I first saw this Native American Inspired Sun Symbol as part of a painting in one of the gift shops in a town close to where I live. It was done in tiny bits of color, from red in the middle graduating out to bright yellow and white for the sun rays. Being an Artist’s rendition I’ve never been able to find an exact picture of the original. However, I remembered.
I did some basic research and found a Sun Symbol on the Internet (black & white). I learned that just about every Native American Tribe has slightly different renditions, and meanings. However, in general the Symbol stands for Strength, Growth, and Life. If you want a more detailed meaning you could look up the Native Americans you wish to learn from, and look up their meanings for this symbol. I found one that said the 12 rays of the sun stood for the seasons and the 12 changes of the seasons. The spiral in the center stood for the sprouting of seeds and the growth of plants.
One of the beautiful things about living in New Mexico is the Native American influence and symbolism all around. This decal (applique, patch) can be added to just about anything you'd like. It would look great on a hat, purse, clothing, or just a pretty symbol hanging in your home.
In order to get the multiple color effect I used 3 (different color) strands of #5 pearl cotton together. Most of your loose ends will be woven in as you go, so you'll only need to hide a few at the end.
Yarn: #5 Pearl Cotton Thread - 1) A True Red. 2) Dark Orange. 3) Light Orange. 4) Dark Bright Yellow. 5) Light Bright Yellow. 6) Bright White. And for the spiral use Black. That makes 7 different colors. I used the DMC brand and paid about $1.50 for each little bundle.
Hook: For the Sun use a D 3.25mm hook. For the spiral use a B 2.25mm hook
Other: Scissors, blunt tipped yarn / thread needle (for hiding the last loose ends), I also listened to nice Native American Flute Music while I was crocheting my Sun Symbol.
Round 1: D Hook / With Red, Dark Orange, and Light Orange Chain (ch) 2. Into the 1st stitch Single Crochet (SC) 6. Crochet around the loose ends as you go. Snip your 3 beginning loose ends. Snip the Red and tie on the Dark Yellow.
Round 2: Single Crochet (sc) 2 stitches in each stitch around (total 12). Make sure to crochet around the loose ends, snip them when done with this round. Snip the Dark Orange and tie on the Light Yellow.
Round 3: Single Crochet (sc) 2 stitches in each stitch around (total 24). Make sure to crochet around the loose ends, snip them when done with this round. Slip Stitch (sl st) 1 into the next 2 stitches. Snip the Light Orange and tie on the White.
** Chain (ch) 9, Slip Stitch (sl st) back down your chain 8. Slip Stitch (sl st) 1 more into the same location you started. Slip Stitch (sl st) 1 more into the next 2 disk stitches. ** Repeat from the stars (**) all the way around for a total of 12 Sun Rays.
At the very end, when you meet your first Sun Ray, slip stitch (sl st) into the last disk stitch, and finish by slip stitching into the very bottom of this first Sun Ray.
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The Sun Symbol Spiral is made using a method of crochet called Tambor Crochet (or Top Stitching) if you would like a refresher on this method of crochet, click here. I'm going to do my best to detail, step-by-step, how this is done.
B Hook / Start in the very center little space of the disk.
From the 'right' side to the back side, insert your hook make a loop (not a slip knot, just a loop) with the black thread, catch it and pull it through.
I exaggerated the loop for the photo, you don't have to make yours this big.
Pull the loose end through. Insert your hook into the next stitch in the spiral and pull the loose end back through to the back.
On the back side, knot the loose end to your working thread.
Insert your hook back into the center hole - keep your thread on the bottom - and pull up a loop.
Tambor crochet is basically slip stitching. With the loop on your hook, insert your hook into the next stitch (this is the same stitch you used to create the knot, it will have a black thread over it), and pull up another loop. Pull the loop the loop on your hook (slip stitch).
Continue around, following the 'spiral' that is naturally in the disk you crocheted, stitch by stitch all the way around.
Here's the way it should look when you get to the outside.
The last stitch goes between the first sun ray and the last sun ray - AND goes over the edge.
Cut your black (long tail end) and pull it through the stitch on your hook, binding off.
The little symbol to the right is a black and white version of the Sun Symbol I found on the Internet.
This is the look you're shooting for.
By taking each Sun Ray, and tightly forming an S pattern, when you release the Sun Ray is will look similar to the black and white picture.
It doesn't hold the shape forever but it will give you a good guide to sew with.
All text and photos, of this Sun Symbol (Native American Inspired), are original.
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