How to make the curtain ring
The curtain ring I am making in this tutorial is experimental at this stage, but I thought I’d share the idea with you. However, I have made similar willow curtain rings without a binding and they are certainly still giving good service a year later.
Materials you will need:
~ 1 fine willow rod, 60cm / 24 inches long (the rod I used had been cut two weeks previously, so was partly dried but still very pliable)
~ secateurs or plant snips
~ small ball of hemp or other yarn (if you decide to make a whole set of rings, of course more yarn will be needed)
~ size 2.50 crochet hook (or larger, depending on yarn used)
~ ruler / tape measure
~ darning needle
~ a little careful dexterity to make the willow ring.
~ perhaps some very basic knowledge of crochet to make the binding.
Step One: Making the willow ring
1. Take the ends of the willow rod in both hands. You will notice the rod has a natural curve and we want to work with this. The thick end is called the ‘butt’ and the thin end is called the ‘tip’.
2. Gently bend the rod around into a circle and thread the tip end through the centre to make a ring.
3. Pull the ring up carefully, drawing the ring slightly towards the thicker butt end of the rod until it measures about 7cm /3 inches across.
4. Continue threading the finer tip of the rod back through the ring about twice or thrice more until only a small thin end is left.
5. To complete the ring, carefully coil the thicker butt end of the rod through the ring, overlapping the last part of the thin tip of the rod to hold it in place.
6. Finish the ring by using the secateurs or plant snips to trim off any longer ends that stick outside of the circumference of the ring. Take care not to cut off too much so the willow ring stays firmly coiled.
Step Two: Adding the hemp binding
1. Taking the hemp yarn and the crochet hook, start with a slip knot.
2. With the crochet hook in your right hand [assuming you are right handed !] take the ball of yarn through the ring. Now we’re ready to start the binding.
3. Hold the ring with the yarn through going through the centre and your crochet hook outside of it. It doesn’t matter much whereabouts on the ring you start, though I would suggest leaving at least a 3cm / 1 inch space between your starting point and the point where you trimmed off the butt end of the rod.
4. Begin by passing the yarn over the hook outside of the ring and draw it through the slip knot on your hook. Pull up the loop tightly around the ring.
5. If you are familiar with crochet stitches we are now going to make a row of single crochet stitches to cover the ring.
*With the yarn at the back of the ring, take your hook through the ring, pass the yarn over the hook and draw the hook back through the ring towards you with the yarn around it. With this loop on your hook, take the hook outside of the ring and pass the yarn around the hook again. Now draw the yarn through the other two loops on your hook and pull the stitch firmly closed around the ring.*
6. Continue by repeating this stitch [from * to *]as you make your way around the ring. Try to keep the stitches fairly taut around the willow. If you find small spaces appearing between the stitches, carefully slide the stitches closer together. When I reached the thicker butt end of the willow rod, I found if I really packed the stitches closely they were able to cover this slightly awkward part.
7. When you have worked right round the willow ring with your crochet stitches, make the last stitch link into the first stitch so that you don’t leave a gap. Do not break off your yarn yet as next we need to add a loop to take a curtain hook.
Step Three: Adding a loop for a curtain hook
1. Make another single crochet stitch (the same as the stitches you’ve just been making) by inserting your hook through the top of the first binding stitch you made around the ring, draw the yarn through, pass the yarn over your hook again and draw through both loops. Pull this stitch taut.
2. Make 8 chain.
3. Insert your hook through the top of the last binding stitch you made around the ring and slip stitch into it to make your chain into a small loop. [Slip stitch = insert hook, yarn over and draw hook through both loops together]
4. Make a second slip stitch into the top of the next stitch of the binding to firmly fasten the loop.
5. Cut off the yarn leaving a short end and draw this through the loop on your hook. Pull the end of the yarn to draw the loop tightly closed.
6. Complete your curtain ring by carefully threading the loose ends of yarn inside the binding using a darning needle.
Your curtain ring is now complete. At this stage you can slightly adjust the overall shape of the ring if it has slightly deformed simply by squeezing it gently.
You will notice the ring is neither flat nor rounded, but rather undulates as it follows the thicks and thins of the willow base. The crochet stitches will be shorter or longer to accommodate the variations. I quite liked this. I think this gives the curtain ring more character and also the undulation will play well with the lustre of the hemp yarn as the light reflects.
I hope your curtain ring turns out well. Do let me know in the comments – I’d love to see your finished ring. You can also contact me through the comments if you get stuck and need me to make an instruction clearer. Have fun crafting!
by J Peggy Taylor