It's fun to try new things with bead crochet, and I've been doing just that. I have so many beautiful beads in my massive stash that I have no end of inspiration - just not so much time, particularly now that we're in the midst of building a house.
Today I thought I'd show you some of my most recent bead crochet pieces and tell you about the new adventure I'm taking with one of my bead crochet heroines, Judith Bertoglio-Giffin.
One recent piece is Sawtooth Salsa, crocheted from some of my all-time favorite beads - Czech glass seed bead with a picasso finish. These are so gorgeous in person, and the size 11/0 beads make a wonderful rope (in this case, the ends are joined to create a continuous loop that can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet).
In case you're wondering where you can find these beautiful beads, check out my friend Shannon's Etsy shop: beadsandbabble
Tell her I sent you (I don't get anything for that, but it's always nice to know how people found you online, don't you think?).
Although I don't use a lot of them in my work, for some reason I have a big container filled with faux pearls (just can't resist adding to my stash, I suppose). I guess I've always figured I'd find a place for them, and I have used some; but then the idea came to me to try crocheting a graduated necklace using an assortment of different sizes.
And so was born Luscious, made from a few hundred of those faux pearls in creamy off white, very pale peach, and a lovely shade of blue. This piece had a few challenges, as working with the different size beads and the sheer heft of the faux pearls kept causing the piece to unravel. I'm not one to give up easily, though, so I figured out a solution to the unraveling.
The beads in this piece range from relatively tiny, about 1/8", to some pretty substantial pearls that are more than 1/2" in diameter.
I'm quite happy with the way it turned out, and I don't think anyone would ever guess it's bead crochet. It sure doesn't look like the lariats and necklaces I've made before.
Having crocheted with my favorite Czech seed beads and then with pearls, I thought it was time to play around with some of my other favorite beads: Japanese delicas. These little cylinder beads are absolutely wonderful for peyote work, and they give a completely different look to a bead crochet piece.
I'll admit I was being a bit lazy when I strung these... rather than designing a pattern and using a bunch of different colors/finishes of the delicas, I decided to just add some 2mm jasper rounds, spaced about 3/8" apart along the entire length of the piece. And although I was a bit lazy, there was still some counting involved in stringing the more than 5600 beads this required!
This is called Sand and Stone, for the sandy color of the satiny pale gold delicas and the natural jasper stones that spiral around the rope's entire length.
And now it's time for another bead crochet adventure. When I saw Judith Bertoglio-Giffin's Urban Stripes String Along post on Facebook, I just had to join in the fun. Judith is providing the patterns for seven 6" long sections of bead crochet, so at the end of the adventure all the participants will wind up with a 42" long rope (presuming everyone's using the same size 8/0 beads Judith is using).
You can still sign up to play along, but you have to hurry. The deadline to sign up is tomorrow. Details are on the Bead Line Studios blog.
She's already posted the first part of the pattern, and I've done what may be the most difficult task: choosing the beads! Luckily I had just ordered some size 8/0 beads, and they're perfect for this project.
Now it's time to get started stringing the first part of the pattern... and I'm thinking of doing a variation on the design using some size 10/0 delicas, because I think they have kind of an urban feel.