“Crochet a Rope of Pearls,” Ensign, Nov. 1971, 75
It has been said that one who finds an interesting hobby finds happiness. People from all walks of life would probably agree. Perhaps there is no easier or more pleasant method of adding zest to our lives than by developing an exciting hobby.
Dorothy Peterson and Lynda Whitney of Downey Second Ward, South Los Angeles Stake, are two choice young women who enjoy designing and creating bead and pearl jewelry. A Relief Society homemaking meeting introduced them to this enjoyable craft. Their first rope of pearls brought such pleasure that bead making soon became an exciting hobby for them.
In the beginning they made only those patterns found in books issued by craft houses. As they increased in skill and excellence, they became adventuresome and versatile, using their own creativity in design and color.
During the past year they have made many lovely varieties of necklaces. Some of the most beautiful pieces have been made from old jewelry that had been saved by their mothers for sentimental value.
The red rope necklace, the jet and pearl combination, and the beautiful porcelain beads centering the pearl ladder were salvaged from necklaces worn in years past.
The ropes are crocheted, but the blue and white collar was made with the use of two needles and strong nylon-blend thread. Dorothy created the beautiful collar-like necklace for her mother as a Mother’s Day gift, to accessorize a simple blue knit dress.
The colorful Mexican-type necklace, made by Lynda to complement a special print dress of the same colors, is a stunning addition to her costume.
Everyone loves a pearl necklace. Why not crochet one for yourself or for a gift?
Dorothy and Lynda suggest you try the simple basic design shown in the illustrations. Once you have mastered this pattern, you will want to make several other varieties. Instructions for additional designs, as well as the materials needed, can be found at most craft houses. Attractive clasps are usually found in notion departments or hobby shops, or you may find just what you need among your discarded jewelry. Quilting thread, beading thread, and even dental floss are used for some designs. The proper thread is important to the durability and appearance of the jewelry. Lynda recommends pulling the thread across beeswax to strengthen it and prevent it from tangling. Should you live in an area where beads are not available, you may be surprised at what can be found in your own costume jewelry box.
Here are some tips to help you get started making these lovely items:
Before beginning to crochet the necklace, thread all the beads you will use onto size 20 crochet cotton or heavy linen thread, allowing at least three inches for each bead. It is wise to string the beads directly to the ball of thread without breaking the crochet cotton from the ball. This can be done by tying the end of the fine thread on which the beads are threaded to the end of the crochet cotton with a small square knot. Slide the beads gently over this knot onto the crochet cotton, being careful not to break the finer thread on which the beads are originally strung.
Thread as many beads onto the crochet thread as you expect to use. The average length of threaded beads is 60 inches. Two lengths make a rope of pearls 30 inches long. The pearls come in sizes from No. 2 to No. 6. Sizes 4 and 5 are the most popular.
Using a No. 9 crochet hook (steel), chain 10. You will only use five of these chain stitches to work with; the remaining five are used to hold as you work for the first few rows. These remaining five stitches can either be worked into the beads with a darning needle when you are finished or fastened to the clasp.
Slip one bead close to the hook, and make a single stitch on the right side of the next bead. Continue in this manner, making sure there are only four beads on top of the rope and that each single stitch is on the right side of the next bead. This forms a spiral. Work to the desired length. Fasten off. Thread a needle to the ends of the crochet thread at the beginning and then at the end, and sew on the clasps.
Jewelry making could be the key that opens the door to a new and exciting hobby, one with the potential to enrich and beautify your life and bring joy to others as well.