by Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Create strands of beaded crochet with wire, beads and a crochet hook. Choose beads that suit your style or your outfit. Briolette-shaped beads are a great choice as they dangle and sway, catching the light and showing off their color and facets.
This technique requires knowledge of the chain stitch.
Plan out your distribution of beads. You can alternate shapes as well as types and colors of beads. Lay your design out on a multi-strand flocked bead board for easy threading onto the wire.
String onto the spool of wire the strand of beads you designed in Step 1.
Do not cut the wire off the spool.
4 inches from the end of the wire (allowing length for finishing the strand later) wrap the wire around the crochet hook to form a loop.
Make a fairly loose twist to lock in the loop.
Wrap the wire around the hook and angle the hook downward to catch the wire that was just brought around, under the hook. Pull through and watch as the first loop comes off the hook intact.
This is actually not your first stitch, but your end loop.
Continue this process again to form your first chain stitch. Then continue to form about six empty stitches.That is, without beads (we'll get to that next). These chain stitches count as part of the length of your finished strands.
The chain stays open because it is wire and doesn't form a tight crochet stitch as yarn would.
Now it's time to add the beads. You might wish to develop a pattern of a bead in every other or third stitch and vary the patterns as you form each crochet strand. That's the pattern here among these strands.
Slide the first bead toward the crochet hook. Bring it and the wire it's on around the crochet hook as you did for the previous stitches. Angle the hook downward to catch the wire and bead. Pull through and watch as the first bead becomes included in the wire stitch.
Continue to add beads in a pattern of chain stitches until you have completed about 15 inches. End this strand with six empty stitches. Pull the end stitch through to lock in the stitch. Cut the wire from the spool then set this completed strand aside.
Repeat Steps 2 - 5 to create the other strands of beaded wire crocheted.
To create a graduated design, chain stitch lengths of beaded wire crochet that vary by about 1 to 2 inches.
Gather the ends of the crocheted wires (being careful to keep the strands in their graduated positions if you chose to create this type of design). Form a wrapped loop using these wires. Clip the end wires from the wrap. Attach the wrapped loop to an eyepin.
Pass the eyepin through a cone. Begin a wrapped loop in the wire end of the eyepin. Open the loop slightly then slide on one side of the clasp. Close the loop and finalize the wrap.
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