awardBead Crochet Ropes - A Primer

Right-handed Version
Click here for left-handed version

Bead Crocheted ropes can be worked in different stitch placements, before or after yarnovers and also chained. I plan my bead placements depending on the type of design I am creating. Stitch placement in single crochet with the first yarnover and in the back half of the stitch seems to offer the most attractive results for most of my bead crochet designs and kits.

Most ropes require a chain foundation and then single crochet or other stitch to add the beads in a continuing spiral. Each chain has two halves, a front and back half. When you first make the chain foundation and join it to form a ring, the back half is setting on the outside and the front half is setting on the inside of the ring you formed. After you add the first round of beads, the beads distort the position of the stitches and the back half of the stitch sets next to the ring hole and the front half is hidden underneath. You will be taking the hook underneath the stitch half that is right next to the hole for single crochet stitches. This is the back half of the stitch.

Rope Sample: Use size 6/0 beads, size 10 crochet thread and larger crochet hooks such as 1, 2 and 3.  Try different steel crochet hooks to find which works best for you.  String about one and a half yards of beads using a twisted wire needle. Push the beads about 8" to 10" down the working thread.  The photos below show larger thread and larger beads so that you can see each stitch and each step clearly.  The stitches and hook placement with your size 10 crochet thread and size 6/0 beads are exactly the same.  After you complete this crocheted rope primer, you will be able to use Jean Stitch thread and size 11/0 beads to make ropes like those featured in my kits and shown on various pages here at

chains_in_line chains_in_round

Chain 12 and join with a
slip stitch to form a ring.

First bead in first round Take the hook between the front half
and back half of the first chain
to begin a single crochet stitch.
Pull up the last bead you have previously strung,
snug next to the hook and chains.
First yarnover Take the hook and yarnover behind
the bead and pull up a loop.
Now there should be two loops on the hook
and the bead should be attached to the chain foundation.

Most crochet pattern instructions use "yo"
for yarnover.

Second yarnover Make a second yarnover, pull up a loop,
completing a single crochet stitch.
The bead is only worked in the first yarnover,
the second yarnover is a standard finish
of a single crochet stitch.
First round complete Continue for all 12 stitches.
You should have one bead in
each of 12 stitches around.


First round finished.

First bead in second round For the next round do not join with a slip stitch.
Continue with single crochet stitches and
the bead being added in the first yarnover.
Take the hook under the stitch half
setting next to the hole in the center.
You are actually going between the front half
and back half of the stitch,
you just can’t see the front half
because it is hidden.
First yo First yo done.
Second yo Second yo done.


Continue and finish the second round with 12 stitches
and one bead in each stitch.

First bead in third round Bring up a bead to begin the third round.

Continue working, adding a bead in each stitch
until you run out of beads.

Then you will need to fasten off and
string more beads to continue or
stitch in the fastened off thread
and keep the rope piece as a sample.

See below for "Fasten Off" instructions and
"Adding Thread on Pre-strung Beads" instructions.

First yo First yo done.
Second yo Second yo done.
Third round complete Third round finished; 12 stitches and 12 beads.

For fastening off instructions refer to any of my kit instruction booklets under the heading "Special Bead Crochet Terminology" and for reattaching refer to "Bead Crochet Techniques-Adding Thread on Pre-Strung Beads". In my book, Beadwrangler’s Hands On Crochet with Bead and Fiber, See page 53, ‘Adding and Joining Thread" and page 55, "Fastening/Tying Off Thread" for the same information.

Q & A

Q   What is the difference for bead placement and yarnovers when adding bead loops?
A   None. When you pull up more than one bead to make a loop, make the yarnover after the last bead you pulled up from the working thread. You will still take the hook under the stitch half setting next to the hole.

Q   Why can’t I work the bead in the second yarnover instead?
A   You can. This is another way of adding beads; however, the beads will set differently, the holes will line up vertically which looks attractive in some designs and not in others. Beads worked in the first yarnover have the bead holes line up in a more horizontal formation that looks very attractive in most designs.

Q   I can’t get my first line of beads going in the chains.  What can I do?
A   For practice, work slip stitches in the chains and then make bead single crochet stitches from them until you are more comfortable working with the beads.

Once you have practiced with 6/0 and thick thread, you are ready to work with 8/0 and 11/0 beads and thinner thread. I use Jean Stitch thread in my kits. Jean Stitch is equivalent to Cebelia #30 in thickness and is 100% polyester. I do not recommend cotton or silk thread when crocheting ropes with beads. Neither cotton nor silk can carry the weight of beads over a period of time. Both stretch and if you have made a very long rope, you will see the beads coming out of place in about a year due to the bead weight. Cotton is a good fiber to use for rope practice. Polyester is by far the strongest and longest lasting fiber for use when crocheting with beads to make ropes and heavily beaded purses.

Why use a thinner fiber? If you want the look of the bead crocheted ropes you see in my kits, thinner thread is required to make them look the way they do. If you use a thicker thread such as pearl cotton #8, it will push the beads apart and separate them in the rope, distorting the design.

Once you have made a basic rope and understand the stitch placement, it will be to easy to adjust to smaller beads, thinner thread and smaller crochet hooks. You will find that it really is fun and easy to crochet ropes.

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