May 6, 2013

Shaped Beads in Bead Crochet

I've been doing a Circus Bangle String-Along for the past month using shaped Czech beads on one edge of each bangle.  While I've used most of these beads before, I've never paired them with #10 Delicas and used them one right after the other.  

While all of them worked well, some worked better than others.  Also, different manufacturers will have shaped beads that are slightly different sizes.  If you are going to use beads like this, it makes sense to test or swatch your work before you put a lot effort into making a piece.
Daggers are an almost-work bead. Some of the bases are just enough larger that the tend to flop over instead of standing straight up.  Also, the wide part can be wide enough to touch or overlap, allowing the edge beads to ruffle.  It's not a bad thing, but may not be what you expect.
Drops, the right size drops work beautifully as they have nice pointy bottom edges that fit into the crochet work. However, like daggers, their hips can be wide enough to bump the bead next to it and cause things to ruffle.
Ruffle Fix; modify your pattern to use a smaller bead in between the ruffling beads.
Lentils work beautifully and give your edge a different aspect as they sit sideways.  No problems here at all.
Rizos, a brand new bead on the market, has turned out to be one of my favorite beads for this kind of edge bead design.  They are not big and bold, nor do they come in bright primary colors, but they fit between 10/0 Delicas and stand up beautifully.
Drops in the Circus Cartwheel Bangle


Here are examples of how each of the shaped beads work in bead crochet ropes.....  Fun Stuff, no?

Daggers in the Circus Ringmaster Bangle
Lentils in  Circus Balancing Bangle

Rizos in Circus Trapeze Bangle

In a week or so, a pattern set for these Bangles will be on Bead Patterns  
Rizos in Circus Spangle Bangle