April 18, 2008

Designing Bead Crochet Elements

I haven't gotten a lot of beading done in the last 6 to 8 months, but I have been doing a lot of work that will make bead crochet graphing as easy as falling off of a log. I'm even so far behind on my Bead Journal Project that I'm going to have to drop out as I'll never catch up at this point.

Instead of writing a third book on Bead Crochet ropes, I've been collaborating with a computer friend, Ken, on creating a software program for graphing bead crochet designs. It's finally to the point that I want to show it off and let people know that it's coming. It'll go to bead fairies for testing next week. We'll ask themand to try and break it as well as find any bugs and flaws . It should be ready for release around mid-June of this year. Watch Bead Line Web site for announcements. It'll be for sale through my good friends at Bead-Patterns. There will also be designs sold on Bead Patterns that will import directly into this program.

Sneak Preview:
Bead Crochet Element Designer is a software program that will allow you to import bead crochet elements, change the bead colors, change the design itself and save your design. You will be able to design on a graph or on the rope itself. The fantastic thing is that you can twirl the rope to see what your design will look like in real life. We all know that the flat graph is useful, but requires that you visualize what the finished rope will look like. Too many times we've had to actually crochet a sample only to find out that it wasn't quite right. Once you have a design you like, just click one button and up pops the stringing table for the design on the screen. When you're ready to get out the beads, just print out your design and you can take it (with stringing table) to your beading table and get to work.

The program will come with 6 to 8 designs that you can use right away.

If your eyesight is as mature as mine is (like, almost blind!) there is a zoom feature that allows you to blow up the graph itself.

I'm excited and have been using it to refine my own designs without having to crochet several samples to make sure things look like what I thought they would.

We envisioned this as a true entry level design program, thus there are not a lot of frills and extras. You get one size bead in 9 set colors and will have to pick your own colors and bead size to substitute for the bead letters A through I. It is limited to 14 graph rows, but can handle 5-around through 9-around. I just looked in my books and there are very few designs that go beyond 12 graph rows.

Now maybe I can get back to actually crocheting some of the neat new designs I've come up with.