My least favorite part of bead crochet has always been stringing all those seed beads on the thread before I start to crochet. There's just no getting around it — no matter what I try, it always feels like a chore to me.
Thankfully, bead crochet expert Judith Bertoglio-Giffin understands my pain. I asked her if she had any tips for getting my seed beads strung on my crochet thread for bead crochet, and she had some great advice, which I am happy to pass on to anyone getting started with bead crochet!
For me, stringing beads is the most boring job in bead crochet! But there are ways to make it easier, or at least, to take the pain out of stringing beads before you start your bead crochet project.
Stringing Beads for Bead Crochet
If you aren't doing a pattern in your bead crochet, a bead spinner is the only way to go. It will work with different size seed beads, like you'd find in a nice cup of bead soup, and it'll do the job quickly. It's great for bead crochet with wire, as well.
For any pattern work in bead crochet where you have to count the beads, a short big eye needle or a twisted wire needle works well with seed beads in size 11o and larger. If you're using smaller beads, like size 15o seed beads, Tulip now offers large-eye, twisted wire needles that are perfect for the job of stringing beads onto your crochet thread.
Check Your Pattern Before Starting to Crochet
When I'm stringing patterns for my bead crochet, I string little bits of paper between repeats to tell where I am. This works well when I need to count multiples of a repeat, and it's a godsend when I have a stringing error because I can go back to a known point to fix it.
To check my patterns, the best idea I've come across is to write down the stringing table, string a complete repeat, and attach it to an index card. Then you can hold your strung work up to the card and quickly check it for accuracy. and attaches it to an index card. File the pattern and strung section on the index card for future work with that pattern.
Yes, You CAN Add More Thread to Your Bead Crochet Project
Contrary to what many bead crocheters are told, there is no reason in the world to string more than 36" to 40" of beads at one time. Pushing them down the thread frays your crochet thread and is a nuisance. String your longer ropes in sections and just add in thread. (I have a great free tutorial available on my website that shows you how to securely add new thread to your bead crochet projects so that you don't have to struggle with long sections of seed beads and worn out crochet thread!)
I love these tips from Judith! No longer will I be intimidated by long, unwieldy lengths of seed beads on my bead crochet thread. This will be the year I learn how to add new thread to my bead crochet projects so that I can spend more time enjoying the technique of bead crochet and less time untangling my crochet thread.
If you're looking to do something a little different with your bead crochet in 2013, you can't miss out on this special bundle of The Beaded Edge and The Beaded Edge 2. Each volume is full of beautiful, inspiring bead crochet designs that can be used for beaded jewelry, home decor projects, or just to add some beads to your favorite outfits and accessories. Get your bundle of The Beaded Edge and The Beaded Edge 2 at a special price and start stringing those beads for bead crochet!
Is bead crochet one of the things that you want to learn in 2013? After reading these inspiring tips from Judith, I'm certainly ready to break out the crochet hooks again!
After 35 years of raising a family and working in corporate America, bead artist Judith Bertoglio-Giffin now splits her time between Arizona and rural New Hampshire. She fell in love with bead crochet back in 1999, and writes, designs, and teaches extensively throughout the year. When she's not cooking up brilliant bead crochet designs, Judith indulges in a little freeform peyote stitch. You can find great bead crochet resources on her website, Bead Line Studios; her blog; and find great bead crochet supplies for sale in her Etsy shop, BeadLine.