Step-by-step instruction and scheme
This Butterfly makes a beautiful unique brooch or can be used as a home decor piece.
You will need 10 cords 1,5-2 meters (5 feet) long, or around 17-20 yards of cord total. I used thin satin thread (1 mm). Waxed polyester or cotton cord will hold the shape of the finished item even better, but it is harder to work with, IMHO..
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Creating Butterfly’s head
1. Double 2 threads and attach them to a cushion. Make 2 Chain braids, consisting of 25 Loop knots – it will be the Butterfly’s “antennas”. Then put all 4 threads together and make 7 Square Knots. Then create a “Berry” pattern on the braid - this will be the Butterfly's "head".
2. Separate your 4 threads again into 2 parts, and make 8-10 Loop Knots on both sides of the “head”. The braids will begin to spiral naturally, try to keep them straight, and then curve the braids, creating two Butterfly’s “eyes”, and tie a knot to the Berry pattern/"head". Fix the "eyes" to the cushion with pins. To finish the Butterfly's head, again separate 4 threads into two parts and make 4-5 Loop knots on each side. Join all threads with a Square knot. Put the “head” aside for now.
Making Butterfly’s wings
1. We will create our Butterfly’s wings “upside down”, starting with it’s smaller wings. Double two threads and attach them to the cushion close to each other. Make 3 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots with any pair of those threads, and then mount on them 3 new doubled cords with the Lark’s head knots, with two Loop knots added on both sides. You will have 8 ends on each side.
2. Take a top thread and, using it as a base, make a Diagonal Hitch.
3. Then take the second thread from top and with the first thread tie on it 3 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots – it will be an outer edge of the Butterfly’s “wing”.
4. Repeat the 2nd and 3rd steps twice, and then make one more Hitch.
5. Take the edge thread and, using the other 4 threads as a base, tie 5 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots. It will curve naturally, creating a half-circle, that will connect forewings and hindwings of our butterfly. Attach it to a cushion with a pin.
6. Make a Horizontal Hitch on 4 base threads of the half-circle, at first using the three threads from the previous Hitch, then continue with the Clear Edge Method (keep adding threads to the base).
7. When there will be only one thread left, make on it two Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots. It will be the outer edge of the wing. Fix the end with pin.
8. Now we start with creating the bigger pair of wings of our Butterfly. Continue making Hitches, starting from the half-circle. In order to widen the wing, in the second Hitch make 2 Double Half Hitches with each thread, and then make 3 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots (the wing’s outer edge). For the 3rd Hitch, tie 3 Double Half Hitches and 4 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots accordingly, for the 4th – 4 and 5, for the 5th - 5 and 6.
9. Finally, create a long central “axis” of the wing with a Spiral braid. Using the base thread from the last sennit of the Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots, make on it Loop knots, periodically adding threads to the base (the Clear Edge Method).
Repeat steps 1-9 to create the second wing. Periodically compare it with the first wing and make sure the look the same.
Creating Butterfly’s Body
1. When the central “axis” will reach the half-circle, separate the 3 shortest threads and hide them under the wing (later we will use them to attach our Butterfly to some surface).
2. Take one of the other 5 threads and weave it around the half-circle. Then take your finished Butterfly's head, and using the thread as a base, create a Hitch with all the threads you have left and plus two threads from the head.
3. Make 4 more rows of Hitches, every time weaving the base thread around the half-circle.
Then continue making Hitches, pointing the base thread to the center of the Butterfly’s body. In each row leave one outmost thread out. Now take the top outmost thread, and using it as a base cord, make on it Double Half Hitches with each of the cords that you left out. Create the second and even the third row of the Diagonal Hitches if you want the Butterfly's body to be more pointy.
4. Repeat 1-3 steps to attach the second wing to the head and make another side of the Butterfly’s body.
5. Turn the Butterfly on its underside. With the 6 threads, that were left out in step 1, make a Berry pattern. You can use it to attach the Butterfly to any surface (as an option – just cut the threads off). Point the side cords (those that were left out on the sides) to the center and make on them several Square knots.
Similiar pattern is used in the Macrame Bat project (the Body part).
Cut off the remaining threads and hide the ends on underside. You can secure them with some clear glue, also, synthetic threads can be burned off with a lighter.
Your Macrame Butterfly is ready now!
Use your imagination – and you will create different types of Macrame Butterflies. For example, use Frivolite with Picot, instead of simple Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots for wing’s outer edges, or use Hitches instead of the Spiral Braid in Butterfly's central axis of the wings (the Blue Butterfly). Good luck and have fun!
The pattern and some of the images used for this project are courtesy of Anna Krauze, "Macrame", 1987, Uzbekistan.