|Which Beads, Which Way?
You're reading issue #57. Wait - 56 issues and none of them are about crocheting beads into stitches? Odd, because I love using several methods (separately and together)! This issue is about three of them, described below.
All three beading methods show in the photo at left.
This week I took a deep breath and then formally introduced my Lotus yarn to my bread stash. I took the plunge with an open mind because crocheting with beads can get hitchy. I never know exactly how a batch of beads will work with a yarn. It could turn out to be a fabulous pairing, but I often can't get more of the same exact beads later, so I've learned to be cautiously optimistic.
I have several seed bead sizes in my stash, especially size Large
. This size may also be labeled Size 6/0
, or E-Beads
. It's an easy size to find, and it works with most
yarns up to sport weight (CYC #2 category & size #3 thread)
beading methods most
of the time.
Lotus is a standard sport weight yarn, so it should work with most
of my 6º seed beads. I'm here to report results: I had fun! You can tell because of the brand-new set of FIVE little Candied Color Charms patterns. Lovely new photos are sprinkled all over this newsletter. Most of my large seed beads play nicely with Lotus yarn, and I had enough bead colors to go with the yarn colors.
The Big Three Beading Methods
Until almost ten years ago I knew only ONE way to crochet with beads (#1 below). #2 is becoming more widely known and used. I don't know how well known or used #3 is.
1. String 'em all on before crocheting, then slide at least one bead up near the hook so that it's incorporated into the crochet stitch as you complete it. This method requires a beading needle, planning ahead, and constantly sliding most beads down and out of the way as you crochet. Each bead ends up on one strand of yarn at the backs of stitches (unless you employ a tweak). See the Candied Pony Beads in the right column.
2. Hoist 'em on any time. Not sure when I first learned this method, but I associate the term "hoisting" with Doris Chan, who uses this method often. She was the first designer I knew who used beads in the hem of a lace kimono invisibly to improve drape, not for embellishment. This method requires a crochet hook small enough to fit through the bead's holes, and yarn thin enough for a loop of it to be pulled through. Beads end up on two strands of a stitch. See the Flounces and Lovebud Vines in the right column. No steel hook small enough? See this tatting photo tutorial for a workaround!
Beading methods #1 and
#3 were used in the Sweet Almonds Set shown at left.
3. Super-Hoist 'em to prominence
. It's my term for a hybrid of #1 & #2. Use a fine crochet hook like with method #2 to hoist a pre-strung bead over an entire crochet stitch (usually a chain). The bead must have a large enough hole.
The unique benefit of this method is that the bead is prominently visible from every angle, because no stitch strands cover the bead. See the Tricorns
design (right column).
That's it for #57! If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks! --Vashti