Would you believe this bracelet is crocheted? To my eyes, a piece like this doesn’t look much like crochet — but it definitely is, since the project was made using a crochet hook and crochet stitches. The difference is basically in the materials I used; instead of thread or yarn, I used wire to work the stitches. The entire bracelet is comprised of the ultra-simple beaded chain stitch.
Crochet stitches look different when worked in wire than they do when worked in yarn or thread. If you add chunky beads to the mix, like I did here, they can obscure the crochet work even more.
I’m getting ready to move, so I am going back through all my projects and deciding which of my finished objects to donate, what to gift to friends, what to keep and what to unravel. This is a bit like traveling back in time. It’s refreshing my memory on so many different ideas I had in the past, and so many different directions my knitting and crochet could take next.
Here’s a peek at a swatch of layered crochet stitches I worked back in 2009, when I first began designing crochet patterns for public consumption.
I’ve learned a lot between now and then; there are good things and bad things about the direction of the growth I’ve experienced in that time. I think in many ways, I’ve become more adept at pattern writing, and my patterns are clearer than they were in the earlier days. The downside is that, in the early days, I was more willing to try complex things that were difficult to explain via crochet patterns. Since many of my readers are beginning crocheters, somewhere along the line I began making choices that are safer, simpler and more beginner friendly. So some of the resulting clarity has come at the expense of work that is a little more interesting, different and unusual.
Looking at this swatch is a good reminder of the kind of work that I used to do in the past but haven’t done much of lately. I used to take more risks with my crocheting, and I was more willing to spend time on pieces that failed, or at least failed to achieve “commercial success.” At the time, since I was just getting started with designing for the public, I didn’t even understand what “commercial success” was. I have a clearer understanding of that now, although I am still learning more every day.
In the swatch pictured above, the lower layer of the fabric is single crochet. The upper layer consists of arches of chain stitches and single crochet.
After I initially created this swatch, I developed the concept into several finished projects:
Looking at this swatch reminds me that there are so many other different directions this idea could go in:
Different ways to work out the stitch repeat
Different color combinations to try
Different yarns to use
Different finished projects that could result
I crocheted both this swatch and my necklaces with embroidery floss. I think that using a thicker yarn would make an awfully thick fabric, but I’d still be interested to try it and see what happens. When worked with bulkier yarns, it could perhaps make an interesting purse or tote bag…a coffee cup cozy…the cuffs of a garment or the lower edge of a sweater…the lower edge of a hat…so many ideas!
For now, though, I have to resume with my decluttering and destashing, so instead of working on new ideas and new patterns I will have to content myself with linking you up to pages I’ve already posted:
Bracelets are reasonably quick projects to crochet, and I love them because they allow for so much easy experimentation — with materials, colors, textures and forms.
I find that wire crochet bracelets are particularly interesting to experiment with. There are so many different ways you can make them. The wire, being stiff, can be sculpted in different ways if you like; and when you crochet with it, a sort of magic happens. It’s almost like creating a delightful fusion of lace and metalwork; the two disparate crafts intertwine and become one. Add beads to the mix, and the results are even more spectacular.
Pictured here are a couple of wire crochet bracelets that I’ve posted online, along with free patterns in case you’d like to crochet some similar pieces. The bracelet shown above is a wire cuff bracelet crocheted in Christmas colors. I adore its lacy look.
The bracelet shown at lower right is one of my latest beaded wire crochet projects. This design is crafted using wire, red coral beads, jasper stone beads, and glass beads. If you don’t already know how to make one of these, no worries, you can learn how to do it — for free! The free bracelet pattern is available right here on our website for you to use.
I’m showing you these particular bracelets because I think they are both nice designs for Christmas, which is coming up soon; it’ll be here before you know it. If you’d like to make yourself some pretty holiday baubles, these would be lovely to whip up for wearing to any upcoming holiday parties or gatherings. If these designs aren’t quite what you have in mind, our list of free jewelry patterns offers even more options. I hope you’ll enjoy browsing through them.