Great gifts you can make at home to give as gifts, that is always my goal. Not only is it better because it shows more imagination that going into a crowded store and picking up the closest thing you can reach that is sitting on the counter, but it also gives you the personal satisfaction that you have not only thought of your person, you have taken the time to make something for them. I know it always goes far with me.
Now that doesn’t mean I would turn down a beautiful diamond pendant, (just in case my husband reads this) but in thinking about that, I could probably help pick out the stone, and do the mounting myself and get a wholesale price on the whole thing including the chain and the gift box, since I have been making jewelry for over 25 years; Jon, we can talk about diamond shopping later, ok?
When you want to make a gift for your special person, be it your mother, father, spouse, child or best friend, you have to take into consideration a couple of things. What do they absolutely love and will they think of you every time they wear it. See, I make jewelry, so for me, my gifts are sterling silver or 14k gold-fill wire; gemstone beads or crystals for focal points; and a crochet hook for creating the masterpiece. Yes, a crochet hook. One of the ways I make jewelry is with a crochet hook, just a regular aluminum or steel hook, Boye is best, usually a size 4 in the steel type. That gives you a lovely strong stitch, and you use standard patterns for crochet, the accessories kind, jewelry patterns do exist for yarn, or thread. You just have to substitute wire. Or, like me, just start playing with the wire.
You can start with copper wire: sizes in 26, 28 and 30 gauges are the best; 24 is tough to crochet with and you get the feeling back in your thumbs in about 2 months. Don’t ask me how I know this.
A very basic beginning piece would be a bracelet, lovely in silver but works as a really pretty and trendy piece when made in copper. Copper is a very popular material to use now, and some claim that the medical side benefits are worth the occasional green marks.
With your wire, size 28 gauge works well, and a size 0 steel hook, begin to do a chain stitch, and work it long enough to go all the way around your wrist, or the length you need for your gifting. I figure I always work up a practice piece, so I measure it to my wrist. When you have enough and with some space for comfort, stop; then, work your choice of the followig:
If you want a thin band, work a slip stitch in each chain stitch.
If you want a bit more of a fashion statement, work a single crochet stitch.
If you want a show of force, a double crochet stitch is fantastic
You now have your choices. When you get to the end of the row, you need to tie off the end of the wire, at the last stitch, neatly, and weave it into the work. You will be adding a clasp to one end, and a jump ring to the other. Get your chain nose pliers and put those in place.
You now have to try it on. You can find charms in copper if you want to add them. You can also go all-out and make a couple of necklace pieces too. The thing with necklace pieces, when you get them finished, hold in both hands, and give a tug. If the necklace is stored curled up, the chain may not lay flat, in which case, you may need to give the wire a tug, but it shouldn’t be a problem for the necklace. You make them strong.
You can also make a pendant to dangle from the necklace, and, if it is a mounting with a cabochon stone, it may be enough to have it hang perfectly.
Next project, Cabochon or Faceted stone with crochet mounting