Lazy afternoons in the hammock
April 11, 2010 Leave a comment
I just want to throw something wild out there. Did you know you can make your own hammock? Up until tonight, I thought they were some magical creation that can only be purchased at huge home improvement stores for no less than $100. I was wrong. According to this article, there are several different methods of making a hammock – crochet, macrame or even just plain sewing. There are many useful links to be found all over the internet.
The basic idea of all of the crochet patterns seems to be the same so far – chain 200 or so – this is the width of your finished hammock, so make it as wide as you think it should be. Remembered that yarn stretches. If you’re recycling rags or strips of fabric for this, check to make sure you’re happy with the width, as it won’t stretch quite as much as yarn will. Next, put in two rows of single crochet; then switch off to double crochets with anywhere between 3 and 5 chains between each stitch to give you a mesh. Do this until your hammock is the length you want it to be – make sure it’s about a foot or foot and a half longer than the tallest person who will be using it – and do two more rows of single crochet to finish it off. Keep the following in mind while reading my rambling explanations: There are real crochet patterns to be found in those links above, with correct technical terms and diagrams and everything. I can’t follow a pattern to save my life. So what I do instead is whittle the basic repeats and methods down to words I can actually understand and remember, which is why I’m explaining things in this kind of convoluted way. It makes sense to me, if it doesn’t to you don’t worry, you are the normal one – just go read the links. 🙂
To make a fabric hammock, you can take 3 yards of whichever fabric you choose as long as it’s at least 36″ wide. (It can be wider, that is up to you. The last paragraph talks more about this option.) Choose a relatively strong and durable fabric if you plan on using this for more than a day or two. If it’s just for a quick camping adventure or something, you could probably use an old sheet as long as it’s pretty much in one piece. Do a double fold hem on both long sides, then on the ends, making sure your hem is deep enough to allow a length of rope to be threaded through it. Or, if you prefer the most common hammock, make sure the hem is deep enough to thread a thick dowel or other piece of strong wood through it. After that, it’s a matter of tying either the rope you used or the dowel you used to the support system you have in mind – two trees, the corners of your walls, your ceiling, the back of your VW van – you get the drift. I’m more about making the hammock itself and letting the hubby figure out how to secure it. I plan on attempting this with a canvas dropcloth. Should be durable, strong, and hold up well, and can be painted or patchworked to match my yard. Good plan, right?
One last word on hammocks – the ones with stretchers, dowels or other supports that keep the hammock opened wide are the ones we are used to seeing. However, you don’t actually have to have anything like that in your hammock. You can go with the Mayan style instead – where there are no spreaders, causing the hammock to envelope you more snuggly and give you more privacy inside the hammock itself. If you choose this route, just keep in mind that the wider the fabric is that you choose to use, the less you will be able to see around you. It does cut out the view. Since we live in the middle of town and our hammock will be in our front yard, I’m not so concerned about seeing the view around us; if we were going to be at the ocean or next to a river or something, I would want to see as much as possible. So keep this in mind while you’re making your hammock plans.
Are you wondering why I’m researching hammocks? Well, this time, it is not just because I wanted to mess up my newly organized bookmark menu. It’s because I’m actually interested in making one. We recently began a yard project that won’t be fully complete until there’s a hammock of one sort or another out there to swing away in. Also, depending on the success or fail of this venture, there is a chance that DD will be sleeping in a hammock for a bit while we try to find her the perfect bedroom set. You can see that I have good reasons for wasting a whole post droning on and on about hammocks.
PS – did you know there’s something called hammock camping? I would have just called it, ‘sleeping in a hammock when you go camping,’ but apparently it is way cooler to say ‘hammock camping.’ After my recent eduction on glamping, which I have been doing my entire married life without even realizing it, nothing surprises me when it comes to the names people give things. I am kind of proud to say I glamp rather than camp. Maybe now I will be even more proud and I can say, “Oh, I glamp and I hammock camp, don’t you?!”