I have so much information I want to share with you and some delicious color images. You are going to find all kinds of bead and fiber information on this page.
Chain Link 2002 is fast approaching and will be here before you know it. I do hope you can all join us. If you can’t attend the conference, you can still make it to the vendor area which is free to the public. I will have a booth and display all my latest designs and help with any questions/hands-on about bead crochet. The annual Crochet Guild of America Conference will take place at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, July 31 through Aug 3, 2002, with post conference Aug 4-6. Check CGOA websitefor all the information, obtaining a class brochure and vendor information. There will be a banquet, fashion show, market area, gobs of classes and lots of fun!
Beadwrangler Schedule at the Chain Link 2002 Conference I will be teaching a 6hr class on Thursday, August 1. I will be at my booth Friday: 8:30am- 12:30pm and 2pm-6pm, Saturday: 8:30-6pm and Sunday: 8:30am-2pm. If you have any questions about bead crochet or beading, I will be happy to help you. Drop by and say hello. The WebWizard and I will be at booths #6 & #7.
The Tropical Crochet Guild of The Palm Beaches is the hosting chapter. Tampa Crochet & Bead Renegades/CGOA Chapter will be supporting our sister chapter by making some of the decorations.
Want to see one of the decorations? Here is one of the Florida Sea Habitats with Critter. The habitat is somewhat shaped like a conch and then flared out. The yarns are a mixture of yarns I had in my yarn stash. Some are synthetic fibers or blended fibers, others are silk and rayon blends, some include fancy yarns and metallics and others are a smorgasbord of colors that worked together. Some are made of Lion Brand Homespun and Chenille Sensations, others are various skeins of yarn I have purchased from yarn stores, some expensive, some not and a few are from my local Pinellas Weavers Guild auction. Each decoration is completely different from the others. The habitat edging is bead crocheted and the Critter is bead crocheted. The diameter ranges from 7″ across in width to 10″ across. They are fun and whimsical, all made of fiber and beads.
Lion Brand Lame’ Metallic Yarn Then there is the Florida Octopi. They are made of the Metallic Lame’ and all the fiber was donated by Lion Brand for these small decorations. How do you like these little octopi? One will fit in your hand. There is an article about Lion Brand’s contribution in the latest Chain Link newsletter. I found this metallic yarn, which is what I would call a thick thread, to be an exciting discovery for innovative creativity. For more information on this Lion Brand product, click to Inside Threads. I was so happy when the Lion Brand Representative told me they would provide this contribution to our event and a few days later the package arrived. My chapter members and I are busy at work finishing the octopi and the FloridaSea Habitats with Critters. For more information about the Lame’ Metallic, checkInside Threads. I will be experimenting with this thread more in the future and I am sure new ideas will come to mind.
After I made the octopus, I began to experiment with on On The Surface products and found the New Metallics a superb thread to work. I made several items of this fiber including a mini mermaid. I then went back to the Lame’ Metallic and made a mermaid with it too. Here is the mermaid knitted and crocheted in the Lame’ Metallic in their multi color.
On The Surface New Metallics is a 2-ply metallic thread that is thick enough to hold shape. Lion Brand Lame’ Metallic is 3-ply which is a little thicker. I found I can easily separate either thread and use each ply separately if I want. You can also combine two colors of thread to make it variegated and the two cards of 2-ply together make a firmer piece. The Lame’ comes in 5 colors and the New Metallics come in 24 colors with more colors being added regularly.
I made several mini mermaids from the New Metallics. They begin with a bead knitted torso and then bead crocheted arms and tailfin. I added a glass ring for the head and one to attach the tailfin end. I put 2mm crystal beads on the ends of the hands for some of them. The mermaids are 2 1/2″ to 3″ in length. The torso is made of size 6/0 or equivalent beads and size 8/0 beads. I used size 14/0 and 15/0 beads for bead crochet on the arms and tailfin. I am sure a size 11/0 or 12/0 could also be added for the bead crochet, or the arms and tailfin could all be thread crochet with just the bead crochet on the edge of the tailfin. These mermaids can be added to jewelry, wearables and lots of other items. The main concept of the torso comes from the bracelet kits which are part of her On The Surface line and are all bead knitted. The idea came for the mermaid and adding crochet for appendages after making the bracelet.
I experimented making broaches with the New Metallics, some of the 2-ply and some with two cards of 2-ply for a variegated finish. The red broach is all bead knitted and then bead crochet is worked onto the bead knitted piece. I wrapped the bead knitting around an old large earring hoop and stitched it down. Both the copper and bluegreen broaches are crocheted in a knot type appearance. I combined the copper and the gold New Metallic threads together which really shows up well. I combined the aquamarine and the pewter and you can not see the variegated difference as much as the copper/gold blend. I also used beads that were too dark to show up on the aqua/pewter thread. I would use a lighter bead next time on this color combination.
