Oooh! Strands of chains and beads
The beauty of using natural-colored thread is that it can easily be dyed any color on a whim and this time I went for a subtle blue/grey ombré with matching pearl beads nestling randomly throughout.
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Basically, this is just one big simple crochet chain. Using the thin pearl crochet thread and a US-C2 crochet hook, I made a long 18' continuous chain. Yes, you read right, I said "18 feet". It sounds daunting but it's really pretty easy even for any beginner. Here are few shots to give you the general idea and a link for quick chain stitch tutorial from theknitwitch.
Onto the dyeing! Cover your work surface with plastic to keep it neat and grab some rubber gloves. Soak necklace in warm water for a few minutes and gently squeeze excess water. This helps the cotton to absorb the dye better.
Shake up and measure 2 tablespoons of Rit Evening Blue liquid dye and mix into 2 quarts of very hot 140° water. If your tap water's not hot enough, simply heat it in a tea kettle or microwave. Immerse the necklace in the dye solution for about 5 minutes taking care not to tangle it up. Rinse under cool water until the water runs clear and hang.
I used another plastic container for the grey ombré effect of the bottom of the necklace. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of Rit Pearl Grey powder dye into 2 quarts of very hot 140° water. Stir well to make sure the dye dissolves fully. Holding the wet necklace by to top stitched ends, dip the necklace halfway into the dye bath momentarily and remove. Then dip a little less of the necklace and again a little less. In this way, you will achieve a gradual shading of the grey with the darkest area at the bottom of the necklace drape.
Oh, and just cause I like to kill two birds with one stone, I decided to dye up some plastic pearl beads to match my necklace. It's very easy to just set aside ½ cup of each dye solution for my beads. Simply drop the beads in the dye solution and leave them in for about 5 minutes as well. All they need is a quick rinse and wipe dry with paper towels.
When you have a color you like, rinse under cool water until the water runs clear, carefully wash with mild detergent, rinse and hang dry.
So here's my simple fix to that fashion dilemma. I simply cut two 40" lengths of grey ribbon to create a tied closure that could be adjusted as I like. To attach the ribbon, I found the center and placed it across the gathered stitched end on the top of the necklace. Next I brought both ends around and pulled them thru the center of the strands of crochet chains. Making sure not to twist the ribbon, cinch the ribbon tight.
Or... you can add some sweet little embellishments with those matching pearl beads. I sewed 3 large beads where the ribbon is attached to the crochet'd strands, just cause I thought it might make a nice accent. Then I gingerly glued tiny blue and grey pearl beads randomly throughout the strands to give a little extra sparkle. Oh, oh, so swellegant!