Puffpearls Cord & Guide to Jewelry Basics by Vashti Braha

Puffpearls Cord & Guide to Jewelry Basics

February 2013
Thread ?
1.65 mm
2.25 mm (B)
2.75 mm (C)
3.25 mm (D)
4.0 mm (G)
5 - 20 yards (5 - 18 m)
A table of standard necklace sizes is provided. All custom sizes.
both US and UK
Flag of English English
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

My Crochet Inspirations Newsletter #47 goes into more detail about the rayon threads used.

I’ve pulled together an easy “Puffpearls” cord stitch and a versatile “Mushroom Button” & loop crochet clasp to create a cord pattern + reference guide to some basics of jewelry crochet.

The reference guide features include:

  • A table of standard and traditional necklace lengths (in both inches & cm)
  • Troubleshooting tips for pairing different types of pendants with crochet cords
  • How to know which type of beginning slip know you make and why it matters
  • The “best practices” that I’ve come to recognize as unique to jewelry crochet. We want our crochet jewelry to look fabulous, to last a long time, and to stay put (not shift around, not loosen, and certainly not fall off!).

I also have another standard; while crocheting jewelry, I want to keep as many options as open as possible. This leaves room for design inspiration to strike. I explain how I do this in the pattern.

The Puffpearls, Mushroom Button, and Chain Loop Fastener components are my default multipurpose starting points for new designs. I think of them as jewelry crochet in seed form; I often use these elements while swatching, and then I expand them into special, fancier versions for new designs.

I think of bead-like crochet stitches and jewelry cords as the dynamic heart of jewelry crochet. Pretty cords are versatile, strong, fun, fast, underused, work with any materials, and are as easy or fussy as you choose. It’s easy to quickly convert a pendant cord to a lariat necklace, and link up bracelets to make longer coordinating necklaces.

Skill Level: Mixed (Beginner, Easy, Intermediate). The Chain Loop Clasp is Beginner level, the Puffpearl Cord is Easy and the Mushroom Button is Intermediate.
Pattern is written with a limited amount of abbreviations. International UK & AUS equivalents to American measurements, thread weights, and stitch terms are included.

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

  • How to crochet the Puffpearl stitch for jewelry cords.
  • How to crochet a basic jewelry clasp.
  • How to use your beginning yarn end and slip knot for jewelry.
  • How to customize the fit of a crochet bracelet or necklace.
  • How to make pendants work with your necklace cords.
  • How to vary these jewelry components.

Finished Dimensions measured end to end, unclasped
These are foundation-row cords; just keep going until the bracelet or necklace is as long as you wish. The crocheted clasp adds up to approximately 1” {2.5 cm} to the length, depending on the thread/yarn and hook size used. A chart of standard bracelet and necklace lengths is on page 8.

If you’re new to crocheting jewelry:
Start with a smooth-textured and light-colored yarn or thread that you’ve already used. Check to see that it is comfortable if worn at the neck or wrist. Then choose a comfortable crochet hook size for your yarn or thread. A size #3 crochet thread, or a sport weight mercerized cotton is great for new jewelry crocheters: Patons Grace, Tahki Cotton Classic Lite, and Rowan Cotton Glace. These are in the CYC #2 Fine yarn weight category. Use a crochet hook size F-5 (3.75mm) and then go up or down a hook size if necessary.

A size #5 crochet thread, or a sock yarn in the CYC #1 Super Fine yarn weight (“fingering wt”) category is also a good choice for jewelry. Look for one that has high merino, silk, or bamboo content with a small amount of nylon for durability. An upscale sock yarn is a soft and durable choice for jewelry and improves the look of some crochet stitches. Start with a crochet hook size C-2 (2.75mm) and then go up or down a hook size if necessary.

Exact gauge and materials are not essential because it’s easy to choose the finished length of your necklace and bracelets.