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Crocheted Pearls - part one

When I found a gorgeous strand of top-drilled pearls at a gem and bead show, I knew that they would need a design that allowed them to show off!  I began by creating several strands of single crochet with the pearls on silver wire, and then embellished each strand with loops of seed beads.  The necklace was finished off with single strands of strung beads so that it would be comfortable against the back of the neck.

Materials & Tools

60 top-drilled pearls
2 colors of 8/0 seed beads
2 colors of Delica seed beads
28 gauge silver wire
Nymo thread
6 inches of 20 gauge silver wire
2 bead caps or cones
Softflex beading wire, .019 inch diameter
4  2mm crimp tubes
Assorted Czech glass fire-polished crystals, 4, 6, & 8mm
Stone beads and additional pearls (optional)
Toggle clasp

Crochet hook (I used a size H, 5mm)
Wire cutters
Beading needles
Watch-case cement
Measuring tape
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers

Creating the crocheted front

1. String 20 top-drilled pearls on 28 gauge silver wire, alternating the pearls with one of your 8/0 seed bead colors.  Start and end with a seed bead.

2. Single crochet the wire strand, adding one pearl or one seed bead in each crochet stitch.  Leave approximately 4 inches of wire at each end.  You can roll it up to keep it out of the way as you continue to work. 

3. Take as long a piece of Nymo thread as you can comfortably work with.  Tie the thread securely to one end of the crocheted strand, leaving a 3 inch tail.  Using the same color 8/0 seed beads as in step 1, proceed to string from seed bead to seed bead all along the crocheted strand.  In my example, it took approximately 7 beads to arch nicely from bead to bead.  Do not skip any of the wired beads along the way.

4. When you reach the end of the strand, tie the thread and start back in the other direction.  This time, use the other color 8/0 seed beads.  Twist the strand as you again string from wired bead to wired bead.  In my example, I used approximately 5 beads for each arch, in order to enhance the twisting effect.  At the end of this pass, tie the thread to the original tail.

5. For your third pass, begin to add small arches of one of the Delica colors to the beads that you added in step 4.  I added from 3 to 5 small beads at a time, weaving them in and out of the previous row.  Make some of your arches across the wired beads rather than through them, twisting as needed to make the strand look full.  Tie a knot at the end.

6. For your final pass, repeat step 5, using the second color of Delicas, and creating your arches in different spots than before.  Tie the thread off, and add a drop of glue to the knot clusters at both ends. 

7. Create two more twisted strands, following steps 1 through 6.  Breathe a sigh of relief!

8. Loosely braid or twist your three strands together.  Twist the wires together tightly at each end to hold the shape.  Cut a 3 inch piece of 20 gauge silver wire and turn a small double loop at one end.

9. Pass the twisted wires through the loop and twist them several times around themselves.  Clip off close.  Thread the 20 gauge wire through one of the bead caps or cones, and create a wrapped loop at the top (photo above).  File it smooth if needed.  Repeat steps 8 and 9 on the other end (photo below).

Next week, part two - creating the necklace straps

Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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BluMoon said…
Wow what a really pretty feminine necklace Cyndi I love the colours you used but then I do like pink!
I have a give away on my blog you are welcome to take a look not as pretty as your necklace though!
Cyndi L said…
Looks like a great giveaway, Jackie! Everyone hear that...?
Leah said…
So pretty - and I happen to have some lovely bronze colored pearls that would work for something like this...
Cyndi L said…
That would be a GREAT base color to work with, Leah!
WindyRiver said…
Really lovely necklace - another great tutorial!
Your bead work is so beautiful but complex, Cyndi, that I doubt I'll ever reach your level. Still I always learn and am inspired when you share your directions. I look forward to part 2!
Cherie said…
Beautiful! And as usual another great tutorial. Looking forward to the second part.
Andrea said…
I love this tutorial. I was doing a version of bead crochet, but this adds another dimension. Can I enter your contest for the book. Thanks, Andrea