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.
I'm Jennifer, a 26 year-old crochet enthusiast who loves sharing my projects with the world. You shop shop a variety of my designs on Etsy!
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