Crochet Basket from Elefant Twist Macrame Cord

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I picked up a skein of Elefant Twist olefin fiber macrame cord (from the 1970s) at the thrift store in a bag of other crafting goodies.  It was dirty and it smelled bad.

I knocked together a little crocheted basket in less than an hour.  I melted the yarn ends to keep them from unraveling.  Then I tossed it in the washing machine.  No need to even drip dry – the spin cycle took care of all that.  It looks (and smells) nice and clean.

I guess this is why rug makers like olefin so much!

I’m going to try washing the rest of the skein in a mesh bag so that I don’t have to handle it when it’s so dirty.

DIY Replacement Hammock from a Bed Sheet

The kids got my husband a hammock last year for Father’s Day.  They bought it a rummage sale, and the guy who sold it to us said it had been sitting around in the garage for years.

Unfortunately, the years took their toll on the hammock, and the fabric ripped.  We decided to re-use the tree straps and hardware and make our own hammock out of an old sheet.

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You can see I need to learn to tie a decent knot!  In my defense, I did this in the rain when it was very cold outside.  I would not let anyone use this if it were any more than six inches off the ground!

You can see the nylon tree strap to the far right with a round ring.  The strap is nylon and the ring is steel.  Then we have a steel S hook attaching the poorly tied hammock.  The metal part protecting the rope is called a rope thimble.  We salvaged it from our old, torn hammock.  It reminds me of a french wire for jewelry making.  Same concept, much heavier!

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Here’s the sewing part.  I’ve been sewing for 40 years, and so I’m afraid I have no excuse for how this turned out!  I used bonded nylon thread and I sewed the casing twice on each end of the sheet.  It was a very fancy satin sheet a few years ago.  But somehow, the hem was kind of crooked.  I followed along the existing hem when I made the casing, and then I couldn’t figure out why it was so crooked.  Duh, Maria!  I’m afraid it’s not the best looking hammock in town.

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Ahhhhh!  Here’s the important part!  My son likes to lie face down on the hammock.  For some reason, the pressure around his belly calms him and helps him feel better when he starts to feel upset.  Obviously, we need to supervise closely to make sure he can breathe OK.  Fortunately for us, he never holds a position for long.  He’s one of those kids that is always moving, moving, moving.

Now that the kiddos are back in school, I can take a few minutes and read up on how to tie a hammock properly, and then we’ll be set.  Hmm, I wonder if anyone will give their father a turn in his hammock!

Don’t worry, this is not what it appears to be!


No really, don’t panic.  My son had an appointment and I was waiting in the car.  Check the speedometer:


Luckily, I had a little portable craft kit along for the ride.

Maybe a portable vacuum cleaner would have been a more efficient choice.  But no battery-operated machine has the power required to clean out MY messy van!  (Plus, this is more fun.  Shh.)

I used some hemp cord and wooden beads and got re-acquainted with macrame.  It’s been a long time, but I guess it’s one of those things like riding a bike.

Here’s my secret beading shortcut:


I use dental floss threaders to slide beads onto hemp or other easily-frayed materials.


It’s almost like a needle, but the eye is huge, and the floss threader is thinner than most needles.

You can buy floss threaders at just about any store that sells dental floss.  They’re pretty cheap, and you can carry them in your purse without worrying that you’ll stab yourself looking for a tissue.  Or a bandage, if you’re into irony.


Sorry for the messy photo.  It’s hard to blog while driving.  Or pretending to blog while driving.  Maybe I should say “blogging while pretending to drive.”  Yes, that’s better.  🙂

Once I got home safely (no deadly crashes, no traffic tickets, maybe a few funny looks but I get so many of those I hardly notice) I took a more normal photo.  Here’s the finished ankle bracelet:


Thanks for stopping by!  Maria