Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pretty Petals - Crochet Beautiful Spring Blooms With Pip Beads


I know, I know -- it's been a very long time since my last post.  I won't try to explain or make excuses, but I do hope you enjoy this little tutorial (sort of) on how to crochet a flower using pip beads, and how to then transform that flower into a pendant and create your own necklace. Here in Michigan, we just experienced another winter storm and the temperatures are frigid today, but my thoughts have turned to spring ... and flowers.

Below is a list of the materials that I used to create the necklace you see coming together in the photos. For convenience, I've included links that will take you to sites where these materials are available.  You should, however, feel free to make substitutions to achieve the look you want.  The technique and instructions can be used flexibly.

Crocheted Pretty Petals Necklace

Materials:
  • Czech glass pip beads (color shown is Alabaster Pastel Petrol - available at Fusion Beads) - 50
  • 32 gauge round Parawire (color shown is Baby Blue - available at Fusion Beads)
  • 30 gauge round Artistic Wire (color shown is Tarnish Resistant Silver - available at Fusion Beads)
  • 3mm Swarovski crystal pearls (color shown is Light Gray - available at Fire Mountain Gems) -30
  • C-Lon Tex 135 Beading Cord (color show is Silver - available at Bello Modo)
  • SAE Flat Zinc Washer - 3/8"
  • Antique silver toggle clasp
Tools:
  • 2.0 mm crochet hook
  • scissors
  • wire clipper
  • large-eyed needle
Instructions:  First, you will make two circles --  one to serve as the base for the flower and one will form the back of the pendant.

Circle (Make 2):


To begin: Use the C-Lon cord to make an adjustable "magic ring".  

Round 1: Make 5 single crochets (sc) into the ring.  Join with a slip stitch (sl st) to the first sc and then pull the "magic circle" closed.

Round 2:  Chain (ch) 1.  Working in the back loops only (blo), make 2 sc in each sc around, for a total of 10 sc.  Join with a sl st to the first sc.

Round 3:  Ch 1. Again, working in the blo, sc in first sc, 2sc in next sc, *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc*.  Repeat from * to* until you complete the round, working 2sc in the last sc. Total of 15 sc.  Join with a sl st to the first sc.

Round 4: Ch 1. Again, working in the blo, sc in the each of the first two sc, work 2 sc in the third sc, *1 sc in each of the next two stitches, 2 sc in the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until you complete the round, ending with 2 sc in the last stitch.  Total of 20 sc.  Join with a sl st to the first sc.  Fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 15 inches for sewing.

NOTE:  If you'd like a larger flower, you just need to add more rounds until you achieve the desired size.

Now, add "petals" to one of the circles:

To begin:  String all of the pip beads onto the spool of C-Lon cord.

Make a slip knot on your hook.  With the right side of the circle facing you, insert your hook under the free front loop of the first sc in the first round of the circle   Move one of the pip beads up close to the sc, with the cord over your hook, pull the cord under the front  loop of the sc and through the slip knot loop on your hook. (See photo below)  Tighten the stitch.


Now insert your hook under the front loop of the second crochet in the first round of the circle. Again, slide a bead up close to the sc, with the cord over your hook, pull the cord under the front loop of the underlying sc and through the remaining loop on your hook.  In essence, you are slip stitching the beads to the front loops of the single crochets on the circle.  


Continue working in this manner until you complete the first round, and then simply move out to the second round and repeat the process, and then the third round and repeat the process, until the first three rounds are filled with "petals".


Do not add beads to the last round of the underlying circle (i.e., no beads on the edge). Do not fasten off.

Create the loop for attaching your pendant to the necklace:  Ch 8 (or number needed to give you the loop size you want) and then attach with a sl st to the sc in the last round directly behind the chain (making a loop).  


Fasten off.  Weave in your ends. 

Create a center for your flower:

Using the 32 gauge blue wire, make a slip knot on your hook, leaving about a 6 inch tail.  Ch 4.  Sl st in the 4th ch from the hook.  Ch 3. Sl st in the same ch as your last sl st. Ch 3. Again, sl st into the same chain.


Continue in this manner until you have 5 loops of 3 chains each.  Fasten off and leave about a 6 inch tail.  Thread one of the 3 mm glass pearls onto one of the tails and secure it in the center of the petals. Pull the wire tails through the middle of the crocheted circle with the bead petals attached to it (i.e., pull the wires through the center of your original "magic ring") until the the wire petal center you've created sits firmly in the center, among your bead petals.  Then turn the circle over, twist the wire tails together, and work them into the back of the stitches that make up the crocheted circle in order to secure your center. Use your wire cutters to clip off any excess wire.

Complete the pendant:  


Thread the long tail on the remaining crocheted circle (without bead petals) onto your needle.  With wrong sides facing, sew the two circles together, catching the loops of the single crochets on the edge of each circle.  Insert the washer between the two circles and enclose it as you sew (it thus becomes hidden in the center, between the two circles). 


The purpose of the washer is to give the pendant just a little bit of weight, so that it will hang properly on your necklace.  Once the circles are completely sewn together, with the washer inside, fasten off and weave in the ends.



Crochet the Necklace: The necklace is made by creating three separate crocheted strands and then braiding them together.

Strand #1:  Using the C-Lon cord, with the remaining pip beads pre-strung on it, make a slip knot on your hook.  Leave an 8 inch tail.  Ch 5. *Pull bead up next to hook and ch 1 (bead is worked into ch). Ch 5.*  Repeat from * to * until your strand is about 19 inches long. Fasten off.  Leave an 8 inch tail.

Strand #2:  String the crystal pearls onto the blue wire.  Use the wire to make a slip knot on your hook.  Leave an 8 inch tail.  Ch 3. *Pull bead up next to hook and ch 1 (bead is worked into ch). Ch 3.*  Repeat from * to * until your strand is about 19 inches long. Fasten off.  Leave an 8 inch tail.

Strand #3:  Use the silver wire to make a slip knot on your hook.  Leave an 8 inch tail.  Work chain stitches until your strand is 19 inches long.  Fasten off.  Leave an 8 inch tail.

Hold the three strands together at one end, so that the first chain stitch of each strand lines up.  Knot the strands together at that point (where the stitches begin), leaving the tails free beyond the knot. Now, fairly loosely, braid the three strands together.  When you've braided the entire length of the crocheted part of the strands, tie another knot to secure the braid, leaving the tails free beyond the knot.  

Slide the loop of your pendant over the braided necklace strands until it reaches the middle of the braid.


As an alternative, you could use an antique silver jump ring to connect the pendant to the braided necklace.

Now, using the tails, secure the two parts of the toggle clasp to the ends of each strand. I inserted the tail ends through the loops on each part of the toggle clasp, tied two knots into each end, cut off the C-lon cord (leaving just a tiny bit beyond the knot), then wrapped the knots and cord ends tightly with the remaining two strands of wire from the tails.   I wove the wire ends into the chain stitches at the end of the strands to secure them, and clipped off any excess wire.


That's it. You're done! 



Now play around with what you've learned.  Create your own design! Here are a couple more that I came up with.



On the necklace shown below, the beads are a slightly different shape -- like chrysanthemum petals. They are often referred to as "petal beads".  The same technique outlined here works for this type of bead, too.



I hope you use this tutorial to create something beautiful for yourself!  If you do, please share your photos.  I would love to see your work! If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them.  Let me know what you think. :)