Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nutty for Acorns - Crocheted Acorn Jewelry, That Is

Some of you may have seen my post last autumn when I used some acorn caps I found in my neighborhood to create some pretty unique earrings.  This year, I am already finding acorn caps, as I go out for my daily walk with the pugs.  Maybe its the very cool nights we've been having (it actually went down into the 40s earlier this week), but some hints of autumn are already beginning to insinuate themselves into the landscape.  Our ash tree (we've been able to save it from the Emerald Ash Borer that decimated the ash population in our area) is even beginning to show a few yellow leaves.

Anyway, I decided, once again, to try using acorn caps in my jewelry creations.  This year, I created necklaces and earrings that incorporate the acorn itself, rather than using the cap to create some other form as I did last year.  This time, I crocheted little acorn nuts to take the place of the natural nut, and then secured them into the caps using an adhesive (E6000).  I painted the caps with a metallic acrylic paint, and secured a small gold bead cap with a loop on it at the stem area to use as a means of attaching the acorns to earrings and necklaces.

Here are some photos of what I've come up with so far.

On this pair of earrings, I used a light copper color cord and  pumpkin-colored metallic thread.

I used an extra large acorn cap that I found to make this necklace, which matches well with the earrings above. I added a very thin, bronze metallic thread to the mix in crocheting the acorn.  The necklace was crocheted using gold thread and copper metallic thread, embellished with seed beads.

You can get a bit better view of the chain stitches in this shot.

These acorns were crocheted with olive green cord and another shade of green thread with the barest hint of metallic gold in it.

This pair of acorns I crocheted using brown, permanently-colored, copper wire.

I found a stem with two caps jutting out from it at angles!  I used this one to make a necklace.  It matches quite well with the brown wire earrings (above), but the acorns were crocheted using mahogany cord and gold metallic thread.

I used gold plated chain, coffee-colored cotton cord  and the mahogany nylon cord embellished with  beads, and an antique gold-plated leaf toggle clasp to complete the necklace.
As you can see, for one pair of earrings, I used wire (30 gauge).  Quite frankly, this was difficult to do! Crocheting stitches this small and this tight, and getting the stitches to retain their shape as you try to go into them on the next round is hard on the eyes and the fingers.  I preferred working with the nylon cord (I like C-Lon Beading Cord or C-Lon Tex 135 Cord) /metallic thread combination that I used on the others.  The nylon cord is stiff enough and the stitches small and tight enough, that the acorns retain their shape very well.

Here is a very general pattern for making the crocheted acorns -- but you will need to tweak it depending on the size of your acorn caps and the type of fiber or wire you use.  I used a US size 4 steel hook.

Crocheted Acorn for Natural Acorn Cap (crocheted in rounds)

Chain 16.  Join with slip stitch to form a ring.

Round 1 - Chain 1. Make one single crochet (sc) in each chain.  Join the last sc to the first sc with a slip stitch.

Rounds 2-4 - Chain 1.  Make one single crochet in each stitch around.  (16 sc total)  Join the last sc to the first sc in the round with a slip stitch.

Round 5 - Chain 1. [Make one single crochet in each of the first two stitches.  Single crochet two together (sc2tog) over next 2 stitches] 4 times. Join last stitch of the round to the first sc with a slip stitch.

After Round 5 - here it gets a little more improvisational and it is somewhat a matter of just getting it to look the way you want it to -- Chain 1, sc2tog over next 2 stitches.  Continue to do this (you will be essentially going in a spiral now, rather than a round, bringing the work to a point) until you only have a couple of stitches left. slip stitch them together to close the acorn.

I would love to see photos, if you decide to try this.  Just post a link or insert the photo in a comment.  I would also be interested in hearing what you think of this idea.

Happy crocheting!

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