Crystal Flower Choker

by Theresa Olin

This choker uses a variation of cross-needle weave to create hexagon patterns. 0.014" SoftFlex beading wire is thin enough to go through a 4mm bicone twice (sometimes it needs to be coaxed), and it is stiff enough to use without a needle. Materials and instructions given are for a choker of about 12" excluding the clasp; to adjust the length or to make a bracelet, vary the number of times the pattern is repeated. (You will need to change the number of crystals and length of beading wire accordingly.) You can also add an extender chain to make the choker adjustable, as shown in the example.

For a design using this technique with a somewhat more complicated pattern, see my Braided Crystal Bracelet.

Materials

4mm Swarovski crystal bicones #5301: 77 flower color A
78 flower color B
76 leaf color
77 background color
80 in. 0.014" SoftFlex or other beading wire
2x2mm crimp tube(s)
2 soldered closed jump rings or split rings
2+ open jump rings
clasp

In the picture above, flower color A is Light Rose, flower color B is Rose, leaf color is Emerald, and background color is Crystal. Other good flower combinations are Amethyst/Light Amethyst and Sapphire/Aquamarine. Light Emerald also works well for the leaf color, and Jet is another good background.

The pattern pictures use light purple for flower color A, dark purple for flower color B, light green for leaf color, and gray for background color.

Procedure

1. Cut 80 in. of beading wire. String a closed jump ring or split ring and position it in the middle of the wire.

2. String 2 A-color crystals on each end of wire. Pick up a fifth A-color crystal on one end and pass through it in the opposite direction with the other end. Push the crystal down toward the jump ring, keeping the two wire ends even. This will create a 5-crystal loop, with the jump ring opposite the cross-through crystal.

3. Use the following pattern to continue cross-needle weave. The red dots show where the two ends will cross to form a loop. Each new loop will have 6 crystals. Continue until you have 13 A-color flower loops, including the first 5-crystal one.

* For a bracelet of about 6" (excluding clasp), continue until you have 7 A-color flower loops, including the first 5-crystal one.

* If you want your piece to be longer, add more loops but make sure you end with an A-colored flower loop. Keep in mind that it's better for the woven choker to be too short than too long - you can add an extender chain to make it longer, but if it's already too long it will be floppy when worn.

* Also keep in mind that there are two more loops to be added (see steps 4 & 5).

* Each unit of the pattern (flower loop plus the background and leaf in between) is slightly less than 1" in length.

4. Add one more loop with the following pattern (outlined in red):

5. Finish the end with another 5-crystal loop and a closed jump ring or split ring, as follows. On the wire end represented by the red line in the picture below, string 2 background colors, the ring, one leaf color, and one B color. Pass the other end (blue line) through the B color, and pull the loop tight. Then pass the "red" end through the next B-color crystal (woven in step 4).

6. For each loop in the second row, you’ll be adding crystals with one wire end, and passing the other end through two crystals from the first row. For the first loop, string 4 B-color crystals onto the "blue" end, and pass the "red" end through the last one in the opposite direction.

7. Now pass the "blue" end through one leaf-color crystal and one A-color crystal from the first woven row (as shown above).

8. On the free (red) end, string a leaf color and two background colors. Cross ends through the second background-color crystal.

9. Follow the pattern below for the rest of the second row, each time passing one wire end through two crystals from the first row.

10. Finish the second row as shown, crossing the wire ends through one or two crimp tubes. Crimp the tube(s).

11. Weave the "red" end through the 2 side crystals and cut the excess. Cut the "blue" end close to the crimp.

12. Use open jump rings to connect the clasp and/or extender chain to the closed jump rings on the ends of the choker.

Notes

* This weave is a type of cross-needle weave (aka right angle weave). The technique is very versatile, and can be expanded into all sorts of new patterns and ideas.

* Try using fire-polished beads, round glass beads, cat's eye beads, or anything else you can think of for different effects.

* Photos of variations can be found here: http://imageevent.com/allaboutbeads/theresalavacacita

* You’re welcome to give away or sell non-mass-produced quantities of pieces made with these instructions, but please give me credit for the how-to. It will make me happy and bring you good karma. J

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Theresa Olin, 2004-2009