Crafter Thoughts: Bead Crochet

Bead crochet is not for the faint of heart (or poor of eyesight) but the geometric patterns are highly addictive!I love when I can blend techniques from different crafting disciplines, so my curiosity was piqued when I read a discussion on Ravelry about bead crochet. Because of the complexity, I don't know if bead crochet will ever appear here on the blog in tutorial form, but it is too incredible not to share.

Before I go on, I think it's only fair that I issue a few warnings:
  1. This craft is not for the faint of heart (or poor of eyesight). It takes a lot of patience.
  2. Once you get the hang of it, this craft is highly addictive.
Don't say I didn't warn you!

Today, I'm just going to give you a general overview of the craft and show a couple projects I have made so far. If you are looking for some free patterns, ideas or more details about the technique, don't miss my Pinterest board about beading.

Most of the free designs I have run across so far are in German or Russian. However, since they are also charted out graphically and color coded, it's not impossible to figure out what to do. After choosing a design, you begin by stringing the beads.

Since this is my first project, I chose a pretty basic design. You can find it here on the Bead Dust blog. Yes, it's in German.

This is about 1800 seed beads on a string. Each bead is just over 2 mm in diameter, the entire strand is about 10 feet long and it took 2-3 hours of my undivided attention to get the beads on the string.

Bead crochet is not for the faint of heart (or poor of eyesight) but the geometric patterns are highly addictive!

Did I mention that if you mess up the pattern, there's no easy way to fix it or add beads once you begin the crocheting part?

I used a heavy duty, polyester upholstery thread to string the beads and a US size 7 (1.5 mm) crochet hook. This is very tiny, delicate work. The design is crocheted in the round and there are six stitches per round.

Bead crochet is not for the faint of heart (or poor of eyesight) but the geometric patterns are highly addictive!

The crocheting was a little slow at first, but once I figured out the technique and could see the pattern revealing itself, things sped up. It only took five or six hours to crochet an 18-inch long rope.

Once the rope was done, I ran into another challenge, finding clasps to use for the ends of my necklace. Tucson is not a mecca for specialty craft supply shops and none of the big box craft stores carried what I needed, so I headed over to and browsed their selection of Kumihimo findings. It was my first time shopping there, but they have a nice selection, the prices are reasonable and the shipping was fairly fast.

While I waited for my clasps to arrive, I tried a smaller design that wouldn't need clasps, a bracelet. I couldn't find any specific directions for joining the ends of my rope so it took a little trial and error, but I'm pleased that my join is virtually invisible.

Craft Inspirations: Bead crochet rope bracelet

Once my clasps arrived, I was able to finish off my necklace

Craft Inspirations: Bead crochet rope necklace

and create a second one.

Craft Inspirations: Bead crochet rope necklace

If I were to offer a single piece of advice to anyone getting started with bead crochet it would be to make sure you are using high quality beads that are all the same size. Even the slightest variation in bead size makes the crocheting part unnecessarily difficult.

Now, go browse Pinterest for some bead crochet patterns, if you dare. Once you get started, you'll be hooked!

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The Chilly Dog: Crafter Thoughts: Bead Crochet
Crafter Thoughts: Bead Crochet
Bead crochet is not for the faint of heart (or poor of eyesight) but the geometric patterns are highly addictive!
The Chilly Dog
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