"What In the Macrame Is it?": Crafting Catastrophes of the 70s

Ah, macrame: the knotwork craft that hatched a million decorative owls. Join me today as we view the harvest-colored horrors that take macrame to the most muddled max.

So, say hi to Judy. It’s 1977 and our fresh-faced Judy has a youthful air of optimism about her. And just why is this? Because Judy knows her path is entwined with the glory of macrame stardom. Why, Judy is lead designer of at least THREE macrame books which you see here...

But, as any proper VH1 “Behind The Music” special will tell you, with the rise to fame also comes the fall. And when one falls from the peak of macrame success, you can only HOPE you’ve got your knots tied tightly.

So-- “What in the Macrame Is It?”...

Once again, it’s one of those titles that pretty much speaks for itself.

The title is further reinforced by THIS, the first project in the book...

I give you... The Bird Cage Lamp.

Now think about this. You have a pendant lamp, with a globe shade, but it just seems to be missing that special something. So what do you do?

Why, you entrap it entirely in a dense netting of flammable fibrous material! The thrilling element of danger provided by the possibility of spontaneous combustion is equalled only by the mind-expanding challenge of changing the lightbulb inside!

This is the macrame lamp that could keep you entertained for HOURS. If solely to figure how to remove the bulb.

How many macrame artists does it take to change a lightbulb? Here’s the PERFECT chance to FIND OUT!

Now what if you’re looking for a macrame project with all the class of a high-end antique?

Well, how about the “Tiffany Table”?

What’s that you say?... it ‘looks like a HOT AIR BALLOON’?

Well, perhaps you just don’t recognize timeless taste and classic style when you see it! Because this is a PRECISE replica of a Dale Tiffany lamp and...

...You don’t recall Tiffany lamps having glass tabletops dangling from them?

Or holding potted plants?

Or being made of string instead of quality stained glass leaded together by artisans?

Well, perhaps it’s best we move onto another project, then. Something that’s more to your liking.

So here I bestow upon you... “Happiness”!

Bet ya didn’t know Happiness involved orange macrame, did you?...

It’s a little-known fact.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it appears that the keys to Happiness include:

--A harvest-colored bow

--Tassels, tassels, tassels

--And some dusty dried flowers shoved into a macramed pocket!

If this is Happiness, I’d hate to see what Deep Depression looks like.

Or at the very least, it makes a person question the human race’s age old pursuit of it.

Okay-- moving on.

Are those sleigh bells I hear? I do believe so! And when we hear sleigh bells, what instantly springs to mind, dear friends?

Why, owls of course! The harvest-colored yarn owls that pull Santa’s sleigh!

Can’t you hear Santa calling now?...

“On Woodsy! On Hedwig! On... er... That-Owl-With-The-Tootsie-Roll-Pop!...”

And here comes Santa Claus!

Leaping out of the sleigh, this Santa slides easily down the chimney due to some sort of macrame-induced anorexia.

Oh, sure, Santa HAS lost SOME weight...

Some significant weight...

Okay, so he looks like Billy Crystal in a beard.

But the 70s took its toll on even the best of ‘em.

Just look at Judy.

In this book, “Twas the Knot Before Christmas,” Judy has swapped her earlier bouffant and hoop earrings in order to pursue her dream of becoming a John Denver impersonator.

But there’s a dark side to John Denver impersonation.

And macrame.

And the next project might just explain why. Yes, you read that right...

The item on the far left of that photograph is the “Weed Pouch.” In fact, it’s a “Double Weed Pouch.”

The makers of the book seem to have demonstrated it with wild flowers in it. But who are we kidding? Only the combination of macrame and narcotics could possibly explain the desire to conveniently store your wooden kitchen utensils in something fibrous and linty.

This is from “Variety: The Spice of Macrame” (no, I really COULDN’T have made up these names) and in this last book, I think we really start to see what happens when the career in John Denver impersonating falls through, and all Judy has is owls... owls... owls.

Doesn’t her smile look a little strained?

And oh, are there OWLS!

Yep, “Three-Way Owls.” Variety (the Spice of Macrame) is in being able to make your owl hanging THREE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WAYS--

On a hoop!...

On a stick!...

Or, on... er... another stick!

(Oh, but the eyes are different aren’t they? The eyes? A little?)

Well, sorry to tie you up so long today in the Wide World of Macrame. I hope that was knot a problem. :)

See you next week, when we go Florida Thrifting!


RecycleCindy said...

Oh yes the 70s and Macrame. I'm here to say -- yes I made some of those things and thought they were cool but those were the 70s. Thanks for the humorous walk down knotting memory lane...


ThriftShopRomantic said...

You bet, Cindy-- Thanks for the note! Given what you can do with something as simple as plastic bags, I imagine your macrame was pretty amazing!

knottyandnyce said...

Loved your post. Still laughing about the "double weed pouch". Really? I'm a macramé-er myself preferring to work on fine wrapped gemstone jewelry as opposed to flammable lightshades :)