Friday, June 27, 2014

Free Pattern: Glow-in-the-Dark Star Jewelry

  When I was a kid, I was completely obsessed with anything that glows in the dark. Actually, I should admit that I'm still obsessed. And now my daughter is, too. After a trip to the craft store to introduce her to glow-in-the-dark plastic lacing (she calls it lanyard string), I started getting ideas. I bought an extra spool for myself to experiment with. My kid wants something special to wear for the Fourth of July, and I though these would be some cute accessories.

  The stars are made as separate one-round pieces, then joined to a crocheted chain, so you could easily make whatever you choose. Instead of jewelry, perhaps you would like to make a key chain, magnets, or a long garland to decorate indoors or out. Simply follow the directions provided, adjusting the number of chains, or attach single stars to something with glue or double-sided tape.

  Stars 1 and 2 use a picot stitch, while star 3 is made with only chains and slip stitches. All stars are just one round! Star 1 is 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) , star 2 is 1 1/4" (3 cm), and star 3 is 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter.

  If you've never crocheted with plastic lacing, it can seem difficult at first. The plastic doesn't slide smoothly on the hook, and the flat material tends to twist, causing it to come off the hook while completing a stitch. Before you begin, here are some tips to make your project easier:
  • To combat twisting, I spin the work in the opposite direction, right on the hook, every few stitches. Secure the loop on the hook with your finger and let go of the working yarn to do this.
  • When the plastic creates too much friction, I rub a tiny bit of mineral or vegetable oil on my hook, and even on my tension fingers, to help the material glide. *Pay close attention to the phrase "tiny bit", I mean a tiny bit, as in a drop, or you will have a greasy mess sliding out of your hands.  
  • Practice for a few minutes to learn how to work around these problems before you begin a project.
  • Pull gently if you need to unravel your work, because the plastic can stretch or break easily.
  • If your material is kinked after being unraveled, soak it in some warm water for a few seconds. Pinch it between a rag or paper towel to dry it while you wind it back on the spool, and it will be back to normal.
Skill level:

Plastic lacing - Glow-in-the-dark, or any color you wish...But how could you not choose glow-in-the-dark?
Hook size E/4 - 3.50 MM, or size needed to obtain gauge
Smaller hook to weave in ends
Whatever you might need to create your accessories, such as jewelry findings, pin backs, key rings, etc.

4 rows of 5 single crochet = 1" (2.5 cm)

If you would like to use any of the stars for a different project, and would like them to be bigger, you can use the same pattern with a larger hook. The smaller stars are quite stiff, and hold their shape well. The more you increase your hook size, the more pliable they will be.

Single crochet (sc)
Picot - 1 single crochet, ch 3, slip stitch in third (3rd) chain from hook (top of single crochet just made).


Each star begins with a magic circle. All stitches are worked into circle. 

Star 1 (large):

Ch 4, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc. (1 sc, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook [picot], 1 sc) 4 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Pull stitches together by tightening magic circle, then secure end. Bind off, weave in ends.

Star 2 (medium):

Ch 4, sl st in 3rd ch from hook. Make 4 picot in circle, pull closed and secure end. Bind off, weave in ends. 

Star 3 (small):

(Ch 3, sl st) 5 times. Pull circle closed and secure end. Bind off, weave in ends.

To assemble jewelry shown:
Directions are for small, changes for large are in parenthesis ( ), and kids don't sit still for pictures.

For necklace:
Make (1) of star 1, (2) each of stars 2 and 3.
With plastic lacing: Ch 30 (45), join to point of star 2 with a sl st, ch 10, join to point of star 3 with a sl st, ch 10, join to point of star 1 with a sl st, ch 10, join star 3 with a sl st, ch 10, join star 2 with a sl st, ch 30 (45). Bind off, weave in ends, add clasps (join with a sl st to beg ch, bind off, weave in ends).

For earrings:
Make (2) of star 3.
Attach jump ring to the point of star, add chain. Attach chain to earring hook with another jump ring. This would also look awesome with multiple chains of stars at different lengths, but my model said that one is heavy enough.

For bracelet:
Make (2) of star 1, (1) of star 2.
With plastic lacing: Ch 1, join with a sl st to point of star 1. Ch 7, join to point of star 2 with a sl st, ch 7, joint to point of star 1. Ch 19 (24), join with a sl st to beg ch. Bind off, weave in ends.

For brooch:
Make (2) of Star 3, (1) of Star 2.
Using a bar pin, attach a jump ring to a point of each star 3. Add chain, attach to outer edges of pin with jump rings. Attach star 2 directly to center of pin.

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