Thursday, January 26, 2006

Question From Reader: Crocheting With Beads

Dear Dee, I am an admirer of your work! I especially love the beaded bikini top you did and was wondering if crocheting with beads is difficult? Can you tell me also where do you buy your beads from? Sonya

Thank you for the compliment on my work, Sonya, and more importantly, thank you for contacting me to inquire if crocheting with beads is difficult. To answer your question, no, I do not think crocheting with beads is difficult at all!

The trick is to ensure that the beads work with the fiber you intend to do your project with. But before we go there, lets look at the techniques of adding beads to our crochet work:
     A. Thread beads onto fiber and crochet beads in as you go.
or   B. Thread bead onto individual stitches as you go (this requires removing hook from work & using a "threader" such as "The Bead-ler" to slide bead onto stitch loop before completing stitch).
or  C. Hand sew the beads on when the project is complete.

The quickest of the three techniques I mentioned is "A," and this is where I'll keep my answer to you focused on. To crochet with beads, you'll first thread the beads onto your fiber -- but as I mentioned earlier, it is very important that the beads and the fiber work well together! If the bead is too small it will rub on your fiber and damage/weaken it! We don't want that, now do we?  No we don't!  So the important thing then is to ensure your beads slide freely on your fiber! 

Then, once you've determined you have a good bead/fiber match start crocheting! The following website is great great for offering tips:
  • offers animated (video) images you can watch on your PC.
  • And check  these links out to be inspired:
       Carol Ventura's bowl called "Brimming with Possibilities"
       ... and here's her "Rasta Bag" (give time for the link to load, it's on Adobe Reader)

    To answer your other question, where do I buy my beads?   I buy my beads at local craft shops like
    Joanns, at various bead expos, and online like at places like ebay, The Bead Room, Fire Mountain Gems, or Aunties BeadsSo you see, I do tend to buy them everywhere --  and not always for specific projects I have in mind, but I always buy extra!  In the case for the biniki top, it took well over 700 beads per cup!  By having extra beads I ensure I have enough for the entire project!

    Speaking of Aunties Beads, here's some coupon codes that should be good until 12/31/06

  • FREESHIP06A - is for free shipping on a minimum order of $100.00 or more
  •          SAVE15 - 15% off list price, $200.00 minimum
  •          SAVE20 - 20% off list price, $400.00 minimum
  •          SAVE25 - 25% of list price, $1,000 minimum
  •          SAVE30 - 30% off list price, $1,500 minimum
  • AUNTIESTOOLS - 25% off $100 minimum order in Tools and Supplies category
  • WATCHFACE15 - 15% off $150 minimum order in Watch Face category 
  • FREESHIP100 - Free shipping on $100 orders
  •    CHARM06A - is for 10% off any product in the charm/charm bracelets section, no minimum 
  • CZECHGLASS06A is for 10% off Czech Glass, no minimum
  • PRESENT06A is for $10.00 off entire order of $100.00 or more
    Disclaimer: All coupons are one coupon per order and not valid with other offers. All discounts are for in stock items only. Coupon discounts are not applied to sale items or tiered quantity discounts. Unless otherwise specified, coupons may only be used once per customer. Coupons may not be applied to previously placed orders. Free shipping coupons are for orders being shipped within the continental US only.
  • I hope this helps inspire you to try crocheting with beads, Sonya!  And if you really get hooked on crocheting with beads, then you should subscribe to the magazine, "Bead & Buttons."  They usually have at least one crochet project per issue, and they have great tips on how to do other things (non-crochet) with your bead collection.  If you want to save a few bucks on the subscription, then order it here, but do be sure to check out Bead & Buttons' official website to find more treats featuring crocheting with beads!

    Happy Cro-beading!

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