Goals for Bead Crochet
I got a copy of Bead Crochet Jewelry, and the jewelry looks amazing!
Bead crochet is a little different than regular crochet, and gives you a piece with a totally unique look. To bead crochet, you pre-string a lot of beads, and then (basically) slip stitch around a 4 stitch round (or more stitches, if you’d like). While slip stitching, there’s a certain technique for incorporating the bead appropriately into the stitch.
My long-term goal is to make myself a few fabulous necklaces! But, that’s a bit much for one Saturday! So, my goal this week was to:
- select beads and thread appropriate for a starter project
- string beads (you need to pre-string a LOT of beads!)… and see whether it would drive me bonkers
- learn the basic technique for bead crochet
- fasten off my work
Now that I’ve completed my first (albeit, small) bead crochet project, I have to tell you: this book is fabulous! Bead Crochet Jewelry is written by a mother and daughter (who I had the good fortune of meeting at TNNA), and it’s completely obvious throughout the book that this duo has a passion for bead crochet and are skilled teachers!
The book is organized by difficulty level (really helpful for us newbies!), and choc-full of helpful tips and step-by-step photos. I’m not going to fib: bead crochet is pretty different from regular crochet, and I had some trouble manipulating such thin thread early on. But, I persevered because of the great instructions (and dreams of future projects), and I couldn’t be happier!
I checked out my local craft stores, and none of them carried the type beading thread that was recommended in the book. So, I ordered my thread (and some beads, while I was at it!) from eebeads.com.
What I Did
I’ll admit: since I’m a pretty proficient crocheter, I thought I could start straight away on one of the projects, and skip over the advised practice. I was wrong.
Bead crochet requires a new way of interacting with the beads and hook… and that’s really hard to do for the first time with bead thread.
I began by stringing a pretty collection of beads. However, not only was the thread tiny (and I had no idea what I was doing!), the beads were slightly different sizes, making it a tough 1st project! So, after struggling a bit, I took the book’s advice and did a practice piece with yarn and jumbo beads:
I’m so happy that I did! Even though it doesn’t look fabulous, it allowed me to get the basic technique and get my fingers used to what they were supposed to do!
Next, I strung seed beads for my real project! I decided to use all identically-sized seed beads to make it easy on myself. I was delighted to discover that the crocheting was much easier now that I had some practice under my belt.
Isn’t it pretty? Look how nicely the colors are swirling! Yay!
I even finished off my piece in a circle. I have no idea what I’ll use it for (turns out that I strung on too few beads for a bracelet), but I’m so proud!
What I Learned
Most importantly, I learned that I like bead crochet! I was very worried that I would find the pre-stringing and tiny thread size irritating… but I found the stringing relaxing and got used to the small gauge size. Hooray!
I also learned a few pieces of advice for starting. It’s incredibly important to practice with a larger hook/bead size to begin, and also use multi-colored beads. If you do that, you’ll get the hang of what you’re doing to move on!
Finally, I realized that I need reading glasses. I suspected this for a while, but this tiny project brought the need into focus! And trust me, it’s much easier to bead crochet when you can really see what you’re doing!
I love this! I’m going to keep going! Next up for me is a bracelet with some focal beads… so excited!
I totally recommend Bead Crochet Jewelry, it’ll really inspire you to learn!