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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Homemade Crocheted Flower Necklace

Lately, if you looked into my closet, you'd see far too much black. I reckon at least one third of the clothes I own are black, and I wear black clothes more often than not.
The monochromatic uniformity of my wardrobe isn't by happenstance- it was a calculated decision made to suit  myself and my lifestyle at this point in time.
  • Black stains far less eagerly than do white and other light colors. I've discovered that at this stage in my life, any white clothes must be considered "one time use" clothes, as that's about how long they last before they're irreparably stained, either by my kids, or by myself.
  • Black is slimming. Not that even that manages to hide a nine month post baby bump... but I digress.
  • Black matches everything, or nearly. This means I can mix and match clothing, creating more ensembles from a few basic pieces, than I would be able to if my clothing were colorful and with patterns.

Black can be elegant, certainly. But it is also has the tendency to look dull and drab, especially after having gone through the wash multiple times and getting bleached by the sun.
My mostly black, boring outfits have been shouting out "Accessorize me!"



Yes, a little bit of color, some loud and flashy accessories, can change a drab, boring outfit into something fun and lively, with personality.

I decided to "invest in" some accessories, specifically necklaces, as necklaces have the biggest effect on how an entire outfit looks, and just a few necklaces can revamp a whole wardrobe. And not just simple, elegant jewelry- I have dainty jewelry, but it doesn't liven an outfit, it just adds a touch of elegance.
I don't need elegance. I need whimsy. I need fun. Statement necklaces were what I was after.

But before I spent money on jewelry, even cheapo costume jewelry, I decided to see if I could make some myself.

Together with a friend, I perused Pinterest in search of some cute, homemade necklaces, and came across many promising frugal, fun looking ideas.
But this first idea isn't particularly inspired by Pinterest. It was inspired by two people- one, a neighbor, N, who wore this cute necklace with lots of large, colorful, acrylic flowers to a get together, and by some flowers my best friend, B, was crocheting for her daughter's headband. I decided to put the two ideas together, and came up with the idea for this statement necklace.

I went with two shades of pink for the flowers, and blue for the center. Why these colors specifically?
Versatility.
Other than all the black in my wardrobe, the rest of my clothes are predominantly pink, blue, or brown, all of which match with these shades of pink. I didn't want a necklace that I could only wear with one or two different outfits.
I bought new spools of cotton yarn for this, for a total of 5 dollars, but I used just the smallest fraction of the yarn- these flowers don't use much yarn at all- so my cost was probably 25-50 cents for this project.


It was very easy to make this project- each flower took very little time to make.

This is the first time I'm writing a crocheting pattern, so bear with me for any mistakes. First I'm going to write out what I did, and then write it in "crochet pattern" form.

With the pink, and using a large crochet hook (even though the yarn is smaller), chain stitch four times. Then make a slip stitch into the first chain stitch so you have a little circle. Then chain stitch twice, then do 12 double crochets into the circle. Then slip stitch to the first double crochet in that row to complete the circle. Then make 2 stitches, then make 3 double crochets into the next stitch, then one slip stitch into the next stitch, then 3 double crochets into the next one, then a slip stitch into the next stitch, etc... until you go all the way around the circle. This should make 6 petals. When you get to the end, make your last slip stitch, then cut the string and tie it to the string that's in the center of the flower, which you used to start off your flower. (This on the back of the flower, not the front.)
Ch 4 sl st in 1st ch
Round 1: Ch 2, 12 dc in circle
Round 2: Ch 2, 3 dc in next st, 1 sl st in next st. Rep x5
(I want to thank my friend B for giving me this part of the pattern.)

Then make another larger flower. It starts off exactly like the first flower. (The part exactly the same is in italics.)
Chain stitch four times. Then make a slip stitch into the first chain stitch so you have a little circle. Then chain stitch twice, then do 12 double crochets into the circle. Then slip stitch to the first double crochet in that row to complete the circle. Then make 2 stitches, then make 3 double crochets into the next stitch, then one slip stitch into the next stitch, then 3 double crochets into the next one, then a slip stitch into the next stitch, etc... until you go all the way around the circle. This should make 6 petals. 
Slip stitch into the first single crochet of that row to finish the row. Then chain stitch once, then make one double crochet into the next stitch, then 3 double crochets into the stitch after that, then one double crochet into the stitch after that, and then one slip stitch into the next stitch. Then make one double crochet into the next stitch, 3 double crochets into the stitch after that, one double crochet into the next one, and one slip stitch into the next one. Continue this way all around the flower.
Slip stitch it to end it, and then cut the string, and once again, tie it to the center string to keep it closed.

Ch 4 sl st in 1st ch
Round 1: Ch 2, 12 dc in circle
Round 2: Ch 2, 3 dc in next st, 1 sl st in next st. Rep x5
Round 3: Ch 1, 1 dc in the next st, 3 dc in next st, 1 dc in the next st, sl st in the next st. Rep x5.



After making both flowers, lay the small flower on top of the big flower, center it, and sew it on with yarn of a contrasting color. A yarn needle is good for this, but in a pinch, you can also pull the yarn through with a crochet hook.
Make five of these flowers.
Position them as you'd like them to lay, then sew them together with yarn. I found that two loops at two points on each side of the flower was necessary to make it lay properly.

Crochet a long chain stitch, and tie it to the back of either end of the chain of flowers.


There you have it!
A nice way to add color and character to an otherwise boring outfit.

These flowers can also be made to put on a headband.

Do you know how to crochet? Ever crocheted a flower?
What do you do about clothing? Do you have lots of lively colors or lots of the same, subdued colors? Why do you have the type of clothing that you do? Do you ever feel your wardrobe needs a change? What types of accessories do you use to bring flair to your outfits?

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