Irish Pearl Knots: Necklace & Friendship Bracelets by Vashti Braha

Irish Pearl Knots: Necklace & Friendship Bracelets

December 2012
Lace ?
1.0 mm
1.75 mm
2.75 mm (C)
Adjustable and easily customizable bracelets & pendant cords.
both US and UK
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You might like to see the newsletter issue I just sent out about this stitch and design here.

This pattern is my loving tribute to a tricky stitch. I’ve wanted to add it to the DesigningVashti pattern collection ever since I first designed it for a crochet jewelry book in 2006. (You can read that backstory here.)

Pattern includes:

  • Three thread & yarn sizes
  • Photo Tutorial, video links, and two ways to describe in text how to do the Irish Pearl Knot.
  • Instructions for two types of crochet jewelry fasteners, including how to do the classic Clones Knot for a button & chain loop clasp.
  • Some suggested Clones Knot variations to try.

“Irish Pearl” is my name (since 2006) for a variation of the fascinating Clones Knot because I think of it as a jewelry stitch. It was developed in the Clones region of Ireland during the 19th century Irish crochet lace heyday.

Variations of the Clones Knot already exist, such as the “open clones” (an “Irish Pearl”?). It’s one of my favorite stitches for jewelry because it creates a refined draping strand of almost pearl-like symmetrical stitches.

This delicate stitch column is also a true cord pattern in the sense that it’s three-dimensional and viewable from any angle; it has no front and back like the more common braids, bands, and insertion types of crochet do. It also counts a fancy foundation chain alternative.

I frequently wear the green size #20 thread version as a pendant cord. This is partly due to its delicacy and partly because it passes through the holes of most of my pendants.

Issue #17 of my Crochet Inspirations Newsletter was inspired by this design.

Skill Level: I rate this project Experienced because no matter how many Clones Knot variations I’ve crocheted in different types of yarns and threads since 2006, sometimes it’s easy to make them neat and even, and sometimes not. It seems to depend on my mood!

After following this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):

  • How to crochet the Clones Knot, and a very special jewelry variation.
  • How to create and use a true jewelry cord.
  • How to customize and improvise your own variations of this design.

Finished Dimensions
This is a foundation-row cord, so just start and keep going until the cord is as long as you wish. Try out your own Clones Knot variations (some suggestions included in pattern).

Pattern includes an option for two crocheted clasp styles. Or, use the yarn ends for attaching a metal jewelry clasp of your choice.

Supplies Needed for Fine Irish Pearls (in sage green thread)
Steel Crochet Hook: 1 mm (labeled US #10 by some brands), or preferred size.
Thread used: A benefit of this thread size is that if you have trouble creating uniform pearly stitches, it won’t be as noticeable as with thicker threads. Click here to read my online article about choosing crochet threads for jewelry making.
Coats Opera crochet thread, size #20 (100% mercerized cotton, 50g/1.75oz, 442yds/404m per ball). Many other size #20 cotton threads can be substituted.
Extras: metal clasps (if desired)

Supplies Needed for Medium Irish Pearls (pink thread pendant cord; silver-gray rayon bracelet)
Steel Crochet Hook: I used a 1.65 mm (labeled US #7 by some brands) hook with the pink cotton thread and a 1.75 mm hook with the gray rayon; or preferred size.
Threads used: Many other size #10 cotton threads (a.k.a. Bedspread weight) can be substituted.
Coats Opera crochet thread, size #10 (100% mercerized cotton, 50g/1.75oz, 251yds/230m per ball), much less than one ball.
Swallow Hill 5 Wt (100% rayon, 50g/1.75oz, 264yds/241m per ball), much less than one ball. (My personal favorite. It’s slippery, so practice with yarn or cotton thread first. It’s a bit thicker than true size #10 thread, but as with silk and other slippery threads, it benefits from smaller hooks and tighter gauges.)
Extras: metal clasps (if desired)

Supplies Needed for Large Irish Pearls (in gold hemp, dark gray silk, teal cotton, and variegated sock yarns in tans and greens)
Crochet Hook: US3/D/3.25 mm or preferred size. I used a 2.3 mm hook for some of these.
Yarns used: This yarn category is a Size #5 in crochet thread sizing. In yarn sizing it’s called fingering weight, sock weight, or #1 SuperFine; outside of the US it’s often called Four Ply.
Hemp for Knitting’s AllHemp3 (100% hemp, 50g/1.75oz, 165yds/151m per ball).
Schachenmayr Nomotta Regia Silk Color (55% wool, 25% nylon, 20% silk, 50g/1.75oz, 218yds/199m per ball), color #0181 variegated beige, gray, cream.
Shaefer Yarn Company Heather (55% merino wool, 30% silk, 15% nylon, 114g/4.02oz, 400yds/114m per ball), color Spanky: variegated blue and green.
Coats Opera crochet thread, size #5 (100% mercerized cotton, 50g/1.75oz, 190yds/174m per ball), much less than one ball.
Extras: metal clasps (if desired)

Note: If you will be making the friendship bracelets, I recommend a yarn that contains at least 50% natural fiber so that your finished project will respond to blocking. All of the bracelets shown were dampened and then stretched out gently to straighten them, because they lack the weight of beads or pendants that would straighten them without blocking.

Pattern abbreviations are kept to a minimum. International English equivalents to American measurements, yarn weights, and stitch terms are provided in brackets { }.