Wednesday 24 June 2009

It keeps on giving

They said you could get a bit obsessed!! Wire crochet, bead crochet. Not everyone has given them a try for various reasons. Many think only in yarn and are happy to stay there. Following the Jewellery Workshop, however, I have discovered my inner bead!!! The task was to start and, hopefully, finish a beaded rope bracelet. Made using slip stitch crochet, on paper it all looks so easy!!! The reality is less rosy. The experts work in 11/0 or 8/0 beads which are the delicate seed beads you see in many beaded projects. Sadly they proved too tiny for me so I upgraded to 6/0 which are approximately 3.5-4 mm. I actually prefer their relative chunkiness. Thread is a problem too. Beading thread is fine and that spells problems for beginners. With the size of beads I used I sized up to viscose twisted floss from Texere yarns. Called Prism, it comes in loads of lovely shades so should suit any project.

It seems that the first 3 rounds are the trickiest and that is definitely true. The circle can quickly end up in a funny beady ball very quickly. To keep your head, you string however many beads that the circle calls for in a larger contrast bead and start crocheting with a firm view of the sequence. After much trial and error (that's quite a few times, in other words) you realise where you're going and then you're off and running. Then the obsession kicks in and you want a whole bunch of bracelets. I'm on my fourth and still planning!!!

The sites I found most helpful and where I bought patterns and advice pdf were -

Need for Beads - patterns and handy guides

McKenzie Designs - a primer with wonderfully clear illustrations

GJ Beads - supplies in UK
The Bead Shop - in Tower Street, Covent Garden, London town
To be honest there's lots of sites on the net that help so don't give up if you want to try this challenging skill.
Talking of challenges and skills may I introduce the production of another brilliant student. Me Ling came to the Workshop and went away and came back with this!!! How fabulous is that!


claire montgomerie said...

these are looking fab! and i also love Me Ling's bracelet with the differently proportioned beads.
you have been busy!

Philippine Real Estate said...

nice color and design.