Master the art of net and hammock making

In the market for a practical new skill? Learning to make a sturdy, attractive hammock will teach you many of the basic netting knots. Once you've learned those, you can craft a sturdy string bag, make a net to cast for fish, and much more.

Master the art of net and hammock making

Make the net for the hammock bed

  • Use a gauge that is five centimetres (two inches) wide to control mesh size. It should be 15 centimetres (six inches) in length.
  • You'll need three one-kilogram (2.2 pound) cones of 30-ply butcher's twine or another strong, non-scratchy string. Large cones of twine are often available at office supply and stationery shops and are usually cheaper than smaller balls.
  • To give the hammock additional texture and strength, wind the needle with doubled strands of twine and use them as one when making the net.
  • Start the hammock by making a single loop. Move to the next row and increase to make two loops in that row. Increase at the end of every following row until the bed is a metre wide. Then start increasing at the end of one row and decreasing at the end of the next until the bed's longest side measures two metres (6 1/2 feet).
  • When one side of the hammock is two metres (6 1/2 feet) long, begin decreasing at the end of every row until only two loops remain. Tie these loops together and then clip off the excess twine.

Prepare clews to support the hammock

  • In order to hang the hammock, you'll need to make supports (called clews) for each end of the bed. For these clews you'll need 37 metres (121 feet) of additional twine, a pair of five centimetre (two inch) diameter solid metal rings, and two 25 x 75 x 750 millimetre (2 x 3 x 30 inch) boards.
  • Drill twelve one-centimetre (1/2 inch) diameter­ holes in each of the boards, beveling the edges of the holes so that they won't cut into the clew strings.
  • Place the board and ring 60 centimetres (24 inches) apart and secure them in place before you start threading. Thread with doubled twine.
  • Construct two clews, and then attach the bed. Skip a loop now and then when threading the bed to the clews so that the end result is evenly spaced.

There are few things more relaxing than lounging in a well-made hammock, and there are few things more satisfying than making one yourself. Jump start your summer relaxation by using this guide to craft a DIY hammock. All you'll need after that are some sunglasses and a good book.

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