Welcome to Bead Crochet Tips and Techniques

Featuring techniques and tips that promote the art of bead crochet. Stringing patterns, tutorials, tools, beads, thoughts and photos. Welcome to all who love beads!

21 September 2010

Class at BeadFest Philadelphia - Shelley Nybakke's Metalsmith's Match

This is the best class I have taken at BeadFest.
Shelley Nybakke's A Metalsmith's Match is stitched in RAW  (right angle weave) with the heavy metal seed beads and Swarovski crystals.  The workshop was 7 hours and I completed most of the bracelet in that time.  Later that evening, when I returned home, I stitched another 3 hours for a total of 10 hours.  Everyone loves this and it is so classic.  I chose the matte gold and antique  copper beads with the turquoise Swarovski crystals.  I had no prior experience with RAW, so the night before the class I studied the thread path by viewing a few tutorials online.  Right Angle Weave may be my new stitching obsession.
Right Angle Weave tutorials:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

After seeing a segment on local news about homemade laundry detergent, I searched the internet for the best "recipes" for natural, low suds, cleaning power.  I experimented with various ingredients and created my version of homemade laundry soap.

 Here's what you'll need:
1 cup Washing Soda    ( not edible)
1 cup borax
3 gallons hot water
1 bottle Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap  liquid 4 oz.,  your choice of scent
30 drops of grapefruit seed extract

Mix all the ingredients in a large bucket, a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. The lid is important to keep rodents out as they may enter your home in search of water.  The grapefruit seed extract will prevent the water from becoming rancid.  Exercise caution with this extract as it is very potent;  undiluted,  it may burn your skin.
Use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per load.  I stir the contents before I scoop out the liquid. 
The soap particles may congeal after a while and this is normal.  Just remember to stir the contents before using.   Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap website:  www.drbronnner.com  
Other sites for homemade laundry detergent

06 May 2010

How to straighten C-lon cord macrame, bead crochet, weaving

When designing a color pattern for a bead crochet rope,  I sometimes unravel the entire project and start over.  The cord will be very "squiggly" and  that makes it difficult to crochet the rope again.
I could move the beads to the other end and cut off that part;  but, why do that when you can easily straighten the cord with a simple method you can apply to any nylon cord.

Take a section of cord,  about 5 inches, between each hand, and  pull the cord apart  for a few seconds.  I suggest you wear kitchen gloves or some other gloves to protect your hands.  The amount of cord between your hands is about 4 or five inches and the amount of tug you will exert depends on how much curl is in the cord.  It is important to keep the tension on the cord for a few seconds or more.  Move to the next section of cord,  pull and hold.   The cord is now straightened and,  if necessary, you may repeat the process a second time.

(C-lon cord  has introduced a new weight called Fine Weight bead cord Tex 135 and is especially good for  Swarovki crystal bead and seed beads size 8.)

The results:

To shop for all kinds of threads and cords, shop at your local bead store or visit the website of Marion Hunsiker-Larsen,  micro macrame artist.

18 April 2010

You will love the book by Irina Miech:
"Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders"

Her new book is: 
"Metal Clay Rings"


04 April 2010

Turquoise bead crochet necklace Tips for working with size 11 seed beads

The color of the year is Turquoise.  I can't resist this beautiful color and especially like the blue/green turquoise.  The necklace is crocheted with size 11 Czech seed beads and Guterman  topstitching thread.
The purchased pendant is sterling and gemstone
Crocheting with size 11 seed beads:
A softer draping thread, such as Guterman topstitching thread will yield a rope that is more flexible than
a rope crocheted with the micro c-lon cord.  IF you are a beginner with this technique I strongly suggest using the topstitching thread and then use the micro C-lon cord to attach bead caps or toggles after the rope is finished.  C-lon micro cord is made of nylon and is unlikely to deteriorate over time and for the experienced bead crochet stitcher the tiny size 11's can slide down the thread to the rope, cutting your time in half.  The topstitching thread doesn't work as well for speed of crocheting.

Very important to verify the number of beads per row and avoid missed stitches.  Every few rows I count the beads around the top to make sure I have the correct number of beads I started with.  It is so easy to miss a bead  and later realize you have a hole in the rope where the bead should be.  This creates a misaligned twist in the rope and although you can sew a bead in later,   it's better to avoid  this altogether by checking your stitches every few rows.  If you have dropped a stitch you will need to remove only a few rows.

Give yourself permission to change the size of your hook even though the instructions state otherwise.
Lately I've been crocheting with a larger size hook and sometimes I use two different sizes for one project.
When I begin, my stitches are "rusty";  then my technique warms up,  and the crocheting goes smoothly.

22 February 2010

How ot start a bead crochet rope

Most beginning students have difficulty learning to create the first few rows of bead crochet.
Knowing which bead is next is most confusing and the beads seem to get into a jumbled mess.
Try my method and see if it helps.
You will do the chain stitch first, whatever number of beads you choose, and slip stitch them together to make a round of beads as seed in the photo above.  
(5  beads in the round in photo)

Insert a small Philips head screwdriver through the opening in the middle of the round and push the round of beads to the bottom.  The screwdriver head makes a nice ledge and the round won't fall off.

This photo shows the crochet hook under the loop of the first bead to be crocheted.

This photo is shot at a different angle and you can see how nicely the beads stay in the proper position.
After a few rounds, you may remove the screwdriver and hold the rope on its own.
A flat head screwdriver won't work as well because the flat end is wider than the shaft, making it difficult to remove the round of beads.

Examples of other items you may use instead of the screwdriver:
right to left:  allen wrench, crochet hook, plastic straw.

Tip:  the allen wrench works well because it has facets that allow your crochet hook to follow the flatness of the facet.  The crochet hook is slippery, but again the flat area where you hold the hook allows the rope to settle there.  The straw works well,  but will bend if too much pressure is applied.
The diameter of the object you choose must match the inner diameter of the rope. In other words, a rope that is crocheted with size 11 seed beads with 8 in the round, will need a smaller diameter straw, or whichever object you use.  Size 6 seed beads may need a larger object.  Find one that works for you.

19 February 2010

Jewelry display idea - bracelets and necklaces



My original bracelet and necklace display idea is published on this website:
  www.jewelry-display-ideas.com  or by clicking  here.
I learned how to use common household items to create a display for earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings.  You too can submit ideas,  just click on the link above.