How to Bead Crochet, Step by Step with Barb Switzer
I have enjoyed getting to know how to bead crochet this year. It’s a technique I’ve wanted to learn since way back, but one of those things I put off. Crochet hook. Check. Thread. Check. Size 6 beads. Check. Hmmm…Maybe I should reorganize this box of beads first.
This year, I’m pushing myself to stop pursuing the distractions and to focus! With that, I’ve slowly begun my journey down the bead crochet path and have even made a few designs following the instructions in Candie Cooper’s video found in the Elegant Bead Crochet Necklace Kit.
Also in this video bundle is Judith Durant’s Tunisian bead crochet video. Judith shares lots of great tips which you can read at BeadingDaily.com.
To further my skills along, I’ve been working through Barb Switzer’s wonderful basic bead crochet tutorial. I now have my beads strung and I’ve even made a chain of 6 beads with a few rows of beads crocheted in place – over and over again!
For those of you who would like to join me on this bead crochet journey, or if you could use a refresher, here is Barb’s great tutorial that shows us how to bead crochet, step by step, excerpted from Beadwork April/May 2015.
MATERIALS & TOOLS
- Bead crochet hook
- Bead crochet thread
- Tapestry needle
- Seed beads
These materials are generic as this is more of a tutorial. The size beads, thread, and crochet hook are suggested by the project you’re making.
Step 1 STRINGING BEADS
With the thread attached to a spool, add a small tapestry needle to the end, leaving a 10″ tail. String all of the beads needed for your project onto the thread. Be careful to get the stringing order correct if a pattern is being used, and be sure to string enough because you won’t be able to add more later. Remove the needle.
Note: For the rope shown here, the beads are strung by repeating three different colors.
Step 2 SLIPKNOT START
Make a slipknot about 8″ from the end of the thread: Make a small loop by overlapping the working end of the thread on top of the tail thread. Reach down through the loop, then grasp the working thread and pull it through the first loop. Insert the crochet hook into the second loop formed (Fig.1) and pull the knot snug around the crochet hook.
Step 3 ROUND 1
Slide the first bead down and position it underneath the crochet hook. Bring the thread up from the back and bring it over the hook to the front. Catch the thread in the hook and pull it through the loop of the slipknot to create a new loop (Fig.2).
*Slide the next bead down until it sits underneath the crochet hook. Bring the thread up from the back, bring it over the hook, catch the thread in the hook, and pull it through the loop. This is a basic chain stitch (Fig.3).
Repeat from * four more times (for a 6-bead rope) to complete a 6-bead chain (Fig.4).
Step 4 CLOSING ROUND 1
Start with the crochet hook in the loop next to the last bead added. Pull the chain into a circle with the first bead on the left. To close the circle, slide the hook under the thread that passes through the first bead of the left side, opposite from the slipknot. The bead will naturally roll sideways, so the hole will be visible (Fig.5).
Step 5 ROUNDS 1 AND ON
With the crochet hook inserted through the loop next to the last bead added, pull the working thread forward, across the hook, and slide the next bead down so it sits over the top of the first bead of the previous round (Fig.6).
Catch the thread in the hook and pull it through the other 2 loops around the hook (Fig.7).
Note: If you’re working with three different colors, the color of the bead being added will match the bead below.
**Slide the hook under the thread coming out from the left side of the next bead in the circle. As in the previous stitch, pull the working thread across the crochet hook and slide the next bead into position (Fig.8).
Note: A properly executed stitch is started with the bead that’s being stitched under, as well as the bead that’s being placed, on the right side of the hook. The working thread then crosses over the top of the hook from right to left. Catch the thread and pull it through the 2 loops (Fig.9).
Note: It’s important to make sure that the bead on the previous round under which you are stitching is always to the right of the needle during the stitch.
Repeat from ** until the rope is the desired length. As the rope forms, the end round of beads will be positioned with their holes perpendicular to the other beads in the rope (Fig.10).
Step 6 JOINING THE ROPE ENDS
To join the ends and keep the pattern continuous, the last bead added should be the same color as the first bead added. On a pattern without three different colors, it might be necessary to add beads so the ends will fit together correctly. Thread a tapestry needle onto the starting tail of the rope.
Pass the needle through the middle of the other rope end, exiting between beads along the side about 1/4″ into the rope. It is fine if the thread passes through other threads in the center of the rope, but avoid passing through any of the beads. Pull the ends together and line up the pattern to make sure they join correctly (Fig.11).
Thread a needle onto the working thread. Pull the ends of the rope together and pass the needle under the thread coming out of the same color bead on the opposite end of the rope, exiting toward the outside of the rope (Fig.12).
***Pass back to the opposite end of the rope, counterclockwise, and pass under the thread coming out of the next bead over. Cross back to the other rope end and pass under the thread the next bead over. Pull the tension snug, and the end bead on the working side will flip into the same position as the other beads (Fig.13).
Repeat from *** four more times, until each end bead is stitched to the corresponding bead on the opposite side and all the end beads are flipped into the correct position. After the last bead is stitched in place, insert the needle down the center of the opposite side of the rope and pull it back to the outside about 5 beads down.
Do not pass through any beads, only through loops of thread. Continue to stitch to the center and back to the outside through half of the rope and then cut the thread. No knots are used to secure the attachment.
Use the same technique to bury the other thread.
I’m going to work on this, practice what I learned at BeadFest, and will just keep learning how to bead crochet!
Have a tip you can share on this technique? Or a design of your own? Please leave a comment at BeadingDaily.com.
Yours in creativity,