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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crocheted Necklaces

As I passed the magazine section at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, I stopped by the magazines section to find writing and crocheting magazines. I love to crochet, but I make mostly afghans and scarves. Over the years I've made afghans for my parents, my sisters, my children, all of my grandchildren, and others.

While I was standing in the magazine aisle, I searched through all the crochet magazines to locate one that included instructions on how to make crocheted necklaces. Barnes and Noble had one magazine with one crocheted necklace that was similar in style to the one I wanted to create, but it wasn't exactly what I had pictured.

And then I encountered some problems –

Problem number one: I didn't have a clue about how to make a crocheted necklace, and I didn't want to buy the whole magazine for instructions on how to make the crocheted necklace pictured in the magazine. I wanted my crocheted necklace to be a choker type necklace with beads dangling in  front.

Problem number two: How do I attach beads to a crochet project? I had never used beads before.

Problem number three: What size crochet hook do I need? I have about 20 different crochet hooks, but I didn't have one the size my grandmother used for making her doilies.

(I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble if only I had read Marie Anne St. Jean's blog, Crochet Jewelry, but I figured it out, and now I have her link for future reference.)

And now for the solutions – 

Solution number one: I measured my neck, and created a chain that was long enough to fit around it. I then placed markers (I use baby hair clips) at the spots where I wanted to designate the drop part of the necklace. I had to figure out how to attach a clasp, so I crocheted a chain to hook on a clasp.

Solution number two: I learned how to attach beads. You have to string them onto the thread before you begin – not always easy if you plan to use different beads, because you have to attach them in the order in which you will use them.

Solution number three: I purchased a 4/2.00 mm crochet hook, a ball of cranberry thread, beads, clasps, and earring hooks, created my own design,  and through a series of mishaps, finally came up with the crocheted necklace you see above.

I still have to attach a clasp to the crocheted necklace and I want to figure out how to make matching earrings, so this crocheted necklace with its matching earrings is a work in progress.

While I considered making my own beads, I was eager to begin this project, so I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby (another favorite store of mine). You can learn how to Make Your Own Beads from Household Items (a Marie Anne St. Jean article) if you want. Just click the link and you'll learn how.

My biggest problem crocheting a necklace? 

Holding onto that microscopic crochet hook. I don't know how my grandmother mastered it, but I plan on practicing until I get it right, because I'm already getting requests for more crocheted necklaces.

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