May 22, 2011

Question & Gift

First, the question.....

I've talked to a lot of bead crocheters over the years and recently have been watching YouTube videos on how to bead-crochet. I start all of my ropes like this photo; with a bead in each chain stitch. There are many who start their ropes with just a plain chain, no beads. They add the beads in the next round. How do you start your ropes and why? Does the extra round of bead-less chain stitches make it easier to join ropes - or harder? In your experience, what is the advantage (disadvantage) of one start over the other?

Next, the gift.....

I've just traveled 3,000 miles from the Winter Studio in Arizona to New Hampshire for the Summer. I had three of these glasses cases filled with projects to work on during the trip. One of the great things about bead crochet is it's portability. One of the ropes that I wanted to try

was a simple, uncomplicated spiral with the Long Magatamas. I fell in love with this matte raspberry Iris color. I used LMA-2005 Magatama and 8/0, 8-2005 in this rope. I'm thinking that I just might add onto the rope and use the swirls of scales as lariat ends. This one just does not want to be a bracelet of any kind. It's all a very simple 3A, 3M spiral stringing pattern. I threw the basic information onto a PDF and you are welcome to a copy of it over at Bead Patterns.

THIS IS THE LINK for the PDF - it's a thank you for your support of my work over the years.

If you don't know about Bead Patterns, you really should take the time to look around. They have more beading patterns than anyone could ever use in several lifetimes. I have many other patterns, as well as print & eBooks for sale there also. Go do a search under my name, you might find something else interesting to suit your fancy.


  1. I start my tubes as you do. Because some friends had trouble aligning the LAST crocheted row of beads when they connected a tube, we tried doing a LAST row of plain chain before putting the tubes together, to pull the last row of beads into their full upright positions. This works, but I find it leaves a very slightly visible "gap" where the join is. Of course I'm looking for it, so it's very visible to me. This is my long-winded way of saying that I suspect that starting with a row of plain chain would give me the same result - a very slightly visible gap at the join. But like my friends with their crocheted ends, it could be very useful for some people, and the gap is *almost* invisible. I don't do that for my own tubes. Now that you've asked, I guess I'll have to go try it. :-)

  2. I start my tubes the way you do, partially because I learnt from you. But I do think it would be easier this way.

    When I first started I found the second row very difficult to do on patterns where there was little change in the colours - it was hard to tell which bead was next. To overcome this I would crochet two rows of with six different colours so that when I came to the second row it was clear which bead went where. Later I would unpick those rows.

    Thank you for the free pattern. I have been thinking about trying the Long Magatamas and this looks really interesting!

  3. I start my tubes without the beads in the first row. When I was learning, I had to teach myself and this way just seemed to work for me. My ends look very finished by doing this, so I don't have to cover them with caps or anything, just add the clasps. When I teach, I usually show people both methods.

  4. Anonymous5:20 AM

    Hi Judith: I too start my bead crochet with the beads, not plain thread. This is really the best way to start, especially if you are planning a bracelet with invisible joining. When the elongated Magatamas first came out I used them in rope ends and yes, they are a bit of a pain to bead crochet with. By stringing them all in the same direction they do give an interesting look to the end of a rope. I posted a photo in my Ariadne's Treasures on the Yahoo bead crochet group - in a 6 around lariat, I used 5 Mags in each row. Jeanne in NJ

  5. Anonymous7:19 AM

    Thank you for the PDF gift! I love bead crocheted ropes, but haven't done that many of them, still I love the look and if I had the time to practice more I would probably use them in all the time. I learned to bead crochet with the beads on the first row, like someone said, great for invisible seams. But if you are using end caps, doing a row, even two, with no beads allows me to give the bead cover a better fit and I can get the first row of beads snug up against the edge of the cap. :-)

  6. I start my ropes with beadless chains. It's just easier for me that way, and I finish them with a round of beadless chains too. The ends seem to pull into the center of the rope. I have no problems making seamless joins. No one can find them, including me, once I'm done.

  7. Thanks for the PDF!