Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another way of crocheting with beads

Rachel at The Life of Riley has inspired me with some interesting ideas! For a non-crocheter, she sure has sparked an attempt at crocheting creativity from me.

In January, she posted a necklace her mother-in-law made around 20 years ago. It was called Crocheted Beaded Necklace, so of course, it caught my eye. Go take a look...but be sure to come back.

After seeing that post and other necklaces made by her m-i-l, I started thinking about ways to make some simple and elegant jewelry that would take a bit less time than the Bead Crochet Rope necklaces that I usually make. Specifically, I had an idea for a necklace that would go with a formal I'm thinking about wearing this spring.

On Tuesday, I stopped in Hobby Lobby to take a look at their beads. I wanted to see if they had anything that matched what was in my imagination. Most of all, I just wanted to find something that I could try as a trial run.

This is what I came up with.
Note it is very similar to Rachel's, but it's not nearly as pretty. As I said, this was my trial, so I just used some very cheapy "pearls" and old green thread borrowed from my mom's stash a while ago. But it was enough to show hubby to see if he liked the concept I was trying to describe to him.

I also found some other great beads for $1. I tried something similar to the above necklace at first, but with less beads, I wasn't sold on the finished look.

Try number 2, I kept them closer together:
I like this a little better, but I'm considering yet another attempt. What if I were to keep all the beads closer together at the bottom of the necklace with fewer chains in between and more chains toward the top and back of my neck? Does that make sense? Would that look better or worse? Or do you need a visual of it like I would?

Now, keep in mind, neither of us are sure that we're settled on this thread, either, but these are so easy to make, I don't mind trying several things before deciding what I want. And I think these beads are SO pretty that I don't want the whole necklace to look cheesy.

Here's a closer shot of the beads:
Earth tones with some golf flecks.

To wrap it all up, let me show you why I developed a Crochet Callous while doing these on Tuesday night.
Notice this hook has a little extender on the end of it? I think I mentioned before that these tiny hooks belonged to my great-grandmother years ago (I just love having a little family history to them!), but I really wish I knew some stories behind them. All I can tell is that the brand appears to be Milward, and it was made in England. Well, that little slit on the extender happens to land right against the palm of my hand under my pinkie (or is it pinky?). It's not always very comfortable, but this is the first time I noticed any "battle scars" from it!

Well, share your ideas with me! I always feel like I can feed off others' creativity much better than trying to come up with all of it on my own. How should I use those earth tone/gold fleck beads?


  1. I think they're looking good so far. I've been reading a book called Tears of Mermaids, which is all about the history of pearls. I'd never paid much attention to pearls before but the book is interesting and has got me thinking more about them. As a result I've started playing around with crochet jewelry ideas inspired by pearls throughout time. Haven't really gotten anywhere yet but I am mulling over the ideas.

  2. Wow....I was going to ask that question as well to some of my fellow crochet bloggers. I have a hook from my ex mother in law who passed away a few years back and it has a weird hook on the end of it also. I'll try to remember to grab it tonight and get a pic to put on my blog. I haven't hooked with it yet...hmmmm. I think I need to. Ok....thanks for reminding me! :o) xoxo

  3. Can't wait to see what else you come up with...I get what you mean about grouping the bead in that way. Try it and post it!

  4. I like the idea of grouping the beads. Also, what about smaller beads toward the top/neck and larger beads at the bottom/center? (I know, more stuff to buy, more trips to the store)
    And, you should try other bead shapes, too. Hmmm, kinda wish I crocheted....

  5. I sure do like these necklaces! I also like your headband with the buttons! I wish crocheting was something I could do...tried several times and I can never keep my tension the, I have great admiration for those who can do this!
    Becky Jane

  6. Rachel--I like the idea of some smaller beads toward the neck. Probably gold-ish or something, because the "pearly" ones didn't quite work with it. While I was looking, I saw some AMAZING square ones that I can't WAIT until they go on sale. ;-) Seriously though, this is the easiest part of crocheting--you should give it a try!

    Thanks, Becky Jane--it does take a little while to get into the rhythm of keeping the tension the same.

  7. hi mindy thanks for following me and i hope you stop by again for a nosey xx i just love your 2 necklaces the first one is so vintagy looking and the second just reminds me of summer ( and in ireland that is a distant memory )

  8. Distant memory here, too! But here's hoping that spring is on the way. =)

  9. This looks so pretty and I am going to try something similar once I get a few other things off my plate. Thanks for the inspiartion!

  10. These all look nice! I totally get what you're talking about with the spacing closer together at the bottom and further apart as it goes up, I think that would look great. I wonder if you use the same thread, but add a sewing thread of gold too, if that wouldn't look sharp with those little flecks in the beads without looking cheap?

  11. Great idea to add the gold thread! It's worth a try! =)

  12. Hi!

    I'm your newest follower from the Boost your Blog hop. Pretty necklaces! :) Look forward to future posts!

    Feel free to check out my blog here:

  13. Mindy,

    I'm sorry I really don't have any suggestions for you. I do want to comment on the extender on your crochet hook though. I have some of those that I inherited and/or picked up at sales. I assumed that they were covers for the pointy ends of the hooks, little did I know that they were extenders. I love all the things that you do.

  14. Tamara--

    You are completely correct. The more I see them, the more I can tell that they are intended to be covers and not extenders (silly me!). I assumed that because this one is on so tight (or has been there for so many years), that it doesn't move at all. I just assumed it was supposed to stay there. Maybe it will come off and cover it if I try to pull harder. I've always been afraid to! =)

    My mom just found and gave me a size 14 hook. It's incredibly tiny!! I can't even imagine what I could do with it. 12 has been small enough for me, so far!

  15. I think all of it is beautiful. I've made a handful of pieces of beaded jewelry, but never crocheted with beads.

  16. Very cool, the necklaces turned out so cute! Thanks for sharing over at Gettin' Krafty With It!


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