Tag Archive: Macrame

More Fun With Cords!

I snagged a co-axial cable out of the trash last week and over the course of two lunches I wove myself up a small Thump Mat.

Sorry about picture quality. I used my phone.

It’s about the worst coaster you’d ever hope to have, since it’s lumpy, slippery, non-porous, and the middle is much higher than the edges. But it works well enough to hold my coffee mug. Plus, you can’t beat the geek-accent it gives my desk.

See! The coffee mug sorta fits onto it.

The interesting thing about working with electrical cord is that the outer sheath of cords has a high friction against itself when put under even light pressure. That means that, even though the knots themselves aren’t super tight, the cord itself holds the knot together by the huge amount of friction between all the windings of the cord. That property also makes it pretty hard to work with as tightening down all the loops requires a lot of force and, often enough, a set of pliers.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

Monkey Fist

Since I’ve been getting into macrame one of the cooler knots I’ve been doing is the Monkey Fist. I enjoy doing this knot because it’s a simple way to do a decorative cord end. You can throw together a half-decent monkey fist in a few minutes, so it’s not a big undertaking like some of the Celtic knots that are pretty popular.

At work we throw away a lot of computer cables. Power cords, VGA cables, USB connectors, etc. Whenever we buy a new computer or monitor, it comes with more cords than it needs, and whenever we pull out and scrap a computer or monitor we generally replace the cords with fresh. It’s always felt wasteful to me, but it’s policy and in a patient care environmental having a system down because you didn’t want to use fresh cables is unacceptable.

I was eating lunch the other day and looking at my giant box of cables. Being the pack rat that I am I have trouble letting go of good cables, especially when they’re new but unneeded for the current job. After staring at the huge pile of power cables I’d amassed, I decided to try something:

Boom! Looped Monkey Fist!

More than any other cord, we throw 120v standard power cords away. So, I decided to recycle one. I cut off both ends and threw those away (sadly I couldn’t think of a good way to keep them as part of the project… maybe next time). I used the small length of wire to tie the monkey fist and then dropped a loop from it to make a kind of giant pull fob. Not sure what I’m going to use it for just yet, but if nothing else I can use it as a kind of geeky decoration for my workbench. Indeed it’s currently hanging right next to my Perler Bead Bionic Commando and bit of chain-mail I made with a box of key rings I found in the dumpster.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

Oh great, ANOTHER craft.

So, as a person who collects craft skills rather than sticking with a single craft, I’m about to pick up another one.

So what craft skills do I currently have? Well lets see here:

  • Crochet
  • Perler Bead Work
  • Basket Weaving
  • Pine Needle Basket Weaving (different enough from standard basket weaving that I count it separately)
  • Cross Stitch
  • Wood Working
  • Sewing (rudimentary at best, but I can put a piece of clothing together or fix something)
  • Electric circuit design and building
  • Origami
  • Plaster Block building
  • Bread Baking (baking is complex enough that I count it as a craft)
  • And a general craftiness that can manifest any time I want to build “something.”
  • I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few that I’ve picked up, played with for a few days, and got bored with.

There are also many crafts that I’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t yet had the opportunity for various reasons, such as gourd work, wood carving, clay turning, and knife forging. I’m almost always up to try a new craft, or revisiting an old one for a new project. So what am I about to do now, you might ask? If you looked at my tags, you probably already know.

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