April 10, 2011

Bead Crochet Tip - tight tension

I've been hearing about bead crochet ropes that are so stiff as to stand upright all on their lonesome. The first thing to try is to go up a hook size or two.

If going up a hook doesn't do it for you, try training your hands to carry your loop a bit further up the hook shank. This will make larger loops/stitches and a more supple rope. You can see where my loops generally are in the first photo.

There are times when you might want a very tight rope. A bangle bracelet is one instance where you want it to hold the round shape. To achieve that, you would want to crochet as tight as you can. Using cylinder beads like a Delica, will also contribute to the overall compactness of the round shape.


  1. Thanks Judith,

    I'm working on a rope at the moment using size 15 beads (it's my 4th bead crochet rope and I'm loving the technique). I'd noticed that it is quite rigid. I'd also noticed that my stitches are quite tight. Thanks for putting it together for me!

    I suspect that the tightness of my stitches is in part due to the thread I'm using. It's Miyuki crochet thread, variegated from white to black (which is giving a mottled effect through the transparent green beads). It's very slippery though and tightens up without even trying. Have you ever had this problem?

    Irene in NZ

  2. I wasn't aware that Miyuki made a crochet thread. I use a 100% polyester #30 weight Top Stitching sewing thread for most of my work. It can be a bit fuzzy and keeps the beads from slipping down on top of my stitches.

  3. Anonymous4:55 AM

    Thanks for the tip! I'm just starting to bead crochet an,d love the way my Turckish Loops are turning out, but still having trouble with the tubular. I know how to do it, but I'm really slow which is making my tension tighter. I'm having trouble holding the thread with the beads also, I can't get anything that holds the tension and won't cramp my hand up. Weird, because my tension is great when crocheting without beads. Any ideas? Thanks!

  4. Anonymous7:38 AM

    After about a hundred bracelets made with 6/0 beads on S-Lon cord, I've downsized to the Gutterman Top Stitch thread and smaller beads. I do like the thread. I have also tried the Miyuki variegated thread mentioned and do not like it as well.
    I also found that tension can be tightened by a simple little pull on the thread after the slip stitch, locking the bead into place. It's not always what you want however. When making all the 6/0 bracelets, I found that 78 rows was the correct length for me so when stringing my beads I counted out 78 rows. When I crocheted some of the bracelets and then sewed them into a bangle, I found them VERY tight going over my hand. It was then that I realized I was giving the thread/cord that extra little pull. Lesson learned!