How to crochet a beautiful Cleopatra neckpiece in sterling silver wire

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How to Make a Crocheted “Cleo” Collar Necklace 
I love working in wire, I began with heavier gauges and bending wire to create mountings for faceted and cab stones. Which I loved doing, still do, but I also love working in the delicate and fine wire that can be crocheted.

This design was my second published in Lapidary Journal in 1997, the first year that began a 10 year history of publishing my designs.

Oh, and if your kids give you a hard time about crocheting with wire, tell them if they behave and play their cards right, you will make them a car…

Things You’ll Need:

size 4 steel boye hook
fine silver wire .999 on a spool. about one oz
round nose pliers
20 gauge wire, for making a hook,in case you don’t want to purchase a hook
and jump rings unless you have ready made jump rings

Step 1

With a size 4 steel hook, chain 160 then work a double crochet stitch in each chain. This can be altered if you need it smaller or longer.  You are working the necklace length wise. Chain 2: work a double crochet stitch in the 2nd stitch, than one in each stitch and then, end with a chain 2.

Step 2

This is not an exciting pattern, you can do just one more row, same as last, skip the first stitch, do a double crochet stitch in the 2nd stitch and if it is as wide as you like, you can stop now. Or, go on 1 or 2 more rows, the one in the picture is 4 rows.

Step 3

When it is as wide as you want, secure, clip wire end and, end with weaving the extra wire into the piece. Using a piece of the 20 ga wire, you need to make a small loop and do a running in and out stitch along the edge of the work. Be sure the loop catches at the bottom, then make another loop at the top and secure the wire with another loop. Then, do it on the other side.

Step 4

Using a towel, place the finished work down, then, layer towel on top, gentle press down on the work, to flatten. You will be amazed at what a difference this makes in appearance. It is also more flexible, but be careful, too hard and you can break a wire. it is always fixable with round nose pliers, but you don’t want to cause damage. You could also gently press with your fingers, but that’s tougher on your hands.  This is also when you shape the necklace, to a curve U shape.  It is ok to “smush” the wire in the center, theh wire will settle in close and you can finish the natural curve around your neck.  Put it on to do this step.  Wire is very forgiving in shaping.  It’s kind of like putting in a sleeve in a dress in sewing and you know all that material will never fit but it always does.  And, when you wear it, it will not look overcrowded, there are 3-4-5 rows and it all blends and looks lovely. You can of course, add a pin, a cameo looks wonderful.

If you are using a clasp, attach it to the upper end, to the opposite end, add a jump ring, than another jump ring so the clasp has something to “bite” into to hold.

Step 5

If you are wanting to make a wire hook, take a 3″ piece of 20 ga and bend it in half, with the ends curl them with round nose pliers to the upper end of the necklace top, then, finish bending them to hold. You can end it there, however I usually bring them to the front, and do another loop up and around the bottom of the hook, at the base of the hook. Then, bend the hook in half, you have just made a hook clasp. Add a jump ring on the other side of the neck piece, you might also want to add another jump ring it gives move ability to getting the hook into that little round thing. Hey, anything that helps. You could also use another piece of the heavier gauge, round nose pliers, you will be making a figure 8. Bring the end of the loop in the top end of the necklace … then make the other loop. You can make it fancier by bringing the ends round the middle and curve.

Same for the other loop. and YES I am getting a new thingie to take the pictures from my camera to put it on the computer.

Tips & Warnings

If you have a beautiful long neck, this piece is fantastic if you add hooks all the way down the back, and can add a cameo pin to the center. one of my wedding pieces, and no, no picture. coming, its coming…..

Always finish a row you start, you will never get the same tension back as you had. unless there is blood involved, or your kid cries really loud, figure it is a trade off.

You can always make this in the new copper base permanent clad colors, vast array of bright primary colors, to antique gold and brass. you can also get non tarnish gold and non tarnish silver..

If you use the non tarnish gold or silver, be careful you do not mix it with your sterling or fine silver wire.

Mark it with a tag as soon as you finish, or use one distinctive clasp. it is a huge no no to mix up and sell as a sterling silver and have it be a silver plated one.


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