Earlier this month, an Inspirational Beading reader requested a tutorial for bead crochet. I have been fascinated by the combination of classic crochet techniques with beading and jewelry design for many years, although I haven’t quite had the motivation to pick up a new kind of needle. I dabbled a bit with chain stitch last year, and found it to be very pleasant, but since then I’ve been content to admire the work of crochet experts in fiber, and even wire.
Like many beaders, I do love the look of an evenly stitched bead crochet rope. The appearance is similar to tubular peyote, but more supple, and with a little planning, the more marvelous patterns can be created. I’m not quite ready to invest in a bead spinner and take the crochet plunge, so I went on a hunt for some crochet experts.
One of my favorite bead crochet tutorials by far is by Julie A. Harper of Le Beadoir, on Beader's Showcase. It includes, big, colorful close-up photographs that are easy to see and follow - essential for learning this very hands on technique.
On Beads East, you can find a quick list of helpful, and even animated, bead crochet tutorials for both left and right handed work.
Naturally, beadcrochet.com features an excellent primer for beginning a bead crochet rope, with big color photographs and easy to follow instructions.
For the visual learner, nothing beats the instruction that comes from a live class. The next best thing is a well made video tutorial, and this one from CraftMastery.com is my favorite. The use of big pony beads in the example rope makes it easy for beaders to see the steps. The CraftMastery channel also has lots of excellent videos for learning crochet techniques that can provide helpful knowledge to absolute beginners.
Although the techniques that we use for beadwork are mostly universal, everyone has a favorite tutorial or teacher to turn to that really helps them click with the concepts. For one more taste of getting a bead crochet rope started, check out a quick tutorial from Beading Daily.
The Bead Wrangler provides a whole page of helpful tips and tricks for bead crochet, including which threads to use, which bead types, and how wide ropes should be when working with variations.
Have you tackled or mastered bead crochet? What’s your favorite way to use it?
Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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