I am ready for summer here at Beanies and Weenies! With graduation right around the corner, I have been itching to get out and dig my toes in the sand. The closest I have been able to come is all of the crochet items that have been coming off of my hook. When graduation gets here, I will be more than ready to hit the sand!
Today marks the launch of Beanies and Weenies' summer line. These few items are just the beginning; there is more to come. It has been one long day. Since I woke up this morning, I have been updating Beanies and Weenies' Paypal, Catalog, Etsy, and all social media sites! My eyes are swimming with shipping figures. While I would love to sit here and write detailed item descriptions about the new products for everyone to read, I just can't do any more. There is a recorded episode of Ghost Adventures calling my name and I fear I must answer the call. Stay tuned, for those product descriptions, details, and tutorials are coming soon, but my 10 page paper must come first.
In my most recent crochet adventure, I have undertaken the project of making a bikini with a beaded fringe. The problem? It involves crocheting with beads. Beads are an excellent way to add texture and dimension to any project, but they are aggravating to work with. When starting out, I was faced with the daunting task of trying to understand how to work a bead into a crochet stitch. After many attempts that involved raveling and unraveling yarn as well as stringing beads up in every possible way, I finally found a method that is efficient.
Before starting any crochet project, all yarns and supplementary items need to be coordinated. I found it hard to decide on a bead to match the yarn I picked out for my bikini. Here are some questions that I ask myself when starting a new project: Do the colors of the yarn and beads compliment each other? Is the yarn thing enough to fit through the bead? Is the bead big enough to fit over the yarn? Will the size of these beads take away from the overall project?
For my bikini, I chose a nice coral color yarn that mixed well with the earthy tones of the wooden beads. It was a worsted weight 4 yarn, but it was still thin enough to be threaded through the beads easily. I chose the second smallest type of bead in the pack so it would take up room but not make the end of my bikini seem so bulky.
The easiest and most efficient way to crochet with beads is to string them on the yarn all at once before you begin crocheting. To do this you need to know how many beads you need as well as what order they need to go in. If you are using all of the same color bead, the order does not matter. I recommend to string up a few extra beads than what you counted just in case you find yourself needing more towards the end of your project. You can always take beads off, but you can never add more without cutting your yarn.
When you are done stringing on all of the beads, you can begin crocheting as normal. Just forget the beads are even there. Let them hang on your working yarn until you are ready for your first beaded stitch. For my bikini, my first beaded stitch was at the end of a long chain. After chaining, or doing any other crochet stitch, as far as you need, pull the first bead up until it can not go any further.
After pulling the bead up, insert your hook in the next stitch and yarn over tightly around the bead. This will keep the bead from slipping around. When the stitch is finished and the bead is secure, you can move on crocheting like normal. Repeat pulling the bead up and crocheting over it as needed.
There are numerous ways to work beads into a crochet piece. Let your imagination do all the work and do not be afraid to unravel what you start in order to try it a different way! Explore the endless possibilities. You never know what you will come up with.
Spring is an great time to catch up on all the things you let slip during the Winter. Spring is traditionally a time of new beginnings. This is the time to finally clean up all of the clothes piled up on the floor, finally pack away the things you don't use anymore, and get out that box of old crafts you started but never finished. I've been seeing inspiration around every corner. Beautiful pastel colors and nature inspired items are in this season. I'm being drawn to any- and everything bohemian. Natural colors and flowy pieces, all with an earthy twist. I've got a long to do list and I've only begun to start on it.
The first project I am working on is a gypsy-inspired crochet bikini. I'm starting off with a simple triangle pattern for the cups and adding details in the band with a V-stitch. To add some length and even more detail, I will be adding a fringe and crocheting wooden beads into the ends. I have chosen a thin peachy/coral color for the yarn. One tip when making crochet clothing, make sure to pull the stitches tight to keep the clothing solid (without too many holes) and form fitting.
The next several projects I have lined up are quick and simple: anklets and pony-tail holders. I have a variety of wooden and glassy beads to crochet into the anklet. I am using the thinnest yarn in a tan/cream color and smallest hook that I have. The pony-tail holders will be more of a challenge since I will have to find a way to still allow the band to stretch.
With all these new Spring projects I have plans to update my shop. I will be adding some new merchandise and creating new patterns for Etsy! I am excited for Spring crafting!
I'm Jennifer, a 21 year-old crochet, craft, and DIY enthusiast who loves sharing her projects with the world. I hope you find inspiration in my posts. Keep checking back for new projects every week and don't forget to sign up for Beanies & Weenies newsletters!
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