I won this ankle bracelet in the raffle at my annual women's festival, oh, about 10-11 years ago. I wore it to death, literally - about four years ago the elastic had degraded to the point that it became crunchy, and finally snapped. I had no idea how to fix it, and I kept meaning to try, but none of the ideas I could come up with seemed like they'd work the same way. It went into a drawer of mementos, to be sighed over every so often, but never worn again.
Until this past weekend, when, going through that drawer looking for something else, I came across it, and picked it up to sigh over it again...and realized that the shells had just been crocheted into the black elastic thread! I couldn't crochet before, and I'd never figured it out before - but I can sure crochet now!
This time it's not elasticized, it's just plain black cotton crochet thread, because that's what I have. So rather than just snapping it on like I used to, now I can tie it - and I made the ties long enough to wear as an anklet, double-wrapped around my wrist, or even as a choker! I'm SO HAPPY to have my beloved cowrie braclet back!
So, in my life, I'd only ever crochet with round beads, and only once. This was NOT the same. This was a pain in the ass, but I'm not complaining. You may have noticed, I have a few dozen hobbies, hehe. I like it when something's new, or hard. I enjoy the challenge.
In case you were wondering, this is just a single chain, with a loop drawn up through one end of the shell and then picked up from above (the hard part was the tension, and poking the thread through the shell). When I got to one end, I just made the tie double-length, folded it over, and picked up the last shell on the other side.
* Note for people who'll get this: did you notice that the shells are purple inside? I was wearing it during The Grape Ape Incident of 2004.