To Bead or Not to Bead: Bead Weaving Course vs. Bead Weaving Class

If you are a crafty person, you understand the desire to make things with your hands and the necessity of having a creative outlet. Like me, you probably dabble in all sorts of crafts. Here at the Interweave offices, our staff is multi-craft minded and multi-talented. We are always excited to see new projects and products. I was recently invited to take part in an informal “bead weaving class” to learn a basic beading technique — chenille stitch. I’ve never beaded anything, but who can resist shiny, sparkly beads? I jumped at the chance to learn a new skill.

To Bead or Not to Bead: Trying Something New

Two thirds of our group turned out to be beginners, including our teacher, Marissa Bouska (Beadwork magazine’s assistant editor). Marissa has picked up beading with the ferocity of a freight train: full steam ahead. After only a few months, Marissa has amazed us all with the beading techniques she’s learned. She has become so skilled, she is teaching the rest of us! When I asked Marissa how she learned so quickly, she told me about the many online courses we offer. Marissa especially recommended Tammy Honaman’s great beginning bead-weaving course, which she used to make many of her beautiful projects.

To Bead or Not to Bead: Bead Weaving Course vs Class

I conducted a survey among our class participants and asked about the pros and cons of the chenille stitch bead weaving class we did together. It was unanimous — everyone enjoyed learning something new. We all like coming together to take part in a group activity, and we benefit from having help in real-time. However, not everyone has the time or opportunity to participate in an in-person class. Interweave’s online downloadable courses give everyone the chance to learn the craft they are interested in and they are the next best thing to live and in-person!

Taking a course allows you the freedom to plan your learning to fit your own schedule. Once you download a course, you can watch and learn anytime. Work at night? Can’t sleep? Watch a course! Wednesday bowling league and ballet lessons conflicting with your local craft group class? Get the online course! Don’t want to sit in traffic or drive in inclement weather? Courses are convenient and can be taken in the comfort of your own living room, or the airport while you wait for a flight, or at a friend’s house while you’re dog sitting. The course goes wherever your laptop, tablet, or phone goes!

Courses are divided into chapters, allowing you to go at your own pace. You can pause/play/rewind and even skip around the sections. This helps suit different learning styles for different individuals no matter the skill level. It’s like having a teacher at your fingertips.

To Bead or Not to Bead: Best and Worst

In addition to learning something new, most of our class participants agree on the best and worst aspects of taking the class. The best part: being able to get help in real time. Marissa was so patient with all of us newbie beaders. However, she was spread a little thin bouncing around to each of us, and we often relied on each other for help. In Interweave’s courses, students have access to a “Discussion Board” where they can group chat with other students. Most will find that other crafters are always willing to help where they can.

chenille stitch rings done in an Interweave bead weaving class -impromptu style!

If you like it, put a ring on it

The worst part: getting started. Before we got started, we had lots of basic questions about terminology, bead size, needle size, thread type, and how it all works together. Completing the first row seemed easy until we had to “turn the corner” to start the next row. Many of us had to start over from the beginning more than once. While it was nice to have Marissa by my side to help me every time I turned a corner, I couldn’t take her home with me when I wanted to work on my project after hours. Some learn by reading written directions, and some learn by illustration. I need both — together they make sense to me.

Luckily, Interweave’s online courses cater to multiple learning styles. While you listen to the instructor guide you and you watch along, the illustrations and written instructions display on the side of the screen. This feature accommodates all types of learning. Most of the video parts are filmed up close so you can really see what’s happening and easily follow along. A bonus is being able to start, stop, rewind, and repeat until you really understand it. For more information about getting started with an Interweave online course, see the blog post Jewelry-Making Classes and Everything You Need to Know about Interweave’s Online Courses.

To Bead or Not to Bead: Courses with Tammy Honaman

Another thing we all agreed on was that we’re excited to learn more beading techniques. I’m sure some people think we sit around at Interweave and craft all day, but believe it or not, we actually work around here, and many of us don’t have the scheduling flexibility to come together for a class. However, all of us have scattered free time that would be well-spent learning how to bead with the same course Marissa used.

Tammy Honaman’s beginning bead weaving course covers several basic bead stitches, including herringbone, chevron, chenille (which we tried), and more.

chenille stitch rings done in an Interweave bead weaving class -impromptu style!

We used chenille stitch to make our sparkly rings

If that’s not enough to get you excited, Interweave also has a $10 off sale on for courses! Now you, too, can make all kinds of beautiful sparkly shiny treasures, for yourself or for someone else. See all the courses right here.

To bead or not to bead? To bead! Definitely, to bead.

Keep calm and craft on!
Lisa Daniell
Interweave/F+W Receptionist and Facilities & Shipping Assistant

Learn more stitches and techniques with courses in the Interweave Store!


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