Friday, May 08, 2009

Free Crochet Pattern for Mothers Day

I awoke from a dream about crochet love knots (a.k.a. "Solomon's knots") covering two sides of a string of beads like airy cages or nets. As I went about my day I planned out the crochet yarn and beads for the experiment: wire would make the love knots stand out from the beads the most. I could use any beads I liked, even big heavy beads with little holes.

Here is today's result, which only took about a hour at most. I describe below how to crochet it, in case you wish to try it with whatever beads and wire or string you have on hand. It would make a nice Mothers Day gift. If your mother is a crocheter too, she would appreciate how the love knot stitch in wire has a fancy new look wrapped around special beads.

In appreciation of mothers everywhere, here is my....
Love Knot Embracelet
copyright Vashti Braha, all rights reserved
For this project you'll need to know how to crochet a love knot. (To learn how, google for a how-to video, such as this one. Try it first with smooth light-colored yarn before you try wire.)

Materials (and substitution tips)

  • 26 gauge wire (I used a copper one from a craft store. You can find it in many colors. If 26 gauge is not available, I recommend 28 gauge, which is a little finer.)
  • A 25-inch long piece of 22 gauge wire (I used a spool of copper from Radio Shack! 22 gauge is too thick to crochet but still easy to cut and bend. You can try using 20 of 24 gauge.)
  • Wire cutters (I used kitchen shears from the dollar store)
  • One steel crochet hook in the size range of #3 to #0 (whatever works best for you. Some folks crochet wire very loosely.)
  • Any medium-large-sized beads (I bought mine at Michaels.)
  • A hammer or pliers, for flattening and compressing the stitches of the hook and loop closure. (Or use a ready made bracelet closure of your choice.)
1. Loosely fold the 25-inch piece of wire in half so that the fold is a round loop. Do not string on the beads.

2. With the thinner wire, make a slip knot, place on hook, single crochet (sc) into the loop of the thicker wire piece so that the stitch is wrapped around the thick wire. *Make a love knot that is approx. one-quarter inch longer than the bead you're using, slide a bead onto both ends of the thicker wire and slide up so that it's snug against the sc, then sc around the thick wire on the other side of the bead. Repeat from * to * until 2.5 inches of thick wire remain.


If this is your first time trying wire crochet, don't worry about how your stitches look! Try to avoid crumpling up your stitches too much as you go, but a certain amount of crumpling can't be helped when you crochet with wire. It looks unsightly but you can spiff it up later. Notice in this photo that like ugly ducklings, the love knots look nothing like the swans they will become. (Actually, I was tempted to try leaving them as is, only twisted a bit. See what you think.)

3. Sc over the remaining thick wire ends, leaving one-half inch unworked. Then flatten the sc's a bit and fold that strip of sc's in half. Flatten and compress it. Wind the unworked thick wire ends around the sc strip and hide the ends so that they don't snag or poke when bracelet is worn.

4. Fold the sc strip in half again, loosely, to create a hook for the clasp. I like to fold it around the shaft of my steel crochet hook; then compress the stitches some more. (See first photo.)

5. Continue working along the other side of the thick wire: *make a love knot of the same size as the others, sc around the thick wire on the other side of the next bead.* You can scrunch the beads apart so that you can fit your sc in there. Continue from * to * until you reach the thick wire loop end.
6. Scrunch together the beads so that about one inch of the thick wire loop is free of stitches. Sc around this loop until it is covered. Fasten off and hide the ends. Flatten and compress the sc's.

7. Now you can coax your love knot strands into a pretty look. Each love knot has 3 strands, so each bead is enrobed with 6 floaty wire strands.

For more photos and comments, please look for this project in Ravelry. If you make your own version, I hope you'll upload a photo and let me know!