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?

crochet, free pattern, earrings, wire, metal, beaded, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, link party, giveaway

  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:

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.)

Not important to match size; just important to avoid curling. (See 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.

Single crochet
Slip Stitch


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.

crochet, free pattern, earrings, wire, metal, beaded, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, instructions, tutorial

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.)

crochet, free pattern, earrings, wire, metal, beaded, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, tutorial,

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.

crochet, free pattern, earrings, wire, metal, beaded, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, tutorial

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.

crochet, free pattern, earrings, wire, metal, beaded, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017

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.

crochet, free pattern, earrings, wire, metal, beaded, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Perfect Home

  The Eye of the Emerald Mandala and it's matching coasters didn't stay in my house for very long. I really do love the design, but choosing to use white yarn in a project is always a bad idea for me. White anything is a bad idea around here... It usually ends up coming into contact with Rip's concrete dust and gets transformed into a not-so-lovely shade of grey. And then there's those times when he comes home with truck grease on him, and things just get destroyed.

  When my dad mentioned he liked the colors, I knew the set had found its perfect home. (Dad knows how to wash his hands when he gets dirty, so I know it's in a safe place now.😉) Sometimes I just get ideas I want to create, but maybe they don't really have a purpose yet. It makes me really happy when they find the right person or place  instead of being shoved in a box and forgotten.

Eye of the Emerald, gifting, doily, mandala, coasters, crochet, finished project

  It makes me even happier when I get pictures of my project being displayed in its perfect home. Some things get forgotten, but there are other projects that have left my hands that forever leave me wondering... What did they do with it? Is it still being used? (Especially when you give someone a wearable, but you never see them wearing it; Am I right?) Some of those things have been sold, so once they leave my hands it's none of my business and I might never see that person again, anyway. But those things that are gifted... It's extra-special to know that they're being used and treated well.

Eye of the Emerald, gifting, doily, mandala, coasters, crochet, finished project, phalaenopsis

  You know what's even better than that? It's when you get reminded of one of those forgotten projects, too. I was distracted at first, comparing how the green pairs nicely with the decor of the house and checking out the awesome blooms on that phalaenopsis... 

Sidetrack: Dad is a first-time orchid grower, and he got it to bloom the first year. With more than one spike. And like, perfect blooms. 😲

  Back to the subject: Check out what else is on the table. I see another creation of mine! It's those butterfly stitch doilies that will never be properly recreated because of a notebook-eating dog. I briefly considered trying to re-make the pattern again using the pictures I have of them, but there's a reason I've decided not to. 

Eye of the Emerald, gifting, doily, mandala, coasters, crochet, finished project, butterfly doilies

  Sort of like the same conclusion I came to with Mom's Afghan, I no longer think every project needs to be shared with the world. Maybe I'll share pictures of it with you, but you won't always get every pattern I create... Be it for free or at all. Sometimes I decide I've put too much work into something to let it go for nothing, but there's other times I just want a project to remain one-of-a-kind.

  Maybe it's me overthinking things (I usually do), but I sort of felt bullied into always sharing my patterns when I began designing. Not really "bullied"; perhaps more like pushed mentally, by myself. (Can you really bully yourself? Overthinking again.) Whatever the feeling... I'm trying to make a career out of this, and you don't make it by holding back.

  But you don't have to give it all away, either. You can exhaust yourself by never keeping a small piece of something just for you. And (overthinking some more) maybe that thing for "yourself" isn't in your possession; possibly you hardly ever see it and sometimes forget it exists until you see it again... But it's always a nice little "Ooo, I made that!" reminder that somebody enjoys that thing you made. It's even more special when you know that it's a one-of-a-kind thing that nobody else will ever have.

Happy Crocheting!

(And thanks for the pictures, Dad!)

Blog Archive