Bead crochet is a bit like chain maille in that the start is always the trickiest.  Especially if you have never done crochet before.  But once started the process is as rhythmically soothing as the other craft techniques like kumihimo, knitting and so on. Beaded crochet ropes can either be standalone designs for bracelets or necklaces or like kumihimo, be the necklace cord for handmade pendants.

 I recently received Candice Sexton's new book Bead Crochet Basics for review.  This 22 project book is a wonderful introduction to the technique.  Clearly laid out with beautiful photographs and clean design  -  colored backgrounds can obscure designs.

The critical start, the main stumbling block for the beginner bead crocheter, is covered both with step by step photographs as well as in the accompanying DVD.  The author also adds all sorts of tips. She reiterates a number of times the correct position of the beads in the working row as well as in the completed rows...and how to sort things out if they are not.

Bead crochet is not as easy to accomplish as say basic kumihimo as tension is key. The author demonstrates how to get even loops by the little trick of sliding the thread loop up the crochet hook.

Many people say to start with using 8/0 seed beads because 6/0 is too big and 11/0 is too frustrating. But this instructor in the early book projects disproves the notion 6/0 is unflattering and encourages beginners to use these easier beads.  

One outstanding feature of this book is how the author carefully progresses to more difficult things in a logical manner.  She follows with how to use smaller beads and add bands of colors once the basics are mastered.

The pattern sampler section shows how the stringing patterns result in the final tube designs.

It`s worth doing small samples to develop unique designs such as the Chrysanthemum bracelet one below.

Other noteworthy tricks to learn in this book is how to create spiral or twisted tubes with bead crochet.  Clever use of different size beads.

It`s not criticism as such but I think the book title could easily be Bead Crochet Basics and Beyond! That`s because the latter projects are much more challenging.  The pièce de résistance of the book had to be the magnificent Ruffles and Spirals necklace which not only had the twists but included lots of texture all of which were accomplished with bead crochet.

I highly recommend this book if you wish to learn this technique.  This one goes on my list of favorite books.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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