and creates unique projects (often great for the outdoors), with lots of texture. It can be a good choice for beginners to learn crochet with, as the smooth nature of the cord makes it really easy to work with, as well as great visibility of the stitches.
Have You Crocheted Something From Macramé Cord?
Tell us what in the comments box down below!