DISCOVER TURKISH CROCHET By Debra Arch Learn a unique way to join strips together!
The Turkish Flat Stitch technique produces a beaded band that drapes beautifully on the wrist. It is a very quick and easy process that looks like it was woven or made with macramé instead of crochet.
Very basic, beginner crochet stitches are used. In fact, this is a perfect quick, beginner project! Within minutes you can turn a few beads and cotton crochet thread into a cute bracelet to complement your wardrobe!
These bracelets would make wonderful gifts and, because this technique works up quickly, you can make several friendship bracelets in just one evening! Or how about making matching bracelets in a school’s team colors for all the girls sports and cheerleading teams? These bracelets would also be a fun beginner project to teach teens and tweens to make and sell as a fundraiser for their schools.
Although you will be using the same stitches, each bracelet can look completely unique and different just by changing the combination of beads and threads used! For example, the multicolored gemstone beads selected for the watchband and bracelet patterns in this issue were paired with crochet thread in a copper color and resulted in a natural, Bohemian- looking style. However, the possibilities for distinctive bracelets are endless as there are different types, colors, sizes and shapes of beads. Choose from metallic or opaque, matte or shiny, transparent or AB finish, wood or acrylic, gemstone or crystals, just to name a few.
Another way to change the look of these bracelets is by using various color combinations when pairing the beads and cotton threads together, such as monochromatic, complementary or contrasting colorways. You can also crochet the beads with embroidery floss or metallic threads for more variety in appearance.
The final option for varying the look of the bracelets is with the type of stitch used. Each will result in a subtle change by making the bracelet slightly narrower or wider. But remember these are very basic crochet stitches! So, if you already know how to make slip, single crochet and half double crochet stitches, you have all the skills you need to make your bracelet. Let’s get started!
DETERMINING BRACELET OR WATCHBAND LENGTH
The first thing that needs to be done is to decide how long you want your bracelet to be. There are several ways to determine the length of your bracelet:
1. Measure a bracelet you already own that is the length you like.
2. Simply start making the bracelet; periodically stop and wrap it around your wrist to determine how tight or loose you want the bracelet to be.
3. Wrap a flexible measuring tape around your wrist to the desired length and make your bracelet to that measurement.
4. Wrap a piece of yarn or string around your wrist to be as tight or loose as you want your bracelet to be and use it as your measurement.
5. For the Triple-Wrap Bracelet, you can use one of the previous measuring options and multiply it by the number of times you want to wrap the bracelet around your wrist, then crochet enough rows to get that desired length.
6. The Watchband length will depend upon the size of the watch face you will be using. For a good estimate, subtract the length of the watch face from your finished bracelet length and divide that number by 2 because you will be making 2 separate bands to attach to the watch face. Don’t forget to allow for the size of the toggle clasps. As you start crocheting one side of the watchband, periodically check to see if the band will end just slightly short of the center of your wrist after the last bead is attached, as this is where you will add the toggle clasp. Make the 2nd band the same length as the first one.
After you have determined the length of your bracelet and selected the beads and threads, you are ready to begin!
PRE-STRINGING BEADS ONTO CROCHET THREAD
The gemstone beads used in my designs were pre- strung on a nylon cord and needed to be restrung onto the crochet thread. The traditional method of transferring beads from pre- strung cord to crochet thread would not work because the nylon cord couldn’t be tied in a knot tight enough to pass through the very small hole of these 3mm beads. I did not want to take the time to handstring each bead one by one because it can be quite tedious and timeconsuming to insert the beading needle through the very small holes. I needed a life hack to quickly string several beads at one time onto crochet thread, and I came up with a way to do just that with only a short piece of duct tape!
Here is how it can be done: Fold 1/2inch of the nonadhesive side of duct tape back on itself 3 times, until the adhesive side is exposed on all sides. Center it on top of a piece of rubberized shelf liner. ( The liner’s rough surface will help prevent beads from bouncing and rolling onto the floor if some accidentally fall onto the work surface.) Place the shelf liner on an elevated, flat, firm surface, such as a capped hairspray can or large vitamin bottle.
Now thread a beading needle with the crochet thread, leaving a 6- inch tail. Next, with the pre- strung bead strand still knotted at each end, place the first 9 or 10 beads centered over the strip of duct tape and press down firmly on the beads to embed their perfectly aligned position in the duct tape (see Photo A).
Snip off the knot in front of the bead strand and gently pull the nylon cord out from right to left of the bead holes while simultaneously passing the tip of the beading needle from right to left through the bead holes (see Photo B).
Once the needle and thread have passed through all the beads, stop and secure the snipped end of the bead strand with a mini clothespin or small clip so the remaining beads do not fall off the pre-strung cord! Next, gently pull up on the crochet thread to loosen the beads from the duct tape. Then place the next 9–10 beads onto the duct tape and repeat this process until all beads are transferred onto the crochet thread, adding the last, larger bead for the closure bead.
If you do not have a long beading needle and want to start your bracelet as soon as possible, try using a dental floss threader! (see Photo C)
This will work if each bead has a hole large enough for the floss threader to pass through. Since the floss threader is very flexible, you will need to grasp the threader close to the tip and use it to string the beads in the same manner as the beading needle.
Now that the beads are strung onto crochet thread, let’s learn how to work the Turkish Flat Stitch!
In the photos that show each step, I used the size 10 cotton thread, size 10 steel crochet hook, single crochet stitches and 3mm and 6mm beads needed to make the Triple-Wrap Bracelet on page 11. However, you certainly can work with larger sizes of beads, threads or crochet hooks while you are learning this technique.
Basically, each bead is secured to the crochet thread with a chain-1, then the work is turned and a single crochet is worked into the thread on top of the bead just worked. Here is each step: Begin by placing a slip knot on the hook and slide the first bead close to the hook (see Photo 1),
Note: Bead in this photo is the larger 6mm bead used for the closure. yarn over (see Photo 2), pull through loop on hook to complete chain-1 (see Photo 3),
pull through both loops on hook to complete this single crochet stitch (see Photo 8). The first bead has been added!
Now let’s continue to add the second bead:
Slide next bead (sb) close to hook
(see Photo 9),
pull through both loops on hook to complete single crochet stitch (see
Repeat steps 9–16 to add each bead until you have the desired length for your bracelet. Then follow the simple instructions on page 12 to add either a chain loop closure or toggle clasps to your bracelets and watchband.
The final step is weaving in the crochet thread ends. One last tip: If the project was made using two strands, such as the Slip Stitch Bracelet and Single Crochet Watchband, a much neater finish will be achieved if the thread tails are woven in individually on the wrong side of the piece instead of threaded together.
That’s all you need to know to make the beautiful Turkish Crochet Bracelets & Watchband found on page 11!
This technique is so much fun to do. Each choice of beads and threads makes its own one- of-a- kind creation, and I am sure you will want to make several for yourself and friends!
TURKISH FLAT STITCH TECHNIQUE
turn, insert hook under thread at top of same bead (see Photo 4),
yarn over (see Photo 5),
pull up a loop— 2 loops on hook (see Photo 6), yarn over (see Photo 7),
turn, insert hook in top of single crochet made over first bead (see Photo 12), yarn over (see Photo 13),
pull up a loop— 2 loops on hook (see Photo 14),
yarn over (see Photo 15),
yarn over (see Photo 10), pull through loop on hook to complete chain-1 (see Photo 11),