Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am letting the joy of this new project -putting together two projects I love to do - of making these crocheted rope bracelets with lizards overshadow the small blip of discomfort caused by Bead&Button rejecting both my works: "DragonFLY in Amber" and "Visiting Snowman." April is the cruelest month. . . for beaders, too.


No matter how hard I try, I cannot get a perfect closure of the crocheted ends. Good the lizard belly covers up my gaps. I have about 20 rope bracelets to practice on. Now to make the lizards for them. That should keep me busy and that is happiness.

Monday, April 11, 2011

As a result of my vast reading (!) I found this method for making spiral crocheted beads. I think that for beginners it would be even easier to use this method than the usual one of bands of several colors. If your rope-bracelet is five beads around, you string on five different beads and then repeat the same order of five different beads until you have a 3 - 4 foot string. This method is so much more helpful, especially when beginning, because you always add a new bead to the same one in the previous row. Goofs are immediately visible and the 'cluster of grapes' in the beginning makes sense so you can add on at the proper place.

I really enjoy crocheting these ropes, but like most people, I do not enjoy sewing them together. Even the 'job' of putting the beads and colors together is fun and stringing them is possible even when I am very tired. Of course I do make errors then. If the beads are doubled up I can break the extra bead and save my reputation. However is missed bead is noticed forever.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

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I decided to use these as attempts to either practice making better joints for the crocheted tubes or trying out other ways of making them. I even tried to try the idea of putting a bead on a headpin and enclosing it inside the tube. This did not work well as the bead tended to slip out of the tubing no matter how tight I gathered up the last row. I did try running a head pin through a couple of the last beads and was very glad to have a wire making the connection with the clasp. Because the headpin comes through the regular beads it does not exit exactly in the middle and even bending it did not keep it centered very well.

With my last tube, I tried sewing bead caps over the ends and butting those together. That seems to work the best for me. However, now I want to try putting a large stone bead where the bead caps meet, with maybe a tiny metal bead on each side of the stone. I want to try this today. Made a couple of new tubes to try it out and felt I had made the tubes too long. Adding the stone bead makes the bracelet way too long. So today I want to try making a shorter tube and am eager to look through my stone collections to see what I have. What a marvelous way to use up those leftover stones!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Was so surprised that my beading fingers turned to doing the bead crochet again. I had tried to pick it up a couple of times in other months and it seemed I had forgotten how to do it. Then all at once there I was finishing up old pieces and starting new ones with even thinner crochet yarn. I vacillate between wanting very contrasty designs and then more subtle ones. I loved the one with purple and greens and golds.

On Wednesday, while in Santa Rosa to have a biopsy on the spot on my leg, I carved out an hour at Legendary Beads and really got stocked up on seed beads. One of my very few complaints about Fire Mountain is the fact that they carry so few 8s. They seem to work the best for me for bead crocheting. As you can see from the photo I will have several sessions now sewing the tubes into bracelets.