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Knot this!

How to Have Fun with Macrame

Submitter: Attached are scans of a 1974 macrame book that is still in circulation.  People do actually check it out.  I think because we have no up to date books on the subject.  The colors remind me of a pair of polyester pants I had when I was ten years old.  They had fish on them.  Oh, the colorful memories.

Holly: You have no up to date books on the subject because there aren’t any! This is cataloged as a children’s book.  Why on earth would a public library hang on to a craft book that is 36 years old?  If (and it’s a very big if…) macrame is making a come back, buy a new book on the topic.  The people in these drawings are wearing bell bottoms and smocks, for pete’s sake!

31 Responses to Knot this!

  • The cover makes me laugh because you can barely see the belt the boy is so excited about; instead, it looks like he’s unbuckling his pants!

    And what is happening on page 26? Why is she hiding her macrame from the boy while grabbing his arm? Is she about to whip him with it?

    • No, no! He’s trying on….a macrame VEST! Were 70’s guys really into wearing craft items from overachieving 70’s gals?

  • There’s a good reason why there are no updated macrame books; it was totally lame then and it is more totally lame now.

  • What’s wrong with bellbottoms? I think they’re awesome. I plan on having a pair made, in fact.

  • I actually like the smocks! Ah, the memories!

  • The 70’s were so groovy.

  • Is that chick in the orange and pink pregnant?

  • I don’t get it. What are you supposed to do with “macrame?” Wear it? Hang it on the wall? Those things the girls are holding look like some sort of curtain…or a stripper’s loin cloth.

  • I’ve definitely seen people in the East Village wearing outfits like those two girls on the table of contents pages…

  • Well, just to point out that bell bottoms (they call them “flares” now!) and smocks are actually back “in.” No excuse for the book, though.

  • There are quite a few newer titles on this subject, but they are now often titled with knotting or knot craft instead of macrame. It’s still a very popular subject in some areas.

  • Does anyone macrame during times of sanity? My mother macramed a lampshade, still in use at my parents’ house, in her last few weeks of being pregnant with twins 25 years ago.

    My father-in-law macramed a bunch of stuff while he was quitting smoking and needed to keep his hands busy.

    So I would recommend that libraries find some books on the therapeutic aspects of macrame!

  • Are there owls anywhere in this fine volume?

    Macramé Owls: the decorator’s default option for your family rec room, circa 1974.

  • What exactly is happening on page 26? Clearly some flirting over the ol’ macramé. It’s a natural gathering place for the young ‘uns.

    One can have a very nice conversation while making a hemp bracelet for one’s boy- or girlfriend, too. Life is good.

  • Alf said: “And what is happening on page 26? Why is she hiding her macrame from the boy while grabbing his arm? Is she about to whip him with it?”

    Soon, Mrs. Bennett’s entire class would be under her control – one injection at a time. Then, her plan for playground domination would be complete. For days, she had been working toward this moment – the moment when the two fastest runners in the class could be caught. Not long after she had sunk her tasseled needle into the harm of Maria Harris, the Field Day champion, she whirled to find Jimmy Marston’s arm fairly falling into her grasp. She savored the moment, smiling as Maria’s face took on the dreamy look of happiness that the drug always gave – at first. Maria already had her own needle – soon, the drug would drive her to inject others. And soon, Mr. Tackett’s class would be coming onto the playground. And Mrs. Bennett’s class would be ready.

    Jane smiled reassuringly at Jimmy – it’s just a game! He wouldn’t even see it coming. She shifted her grip on the tasseled edge of her instrument, preparing to slam the drug into his system. Then, he would be hers.

    That’d teach him to put frogs in her backpack.

    • Ummmm…

      I’m Maria Harris. As in, it’s on my birth certificate. And I just want to clarify that I have never done macramé or, uh, injected people with anything at all. Really!

  • But how do you expect one to buy a new book on macramé when you’ve pointed out that there aren’t any new books out? And really, despite the retro styles, how much has macramé really changed in the last 30 years?

  • Ahhh, macrame. Brings me back to when I was a student and working the reference desk and had someone come in looking for a book that had directions for making macrame pasties for his wife’s work…still my most memorable reference question! Doubt I would have found any in this book, however.

  • What’s macramé?

  • This might actually still be in my school library! That cover looks familiar. If we don’t have that one I know there are some from the same series! But we need more money to get new books!

    • We had it too–it’s part of a series. I finally saved $$ to update the collection!

  • Before XBOX and Internet, macrame was all we had to get us through the summers.

  • I am proud (?) to say I actually took Saturday morning macrame classes when I was a child in the 70’s, and still have a certificate of completion that I proudly own :-). Made lots of plant hangers, frogs, lions, owls, wall hangings, and a purse that I used for quite a while. I remember how rough the jute was that we usually used, and how the instructors hands were raw and red all the time.

  • But if, as the submitter said, people are checking it out. . . . It’s not like the health books where old info is going to hurt someone.

  • The boy on the cover looks like he’s about to take off his pants.

  • I just weeded this same book last year when I arrived at my library; it was part of a series but the other titles escape me know. I was pretty amused when I found it.

  • There are newer macrame books so it could be replaced. Very funny. Reminds me of a sewing book I own from the 70s that I haven’t yet parted with.

  • Replacing it with something cool like the Ashley book of knots would be nice.

  • I’m not sure what your problem is. People are checking the book out of the library—obviously they are still interested. Why would you weed a book out just because you personally find the cover art outdated? You shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a collection of books.

  • i would keep old craft books in the library. they might come back into style, or some people might need them for research, or some people may never have stopped loving it (i collect embroidery books.) if it’s totally safe, simple and recreational what’s the harm?

  • Having gone through the 70’s style macramé, I agree that it was indeed tacky at best, horrible at worst. However, before any of you cast macramé aside as a viable craft, I strongly suggest familiarizing yourself the new type of macramé called micro-macramé and the designs of Joan Babcock