Saturday, April 1, 2017

Delicate Granny Earrings - GrannySpiration Challenge

  It's time for April's Granny-Spiration Challenge! I'll be writing a post soon to explain why my project for this month was more of a challenge than I thought it would be... For now, I'll just share the pattern instructions and then we can get to the linkup and giveaway!

  I've had some jewelry wire sitting in my craft supplies for years now. Since I don't see myself getting back into serious jewelry-making any time soon, why not crochet with it? Oh, but wait... Since it ended up being turned into some pretty earrings, does that mean I'm back into jewelry-making now? 😉 What a conundrum. Shall we just get to the pattern?

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  Each of these delicate wire squares measures only 1" (2.5 cm) across. With the squares turned diagonally and the findings attached, the size of the finished earring is 1.5" (3.8 cm) wide and 2" (5 cm) long.


Skill level:
Intermediate


Materials:
Bead stringing wire
*This should be .012 in/ 0.30 mm wire. The sticker labels fell off the plastic rolls years ago, so I'm sorry if I'm wrong. But I'm pretty sure I'm right, because that's the only size I ever bought... Unless I scored something else on clearance and forgot about it.
Crochet hook size G/6 - 4.25 mm
Smaller hook for weaving in ends (I found it impossible to do on a needle)
Beads (optional) - I used one 8 mm cracked-glass bead for each earring
6 mm jump rings (2 for each earring)
Fish hook earring findings
*You may need additional findings or jewelry-making supplies, like pliers. (I keep it simple and use my fingers to work the jump rings.)


Gauge:
Not important to match size; just important to avoid curling. (See notes)


Notes:
Chain 1 at beginning of round does not count as a stitch.

Use any hook size you need to avoid curling. If your stitches lean forward towards you as you work, you need to go up a hook size (or more). You'll see it happen with just the first few stitches made.

The beginning of this pattern was the hardest to work (for me). If you find it too difficult, you could:

  • Begin without the bead and work the stitches into a regular joined ring - Then add the bead with some extra wire or an eye pin. The results won't be exactly the same, but you'll have less frustration.
  • Try starting with the bead on a slipknot. Join the ring in the chain past the bead. Doing it this way will cause the bead to fall into the middle of the ring, but it eliminates the option to turn your square to make it look best.
Try to avoid making kinks in the wire by pulling your loops up nice and high - No pulling them tight against the hook! Leave some slack in your loops to avoid kinks that will cause twisting.


Stitches:
Chain
Single crochet
Slip Stitch


Instructions:

Beginning with the bead:
This is the one place I had to make a kink in the wire. I tried to run the wire through in one strand and then pull the tail back through the bead, but mine kept catching inside the bead hole. (Perhaps you'll have better luck?) I folded the wire in half so I could pull the loop out from the other end of the bead.

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Make sure the working end of the wire comes from the back and over the front of the hook when you begin! Chain 6. Leave a good amount of slack in the loop around the bead before making the first chain. Like - Enough to fit your hook under, because you'll work into it soon.
(Can you see how some of the wire is kinked? It doesn't make pretty stitches, but this was just the beginning chain, so I didn't worry about it.)

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Joining:
Here's the tricky part... Bring the bead around so that the beginning loop is on top. (It's the wire running over the bead in the photo.) AND make sure the tail of the wire is right there with it, because you're going to work over both strands.

Insert the hook in the beginning loop, catching the tail with it. Make a slip stitch to join into a ring.
*This will create two halves for the beginning ring. The first half is made of the beginning loop and tail, and the second half is the chain-6.

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The first and only round:
Chain 1 (does not count as stitch).
(5 single crochet, chain 2) 2x in the first half of the ring (over the tail and beginning loop).

Working into the second half (the chain-6 ring), make (5 single crochet, chain 2) 2x.

Bind off (gently, without tightening the ending stitch). Pull the tail through the beginning single crochet from back to front; and then back through the beginning stitch from the top down.

Weave in the ends around the beginning rings.

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WOW! You would think such a short pattern would be easy... And it can be, once you're used to crocheting with wire. If you are a beginner with the material, don't get discouraged. It's springy, twisty, and downright frustrating until you get the hang of it. Just remember: NICE. BIG. LOOPS -Lots and lots of slack.


To finish:
Attach a fish hook earring and two jump rings together and add them to a corner chain-2 space.

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Granny's gone metal! 😝💀💎
Happy Crocheting!


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