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Winter fringe necklace

Embellish a crocheted rope with several fringe techniques

An interesting and pleasing piece of beadwork is like a successful piece of music. A theme with variations leads to a finale. In this piece, the colors form a theme, and the fringes begin simply, then gradually become more complex and intertwined, until they reach the end. Although I've provided you with exact colors, you should consider using your own beads. Let these instructions be a starting point for your own unique creation.

SUPPLIES

Crocheted rope 58 in. (1.5 m)

  • approximately 2–5 g 11/0 seed beads in each of 26 colors, for a total of about 60 grams:
  • A, clear matte iridescent
  • B, lavender-lined iridescent
  • C, light gray silver-lined matte iridescent
  • D, clear-lined coppery gold
  • E, light gray opal luster
  • F, black matte iridescent
  • G, pale lavender transparent
  • H, blue-lavender transparent
  • I, pale topaz transparent luster
  • J, cool gray transparent iridescent
  • K, black matte opaque
  • L, lavender transparent iridescent
  • M, navy transparent iridescent luster (dyed color, may not be permanent)
  • N, black semi-gloss iridescent
  • O, hematite
  • P, black opaque (shiny)
  • Q, blue transparent rose luster
  • R, navy opaque iridescent
  • S, topaz transparent
  • T, purple/blue opaque matte iridescent
  • U, rose transparent gold luster
  • V, purple/blue/bronze opaque matte iridescent
  • W, dark rose transparent gold iridescent luster
  • X, root beer transparent blue iridescent
  • Y, copper opaque metallic
  • Z, eggplant opaque metallic iridescent
  • size 8 DMC cotton crochet thread
  • crochet hook, size 10 (1.15 mm)
  • bead threading needle (Big Eye, twisted-wire needle, or Japanese bead threading needles)

    Fringe
  • 46 5–6 mm pressed-glass leaves, drilled front to back, in each of 2 colors, light and dark
  • lampworked baroque leaf in 4 colors
  • approximately 350 12/0 three-cuts in each of 2 colors, light and dark
  • 5 g 16/0 seed beads in each of 2 colors, light and dark 
  • KO thread, size B (depending on the size of your smallest beads, you may have to adjust your thread weight)
  • beading needles, #12, #13, and/or #16 

All materials available through BeadCats, beadcats.com.

INSTRUCTIONS

Rope

Crocheted ropes became popular in the 1920s when they were knotted around the neck and paired with the straight-lined flapper dresses of the era. At the time, they were made with one color of bead, and had a few simple looped fringes at each end. I’ve enhanced this basic design with more complex fringes and variegated colors that gradate from dark at one end to light at the other. My rope is about 58 in. (1.5 m) long, but you should experiment with a cord to find a length that suits you. 

I suggest working with 1-yd. (.9 m) lengths of beads at a time, each of which will result in a 6-in. (15 cm) section of rope. After crocheting a section, you’ll string the next 1-yd. (.9 m) group of beads, tie it to the previous section, and continue crocheting. In the following list, the groups of beads you should string together are separated by bullet points. The last colors strung will be the first colors crocheted. Use the colors below or choose your own.

  • 18 in. (46 cm) G, H, C, J, E, C
  • 18 in. (46 cm) A, B, C, D, E, C
  • 30 in. (76 cm) M, H, C, O, K, C
  • 6 in. (15 cm) G, H, C, J, E, C
  • 33 in. (84 cm) R, K, C, T, K, F
  • 3 in. (7.6 cm) M, H, C, O, K, C
  • 31 1⁄2 in. (80 cm) C, K, I, V, P, L
  • 4 1⁄2 in. (11.4 cm) R, K, C, T, K, F
  • 25 1⁄2 in. (64.8 cm) U, N, L, X, P, L
  • 10 1⁄2 in. (26.7 cm) C, K, I, V, P, L
  • 13 1⁄2 in. (34.3 cm) U, N, L, Y, P, Q
  • 22 1⁄2 in. (57.2 cm) U, N, L, X, P, L
  • 36 in. (.9 m) U, N, L, Y, P, Q
  • 31 1⁄2 in. (80 cm) W, N, L, Y, P, Q
  • 4 1⁄2 in. (11.4 cm) U, N, L, Y, P, Q
  • 4 1⁄2 in. (11.4 cm) I, S, Q, Z, P, Q
  • 31 1⁄2 in. (80 cm) W, N, L, Y, P, Q
  • 9 9⁄16 in. (24.4 cm) I, S, Q, Z, P, Q

