Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Book on Micro Macrame by Annika deGroot

One of the wonder the internet is the open flow of communication. I found out about this book through questions received by email from customers about the Tuff Bead Cord especially the Size 3. I ordered the book, and found to my surprise my online store listed in the resource page.

"Micro-Macramé 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords' is a paperback book, written by Annika deGroot, published by St. Martin Griffin. The 144 pages are 10.8 by 8.5 inches. It is in full color throughout.

The book has 30 projects to choose from, a page on beads, a section of cords, tools and a creative way to make a padded knotting board. Many Europeans, for example, prefer working with hard pillows similar to the ones used for bobbin lace rather than traditional macrame boards. I use an easel as I prefer to work vertically to save myself from back and neck pain. Annika de Groot also has a section on setting a cabochon by gluing it to a piece of ultrasuede and stitching beads around it. The photos used in the knot section are clear, most of the basic knots are shown with some naming variation such as calling the standard square knot a flat knot. A flat knot as far as I know is a square knot without its central cords or inner cords. Terminology is not very consistent in the world of knots, as different traditions mingle. In addition it has a tip section, a resource page and an index. Several of the resources listed are wholesale only.

The 30 beaded designs include good projects for beginners at micro macrame in the macrame lace tradition, with lots of loose thread between the knots filled with seed beads and crystal bead such as Swarovski. The list of materials for each project names the actual colors and brand names of the cord. Many ask for Tuff Bead Cord in size 3 and 5. Two ask for C-Lon Bead Cord, 4 Conso and 2 Stringth, a sub-name of the Tuff Bead Cord packaged by Rio Grande. Colors and brand name of course can be easily changed as all Nylon #18 and C-lon Bead Cord can be used for any of the projects other than those requiring Tuff Bead Cord Size 3, a different thread diameter.

Many of the designs in Annika's book have a vintage feel reminiscent of the Victorian era, similar in style to Marie Le Sueur's book. Both books are focused on macrame lace, Marie Le Sueur's is in French, a big disadvantage for anyone not well versed in 'la belle langue'. See April 2008 post on Marie's book. The advantage of macrame lace, with its many beads is the speed at which many of the designs can be done, but of course speed is a relative notion. For beginners, knots can be challenging, but of course one must start somewhere. Whereas for professionals like myself or 'power knotters' a term coined I believe by Kris Buchanan, knots seem just like keys on a piano to a concert pianist.

Most projects seem self-evident by just looking at the step by step pictures, at least for me, but please understand that I have not actually done any of the projects nor carefully read any of the instructions.

Visit Annika's website and see if this is a style of micro macrame you want to explore. She has a free download of one of the design in the book, a great feature before buying the book. Then if so inclined, you can buy it right on her site.

Annika's website:

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