Bead Crochet – How Do You Start Your Bead Crochet Ropes?

bead-crochet

These gorgeous handmade porcelain slides by Marsha Hedrick were enough to make me want to get back into making bead crochet ropes!

Making bead crochet ropes was one of those things that I struggled with mightily until I had one of those "a-ha!" moments. Lucky for me, my mom was an expert knit and crochet artist, and even though she lived 2,000 miles away she talked me through a lot of bead crochet problems over the phone. Then earlier this year I rediscovered how much fun bead crochet ropes are to make, especially when accented by a fabulous handmade ceramic slide like the ones I got from Marsha Hedrick of Amazing Porcelain Fantasies!

While I was experimenting with different kinds of bead crochet ropes, I found two ways to start your ropes: either with a set of beads that are slipped stitch into the initial ring, or with a plain ring made of single crochet that has the beads added starting in the second round. Here's how to do each one:

crochet-with-beads The easiest way to being your bead crochet ropes is to make a simple chain of single crochet. Use slip stitch to join the chain into a ring.
bead-crochet To add beads in the second round, insert the hook through the top loop only in the ring. Slide a bead down to the crochet hook, wrap the yarn around the hook (yarn over) and then pull through the loop, leaving the bead on the outside of the ring.

Personally, I prefer to start my bead crochet loops by adding beads in each of the first single crochets for the initial round, like this:

bead-crochet Slide a bead down to your crochet hook. Holding the bead with your thumb against the hook, make a yarn over and pull through the first loop, keeping the bead on the outside of the stitch.
bead-crochet Add beads in each stitch of the initial chain. When you make the slip stitch to join it into a ring, make sure that you add a bead to that stitch, too!

If you're new to bead crochet ropes, you can make it easier to learn by using a larger crochet hook and beads on a thicker cotton thread. In these photos, I've used size 6 seed beads with a size 00 hook on some heavy weight cotton thread. Using a light colored thread will also make it easier to see your stitches so you know where to go next!

bead-crochet

And if you're already an old pro at bead crochet, you definitely will want to check out Interweave's latest bead crochet book, The Beaded Edge. It's filled with beautiful and unconventional ways to add a little bit of bead crochet to everything from clothing to housewares! Some of the beautiful bead crochet trim patterns in there would make gorgeous bead crochet jewelry, too! (Want even more bead crochet ideas? Head on over to Crochet Me to find free crochet patterns and connect with folks who love crochet!)

Have you had any success with bead crochet? Do you need help with your bead crochet ropes? Share your questions and tips here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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