These sets of cacti earrings and necklaces were designed to bridge the gap between the cacti and crochet components of our little family business (read more about us here). In particular, I was hoping that they could get some of the cacti-obsessed visitors to our regular craft market stall interested in looking at the crochet too.
Well, I don’t know that the plan was particularly successful in getting cactus buyers into crochet, but at least the jewellery is super cute!
I thought for a change I’d keep the rambling to a minimum and try to illustrate the process of making these with a set of photos.
It all started with this sketch, the first attempts at a cactus pattern.
The first earrings which used this pattern looked like this.
Then I decided to make them in a dark green too and create a slightly larger version for a necklace to match. The pattern changed slightly along the way to make it a bit faster to crochet and obviously was altered a bit in order to change the size as well.
The montage below shows the process of making the cacti into jewellery after they’ve been crocheted. Firstly, I block them to make them sit flat and maintain the shape I want. For me this simply means dipping them in a bowl of water and then while they are wet I stretch and pin them into shape on the lid of a styrofoam box. I leave them to dry and then take all the pins out. As you can see, there were various other items I was blocking at the same time.
Then I choose my findings, in this case some Stirling silver plated earring hooks, jump rings and a silver necklace chain. I use bent nose jewellery pliers to open and hook a jump ring through the top of each cactus. For the earrings I then put that jump ring also through the ring part of the earring hook and pinch the jump ring closed using the pliers. For the necklace, I close the jump ring before threading the necklace chain through.
I also attempted to crochet mini cacti using embroidery thread rather than 2ply yarn. You can see my best attempt below, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with the outcome so I didn’t pursue that any more!
Overall though I was pretty pleased with the end results: both light and dark green cactus earring and necklace sets (available for sale on my facebook page if you are interested), although I acknowledge the earrings are perhaps too large for some of us!
Let me know if you try making any cactus themed jewellery or anything else – I’m always interested in more ways to connect cacti and crochet!