Learning Something New

28 06 2010

For the past few years, I’ve been playing with bead crochet – I am surprised at how much I really enjoy this technique, considering that most of my jewelry work is with metal. I love teaching classes in it, making/selling my Starter Jig (which is now patent pending!!), and I have found creating bead crochet ropes to be very satisfying.

A Favorite of Mine

So it was really very cool, and unexpected, for me to find something new that I just didn’t expect in bead crochet ropes – working with wire. Now I know people create wonderful jewelry by crocheting wire – I think the open and airy weave is wonderful… but making crochet beaded ropes has been really difficult, because it’s almost impossible to get the first few rows started. But I’ve been talking with the great folks at Beadalon (who now own Artistic Wire) about carrying my Starter Jig in their product line, and they wanted to know how it worked with wire.

Slinky and Cool Necklace

So of course I gave it a try…. and what a surprise! My previous attempts (without the Starter Jig) failed miserably, so I didn’t think it would work, but I was thrilled to find that not only was I able to use the Jig with wire, I also got a different look. Using thread in bead crochet ensures that you have a nice tight stitch in your rope, but when using wire, it’s better to create rows that are much looser. The wire becomes a real design element that shows through the stitches, not just the means to hold the beads in place.

Closeup - Bead Crochet Rope w/Wire

Isn’t this just such a cool look… I love it! I am looking forward to playing with different colored wire to create some interesting contrasts. And I love that I can now show my students that using wire is a great additional option when I teach classes.

For reference – I made my bracelet with size 6 seed beads and C-Lon Beading Cord, and the necklace with size 8 beads and 32g Artistic Wire.