Yesterday when I was finishing up a halter commission, I thought it would be fun to give you a kind of “sneak peek” how I make macrame halters. This is not a tutorial (although I do intend to make one about macrame halters one day), but it does explain some basic stuff I do when I’m macrame-ing 🙂
I started out with some black embroidery thread and some clear beads. For this halter I only used the so-called square knot of macrame. I also use this knot to secure beads into the pattern. When I start a halter, I always knot a short length with just the square knot – that will be the bit that holds the jumprings for the noseband (of nose chain). Only after I’ve done that, I start knotting in beads.
Short length of knots before beading starts
As you might have noticed, I like to attach the thread to a large needle, and tape that to the table. You can also pin the tread on a board.
Next I’ll show you how I add in beads:
I have 3 strands: 2 very long ones that I use to make knots with, and 1 thick shorter strand to add beads on. I take a bead and thread it onto the thick strand.
Then I slide the bead all the way up to where it is supposed to go. Notice that the long strands on the side are not used yet.
I then take the longer strands and make the first half of a square knot around the bead. I pull the knot tight against the bead and do the other half of the square knot.
Here is the knot pulled tight.
I then continue on to knot until I reach the bit that goes over the top of the horse’s head (the crown piece if you like). I generally leave that unbeaded. When I reach the other side of the horse’s head I continue beading until the strap is symmetrical. Later I add the jumprings that will hold the noseband and the chain that goes under the chin.
So, this is a small insight into making macrame halters. If you’d like to learn some macrame knots, this website is a great help!
So I’ve been back from Scotland for a few days, and I have done nothing but making tassels for my first costume and a couple of presentation sets. While I was making the 873th tassel or so, it occurred to me that my way of wrapping tassels might be different from how other tack makers wrap theirs. I know there are many good tutorials out there on how to make tassels, like the one by Jennifer Wilson on Model Horse Blab. But wanted to show you how I make my tassels, in case it’s helpful to understand the process. So here is a mini tutorial on how to wrap tassels using my technique.
I start by cutting a length of string in the same colour (or a colour close to) as my tassels will be. I then cut bits of floss a little longer than twice the length I want the tassel to be. (You can also make tassels from silk or sewing thread, but since these will have microbeads on them I use floss because they stick better to that).
Next I place the floss in the middle of the thread, and double-knot it.
Then I cut a length of the thread that will wrap around the tassel – in this case bordeaux red. I then make a loop with the red thread as shown in the picture.
When the loop is securely around the tassel, I pull on both ends and knot it again. Make sure that the short bit of red thread is pointing in the direction of the blue thread, and the long bit down towards the tassel!
I then wrap the long end of the red thread around the tassel (about 5 times), making sure that the short end of the red thread is underneath the ‘wrappings’.
Next I thread the long end through a small needle and push the needle underneath the wrapped bit as seen in the photo.
I pull the needle through and give both ends of the red thread a tug to tighten the wrapped bit.
Then just trim off the excess red thread on both sides and you’re done!
This method creates nice, durable tassels, and you can’t see any knots! I hope this was helpful to some of you 🙂