I also made a suncatcher and a spiraled bead with New Metallics. The spiraled bead is thread crocheted over a wire armature and then bead crocheted along the edge. Eventually, I will add a rope to both ends of the spiral bead for a spectacular effect. As soon as I made the bracelet, my niece begged for it, so it is already gone. The bracelet was an On The Surface kits. I have barely begun to experiment with On The Surface New Metallics and am sure I will find many more uses for this thread.
I will be teaching Faubles & Baubles, Beading & Crochet. Students will start out having fun wrapping and shaping a fabric bead like you never saw before. Then we will make a brick stitch sample with big beads. Those who know how to crochet, can add bead crochet with 11/0 beads onto the edge beads of the brick stitch. The sample above is made of size 6/0 beads to form the brick stitch. To the left shows the back side of the sample and to the right shows the front side of the sample. If you are new to crochet, you can do the beading and watch the crochet techniques being demonstrated.
Double Blooms CL2002 is bringing out the bead crochet mania for me. Since the emphasis is on florals this year, I made a crocheted rope of linen and metallic fiber and worked a flower on each end. Then I added bead crochet along the edge of the flowers. This can be a lariat, wrapped in various positions or even be a belt.
Boa! Boa! Boa! As the saying goes, there are never enough beads and I loaded this boa down. The fiber is silk yarns with metallic threads. The bead crochet is on Jean Stitch thread worked along the edge and spirals the whole piece. Yes, I know the beads are too heavy for the silk to support for 100 years or more, which is my goal with all my work. However, sometimes the fiber just matches the beads, the idea comes and does it ever feel wonderful to drape over your shoulders. This boa will last for many years as long as it is set flat when not being worn. Hanging such a piece would pull the beads and fibers after a period of time. This is one section of the boa. Next time I will include a photo image wearing it.
Rope Sampler Infinity began when I worked up my Learn Bead Crochet From Scratch kit. I needed to show some examples of how single crochet can look in various stitch placements and yarnovers and began this rope. Now I have decided to add on other stitches such as bead crochet with hdc, dc, tr, slip stitch and also combined crochet stitches for bead crocheted ropes. This will be a continuous ongoing process and there is no telling how big this thing will get! It is a good example of how diverse bead crochet can be with a little experimentation.
Jenny King, my talented friend from Australia, has a newly published book, Beaded Belles, using porcelain half dolls and crocheting the tassel bodies. They are absolutely adorable. The one on the right gave me an idea. I am planning to make some squids using the tassel pattern at the bottom of the half doll on the right. I will make them in different size beads, one with 11/0 beads and others with either 14/0, 18/0 or 22/0. I will just adjust the top where the opening is for the doll insertion. So there are more uses for Jenny’s patterns in addition to the half doll embellishment. Her patterns are all bead crocheted. Check her book review here. Jenny is a member of CGOA and you will find most of her books plus other CGOA authors’ books at to purchase. Members receive a discount and each time you purchase a book, you are not only helping the author but also contributing to CGOA, a nonprofit organization. If you are looking for the hot sandles that are worked over the toe and around the ankle, Jenny has two yummy patterns in her Some’r Hot e’r Bikinis book. I call them “Ankloes” for ankles & toes. I am happy to say Jenny will be at CL2002. She is teaching two classes and all her students tell me she is great fun and an excellent instructor.
Anne Smark and the Bead-ler A new tool is now available for bead crochet. It is called the Bead-ler. Anne Smark, a member of my TBCBR chapter, has invented new ways to add beads to crochet. It is not a faster method to add beads to crochet than the standard methods of stringing beads by hand or bead spinner; however, it does offer a different look to bead crochet. The beads set differently. This tool is perfect for adding beads onto a piece you have already finished or to incorporate beads into one section of the piece before continuing to crochet. You can choose to add one or more beads to a specific area of the crocheted piece and not pre-string the beads. Because the beads are not pre-strung, when you add them, they set in a different placement. Anne has devised ways to use the bead-ler for several different crochet stitches. You can also use the bead-ler to work a tambour effect on fiber with beads. What is the most interesting is the way Anne has used the tool in her own creative designs. Theresa Grandstaff will be teaching a hands-on class using the Bead-ler at the Chain Link Conference. Anne will have a booth in the vendor area where you can purchase additional Bead-ler tools and kits. I found the Bead-ler works well to add bead groupings onto pin woven pieces and other projects needing a short combination of beads added into a piece.
I recently made up a 3-D flower motif with bead crochet on YLI Colours “Violets.” The only problem is the beautiful variegated thread does not show up. I kept the small motifs from the last update with YLI Colours and Jean Stitch to show the difference and the beauty of the thread when not embellished to excess. Colours are soft and muted and make very lovely thread crocheted motifs. I will have more information about this thread in my next Tips & Techniques update. I plan to make several of the same small motifs and join them to make what? Who knows, but it will be lovely.