 

1. To string the first 1-yd. (.9 m) length of beads, string the repeating pattern until you reach the first 18 in. (46 cm). Repeat with the second set of colors.

2. Work five bead chain stitches, and form them into a ring. Work in bead slip stitch to crochet all the strung beads. After the last stitch, pull the working thread through the last slip stitch, and trim leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail.

3. String the next 1-yd. (.9 m) length of beads, as in step 1.

4. Tie the tail of the previous section to the working thread of the new section using a square knot, making the knot as close to the beadwork as possible.

5. Insert the crochet hook into the last completed stitch, and continue working in slip stitch with the new cord. The tails will stick out of the rope as you work.

6. Work each section until you have completed the rope. Weave the tails into the rope, and trim.

Fringe

Four styles of fringe are used to embellish the ends of the crocheted rope. Add 2 yd. (1.8 m) of nylon thread, and exit any 11/0 several inches from one end of the rope. Exit the 11/0 with your needle pointing toward the end of the rope. Work along one color stripe, beginning with loops, and gradually adding spikes, intertwined fringe, and twisted fringe. Make the fringe longer as you near the end of the rope, and add leaves as desired.

Winter fringe necklace fig 1
Figure 1
Winter fringe necklace a
Photo a

Loops

To make a loop, pick up five 16/0 seed beads, skip two 11/0s in the same color stripe, and sew through the next 11/0, sewing away from the end (FIGURE 1,a–b). Repeat (b–c).
Continue making loops as desired along the length of the rope, picking up more 16/0s per loop. 

To add leaves to the loops, pick up several 16/0s, a pressed-glass leaf, and several 16/0s. Make the loop as before (PHOTO A).

Winter fringe necklace fig 2
Figure 2

Spikes

To make a spiked fringe, pick up five 16/0s, an 11/0, and a 16/0. Skip the 16/0, sew back through the 11/0, and pick up one 16/0. Skip two 11/0s in the rope, and sew through the next 11/0 (FIGURE 2, a–b). Repeat (b–c). Make spiked fringe for the next several stitches, increasing the number of 16/0s on each side of each stitch.

Winter fringe necklace fig 3
Figure 3
Winter fringe necklace b
Photo b

Intertwined fringe

To make intertwined fringe, complete a spiked fringe that has at least 10 16/0s on the second side. Pick up 17 16/0s, sew behind the spiked fringe twice, and pick up a leaf and 10 16/0s. Skip an 11/0 on the rope, and sew through the next 11/0 (FIGURE 3, a–b and PHOTO B). Repeat for the rest of the fringes, alternating spiked fringe, and leaf-embellished loops.

Winter fringe necklace c
Photo c

Twisted fringe

To make twisted fringe, pick up about 40 16/0s, and slide them up to the rope. Twist the thread several times. To test the twist, fold the strand in half. The beaded strand should naturally wrap around itself (PHOTO C). The more you twist the thread, the tighter the twisted fringe will be. You can alter the length of twisted fringe by adding more beads, or add a leaf in the middle of the fringe by stringing half the desired 16/0s, the leaf, and the other half of the 16/0s. For a consistent amount of twist in all the twisted fringe, twist the thread the same number of times in each.

Winter fringe necklace tip
Tip
Lay out the colors you want to use to get a better idea of how the beads will blend, as Virginia did above.
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