My bead-y eye…

One of the things that I get asked about a lot is beading.  I like to insert beads into the shawls I make and I tend to do this with a miniature crochet hook rather than threading them onto my ball of yarn, which seems to be the more common way of doing it. However, I find this approach has three main drawbacks:

  1. You have to know exactly how many beads you want to work with for the whole project and thread them onto your yarn at the beginning of your project / ball of yarn (and pray you don’t have knots in your ball of yarn!);
  2. You can only see the beads from one side of your work;
  3. There is only one strand of yarn holding your bead in place.

I prefer to use a crochet hook as my preferred method, as doing it this way means that you can see the beads on both sides of your work, you don’t lose ages threading beads onto your yarn, and you can be more thoughtful about bead placement and colour choice as you go, rather than having to work it all out in advance.

So, this is how I do it:

When you get to the place where you want to insert your bead, put a bead on a skinny (0.75mm or smaller) hook.

Remove your regular hook from your stitch and insert your skinny hook:

bead 1

Pull the hook up so that the loop is long and thin, and pull the bead to the top of the hook…

bead 3

And onto the loop…

bead 4

You then carry on crocheting as normal.

It is very simple and very satisfying.  You can insert beads between stitches (as described here) or you can insert them into the body of a stitch by waiting until you have the last two loops of your chosen stitch on your hook, and then you pull a bead onto one of the loops and finish the stitch with the final yarn over hook and pull through.  This can create effects like this…

atlantic beading

I hope you agree that the overall effect is worth the little bit of fiddling with hooks.  I hope you have a play with it – if you do, let me know how you get on!

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12 thoughts on “My bead-y eye…

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