The wonderful thing about beading are its endless permutations. Countless stitches, materials, surfaces and techniques make it at turns fascinating and frustrating. It's almost like learning to ride a bike all over again each time a new technique presents itself. This was my experience with bead crochet. Several years ago, I bought a kit at the Bead Babe Conference. I tried it once with a sorry-looking result and put the kit away.
|StudioDax Bead Crochet Jig and Tutorial|
Fast forward to this Spring when my LBS was hosting Judy Kintner to teach a bead crochet class. I signed up and dragged my friend, Janet, along too. Judy was also displaying her bead spinners which are an essential tool for many of her patterns. The first part of our class was learning how to use the bead spinner without spinning our beads all over the room. Honestly, it took us over an hour to string our beads so we could start the crochet portion of the lesson. By then it was time for lunch!
|My New Bead Spinner|
Arriving at home, I was determined to complete the class assignment. So I dragged out my jig from Studio Dax and was able to finally successfully start AND finish my bracelet. Here is the result.
I was so smitten that I went online to learn more and ordered a couple kits from Beads East. By this time, I was able to start the crochet ropes without the jig. I guess it's like training wheels for bead crochet! The first kit used 8/o beads in a patriotic pattern but the second one was an even greater challenge with size 11/0 beads and an even smaller crochet hook.
|Beads East Kit: Liberty Bead Crochet|
A whole new world opened up to me. My web searches turned up a great store called Marion Jewels in Fiber which had a tutorial for flat Turkish bead crochet. I made one as a wrap bracelet for my niece and a bunch of red, white and blue ones as gifts for our family reunion.
|Flat Turkish Bead Crochet Tutorial by Marion Jewels in Fiber|
|Turkish Loop Crochet|
As if I didn't have enough projects in my to-do list, now I have a whole new technique for inspiration.
Let's take a look and see how our other contributors are using their Free Space!