Crochet Beaded Bracelets

My friend Gina sent me a link about two years ago showing some crocheted bracelets with button closures – so cute! I figured out the pattern, found different sized buttons, crocheted about twenty bracelets in varying lengths (multi-wraps are fun!), used jewelry o-rings to attach charms midway and started handing them out to friends on my travels.

Oh, the charms – they fell off in legions – usually after a household chore like doing the dishes…or walking across a room. Sometimes even before I was done with the visit (In Kauai I actually asked for some pliers and replaced the gifted charm with one from my purse. It probably also fell off soon after I left. Mrgh!)

I have not mastered the fool-proof closure of o-rings (does this exist, beyond soldering?).

Alas, a design failure the internet did not prepare me for. Also, I’m not sure how much I want to talk about how hard it is to BUTTON your own wrap-around bracelet…

New rule: Jewelry should not be a reminder of loneliness, or dexterity challenges, or a cause of any stress whatsoever frankly (right?!). Wait ’til you see how I’ve solved this!!! (P.S. o-rings replaced by stitching…why didn’t I think of that…first?!)

Magical Magnet Closures

I attended a presentation today of the San Diego Bead Society and was inspired to think again about what kinds of trades I could make for my next art retreat. I put 2 + 2 + 2 together and came up with: crocheted bracelet with beads and magnetic closure.

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Size 11/0 beads, Lizbeth variegated thread, size 10, gold magnetic closure

A couple hours before this creation I spent time looking up patterns for beaded amulet pouches and such, thinking that would be my thing. Then I remembered what I already know how to do and how many supplies I already have on hand. And how time works.

So I made the above prototype, using waxed nylon bead string to attach the magnetic ends to the crocheted piece, and also to thread the beads throughout. For the crocheters, I used a 2.25mm needle on Lizbeth size 10 thread. So far I’ve mapped a small bracelet (I have skinny wrists) like this:

  • Chain 60
  • Work a slip stitch in the 2nd chain from hook, and in all the rest to the end
  • Gauge: I worked these stitches fairly loose, to make way for the beads.

After that, I stitched the waxed bead string through a bead on one end and then worked a series of knots before attaching the magnet closure. Then I used the same waxed string to work my way back through the bracelet, attaching the beads on alternating sides.

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I aimed for every other stitch back and forth and it didn’t seem to need too much precision to attain a good effect.

I tried a couple of beading patterns (e.g. all on one side vs. alternating) and decided that going back and forth on the chain gave the best dynamic effect on the wrist.

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I used Dritz Fray Check on the end knots and wrapped the ends next to the magnetic closures with extra stitches. We’ll see how it holds up in the next few weeks.

The Front and the Back

 

So far it’s hanging nicely with beads on all sides and the magnetic catch falling to the bottom of my wrist. I’ll keep wearing it and see how it holds up throughout the week.

Favorite Discovery

Magnetic connectors do the work for you! And they come in really fun shapes – like fish and turtles. The ones I found were too wide to work with my current skinny crochet chains but I have plans for those magnetic turtle and fish connectors…just you wait…

 

 

 

 

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WIP: Crochet Blocking

In my free time (ha!) I’m working on the Crochet Along (CAL) I mentioned earlier. It’s a fun color palette, soft yarn, and a supreme challenge working through a pattern from a new crocheter every week (we get a new pattern each Wednesday with the plan to work up four squares – I’m two weeks behind everyone else so far – so, right on target!).

It’s the first time I’ve taken crochet blocking seriously…though there was that crazy crochet snowflake season when I realized they would only work as possible presents/snowflakes when they were blocked and starched. It involved the stove, a bulls-eye target-looking printout from the internet, one trillion pins and some unfortunate craft bead dye-bleeding (which looked as tragic as it sounds – those snowflakes are in the pile called “Never Throw It Away Because You Might Want to Use it Some Day”).

So that was traumatic and I vowed to never block again. Except on week two of the CAL I was turning out some fun trapezoid shapes that didn’t seem destined for any afghan pattern I have ever seen (or would want to crochet), so I decided to block.

Here's what everyone looks like all blocked up (they clean up nice!).
Here’s what everyone looks like all blocked up (they clean up nice!).

Here’s what the unblocked rascals look like:

You can see the sideways madness that drove me to blocking.
You can see the sideways madness that drove me to blocking. Upper left square is missing the border stitch, making him the first cousin to the right upper square. Both of which are aspiring to the stolid nature of bottom left and right squares…we can do it…with some water and pins!

NOTE: It’s taking longer than I thought for those squares to dry…or maybe I need better blocking techniques. I’m expecting company soon so I unpinned those blue squares this morning to try to clear the area…and they quickly started shrinking right up. Hmmm…. re-pinned those suckers post-haste and am considering heat treatment. Nah – too extreme. Will unpin again soon and hope the gods of crochet connection will solve this problem for me.

Sewing on…