Friday, November 20, 2009

Rope Reincarnation

Operation climbing gear renewal has commenced! Step 1: admit that my climbing ropes (purchased 10 and 8 years ago) have become a danger to myself and my climbing partners, and therefore must be retired. I don't mind buying a new rope so much, but the thought of these two good-looking ropes sitting in a landfill really bugs me. They haven't been used heavily in those years, but honestly I can't remember how much they have been used, and everything I've read says that time matters as much as use anyway.

So, the ropes are not going to the landfill, but they will no longer be climbed on, and I will NOT keep things that will never be used sitting around in closets. The 8-year-old rope is now a doormat. This 9.8mm, 60m rope was purchased because my 50m rope simply wasn't long enough for El Potrero Chico. Needless to say, this rope has enjoyed some great adventures. Perhaps it would prefer a more glorious retirement than being a doormat, but this way, I'll get to see it everyday.

Find some excellent instructions here. If you can tie a figure-8 follow-through, then you can turn your rope into a fancy doormat. (It takes more time than a figure-8 follow-through, but really it's only a wee bit more complex).

Here's my test piece. Don't ask me why I thought crochet thread would be easier to work with than climbing rope, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

This is how the whole thing gets started:
And the (mostly) finished product. I still need to fix the bottom so it doesn't fall apart when picked up and cut the long end off.

As a foot note, this whole exercise was also excellent training for the puppy to learn proper rope etiquette. She quickly learned to keep her teeth and paws off the rope, all in an environment where there's no climbing to be distracted from.

Now for the other rope... I was hoping to make a hammock, but I can't find easy enough instructions. Any suggestions?

UPDATE: New and improved photos. I brushed the bottom-side of the mat with contact cement to help it hold it's shape. It worked great. Now that I'm able to pick it up and carry it outside, I have better photos.


  1. wow, that's really cool! Here's a link I found:

    Also, maybe try googling "macrame hammock"

    Good luck!

  2. Great job! Glad my instructions helped. Could I have permission to post a photo of your rug at the end of the instructions?

    To fix the end, you can lash it in place with a matching cord or heavy thread (waxed or nylon thread work well)

    How many feet of rope did you need to make your rug the size it is?

  3. You're welcome to post a photo. I just added a few new photos with better lighting.

    The rug is 21" by 33". It used 190ft of rope. I would have made it bigger, but that's all my rope.

  4. You are such an inspiration. I totally love this. We, too, have old climbing ropes taking up space being used for nothing. Hmmm... crafter meets climber... I LOVE IT.

  5. That's fantastic! I have an old rope that I hardly ever used. I thought about selling it but even though it didn't get much use it's old and that worries me. I don't want it to fail on anyone! This looks like a great idea for its next life:)

  6. With it being nearly a year old, how is your mat holding up?

    also, when you say that you brushed the base of it with contact cement, did you coat the whole base or just the two ends?

  7. It's still holding up. It doesn't really show any wear yet, just dirty from being stepped on.

    I coated the whole base with contact cement, otherwise the whole thing would try to unravel when picking it up. Just fixing the two ends wouldn't stop the rest of the rope from shifting around.

  8. This is really cool. Have you ever woven a Hammock out of old rope?

  9. This was too awesome, I had to include this in my blog post today!

  10. I am a visual learner. Is there a "youtube" with the instructions.

  11. Question: When making this does it only create one size? I would like to create roughly 4'x9' rug using this concept. Is it possible using the same pattern?

    1. You can use the same pattern. The size depends on the thickness and length of rope. For a rug that size, you will probably need to follow-through many, many times and the knot will not be very tight so it will be difficult to pick up and move the rug.