Introduction: How to Crochet a Whimsical Light Fixture!
I love using up leftover yarn and this crochet pendant light is the perfect way to do that. I combined a thin synthetic in a turquoise blue colour with an off white cotton. The stitch is a simple single crochet throughout and it’s wrapped around a core of sisal to stiffen and allow it to hold its shape.
I had so much fun making these, I made a variety of colours using pink, yellow and blue - all combined with the off white cotton yarn. So if you notice that the yarn in the pictures that follow change between these three different colours, you'll know why!
- Hemma Cord Set or hanging lantern cord*
- Cotton yarn 4/8
- Thin synthetic knitting machine yarn 2/24
- Sisal bundling twine
- Crochet hook (size 3)
- Stitch marker
- Steam iron
- LED lightbulb
* Determine whether you want the cord to be hard wired or a plug in and purchase accordingly.
sc - single crochet
st(s) - stitch or stitches
Step 1: Combine Yarns
Combine the two separate yarns together by pulling them through your thumb and forefinger. Combine several feet to start, them keep running them together as needed.
Although not necessary, It’s handy to have a spool stand to hold the off white cone of yarn so it doesn’t fall over as it’s unwound to combine (see last two pics).
For this turquoise version, I also added an arm on the stand to hold the combined strands together. Again, I didn't need it but since I already had it, I put it to good use.
Step 2: Cover the Sisal
Make a slipknot in the combined yarn. Slip onto crochet hook and tighten the knot.
If you are right handed, keep the roll of sisal off to the left side and the combined yarn on the right. Be sure to keep them a good distance apart so the yarn pile can’t snag on the sisal as you crochet.
Loop the sisal as shown by twisting it on itself (4th pic) and attach it with a single crochet stitch (sc).
Sc around sisal loop until there are 55 sts in total.
Step 3: Test Size
Before pulling on the sisal end to reduce the circumference of the circle, insert the head of the hemma cord in the middle and tighten the sisal around it to fit – not too loose or too tight.
When the project is complete, the nut you see in the 2nd picture will screw on to hold the pendant in place.
Slip stitch into the first st, sc, then add a stitch marker (do this for every row of the project.
Crochet second row in single crochet. Remove the marker, slip st. into that st, then sc. Replace marker and continue with sc for the third row.
As you add rows, they will start to curl inward (last pic).
Step 4: Increase Rows
Continue with sc for a total of 8 rows. It will continue to curl inward. After the 8th row, flip the work so it’s convex instead of concave (like 4th pic above).
On rows 9-11 , increase stitches as follows. After every increase row, count the stitches to ensure they match the number in the bracket:
Row 9. sc, place marker. Increase every 4th and 5th stitch (sc in the same stitch twice). [66 sts]
The 3rd pic shows a closeup of the increase (2 sc) done in just the off white yarn so you can see it better.
Row 10. sc, place marker. Increase every 7th st (end with 2 sts). [75 sts]
Row 11. sc, place marker. Increase every 8 sts. (end with 2 sts. [84 sts]
As shown in the last two pics, the crochet will start to flare out again like the brim of a hat.
Step 5: After the Increases
Row 12 – 42: sc.
As you start to single crochet subsequent rows after the 3 rows of increases, the work will start to curl upward again (1st pic).
Once the curl becomes too steep, flip those rows outward as you did earlier when you made the fabric convex instead of concave. The last pic shows how it should look after completing row 16 and flipping outward.
Note that you can get a lot of variation in the shape and size depending on how tight or loose you crochet – and also how much slack you give the sisal. Notice how tight the work is in the second picture compared to the last pic. Each pendant will be unique and have it’s own shape and charm. There is no right and wrong with this project. It's supposed to be whimsical, so have fun with it!
As you crochet, you can control the shape/contour by either flipping the rows (convex vs. concave) or by pulling on the sisal cord to narrow and then distributing the stitches evenly around the row. Both ways will work to shape the curvature.
Step 6: Loop Edging
On the last row add a loopy feature to the edge. To complete the edging:
1. sc 11 sts around the sisal only to cover it. Count 7 sts, then do 2 sc in that 7th st to anchor the loop.
2. sc 11 sts around the sisal once again, but this time position the loop it in the opposite direction. Anchor once again in the 7th st with 2 sc.
You may need to twist the stitches in the same direction to get it to loop as shown.
Do these two steps a total of 6 times (12 sections). When back to the start, sc 10 times around the sisal. Position the sisal on the inside as shown in the 2nd last pic. Cut the sisal, as well as the yarn end, leaving a tail on both. Secure the sisal using a darning needle. Knot the yarn, then hide the end and cut. Trim back the sisal.
The last pic shows how it will look on the inside.
Step 7: Block With Steam
When complete, if you wish, you can use a steam iron to shape. Since sisal tends to be stiff, blocking can help soften any bulges.
Inserting a sewing ham will support the pendant as you steam.
I didn’t find it necessary, but if you find that the loop edging doesn’t sit nicely in an up and down position, you can add a stitch where it meets a row of crochet to hold it in place. Use invisible thread or even the turquoise yarn to fasten.
Step 8: Assemble
After blocking, let the piece dry.
Unscrew the collar from the Hemma cord set, sandwich the pendant in between and screw the collar back on.
Then insert an LED light bulb. For safety reasons, don't use an incandescent lightbulb; it could get too hot.
Hang your whimsical crocheted light fixture and hit the light switch to light it up!
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