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Crochet with Wire & Beads
But let's get started . . . . First, you need supplies:
- One spool of 28 gauge wire, silver or another color.
- Assorted beads -- about 40 for a choker, or about 20 for a bracelet.
- A metal crochet hook, size G.
- Wire cutters and needle-nose pliers.
- Findings: jumprings and a clasp of some kind.
Step One: String your beads onto the wire, leaving it attached to the spool. You can string them in random order, or plan the order out in advance. It's a good idea to have a few of your smallest beads at the start and end of your strand, so your finished jewelry will hang nicely. Once you've strung all your beads, push them along down the wire toward the spool, out of your way.
Step Two: Make a slip-knot with your wire. I have a method for this that creates an easy, flexible little knot:
Make a loop with the end of your wire. Then, stick your thumb and forefinger into the loop. Now, bend your hand forward, so that you flip your fingers over and carry the wire with them.
This leaves you with a pretzelly-looking thing, like so. Bend it in half, and you have a nice slip knot, as pictured above.
Now, put your crochet hook through that slip knot, and tighten it -- but fairly loosely! See how much space I've left here?
Step Three: Chain three. If you're not a crocheter already, you can follow these steps to make a chain stitch:
Take the end of your wire that's still attached to the spool, and wrap it over your hook. You always wrap from the back of the hook to the front.
Then, catch that wrapped bit in your hook, and pull it through the slip knot. (In future stitches, you'll pull your hook through the loop that's wrapped around it.)
Step Four: Now it's time to add beads! So your beads have been sitting patiently all this time, strung on your wire and waiting for action.
Slide your first bead up along your wire, all the way to your hook.
Reach your hook in front of the bead, and wrap the wire over it just as you normally would for a chain stitch. Catch the wire in your hook, and pull it through.
You've just made a chain stitch with a bead captured in it.
Here's another angle on that step.See how the bead sits in back of the hook?
Step Five: When you've crocheted in all your beads, then finish your strand with three more chain stitches. Then, you can cut the wire free of the spool, leaving about a 3" tail of wire at both ends.
Step Six: Now you can tidy up the loops at the ends of your strand. Take the loose tail of wire and wrap it through that end loop a few times to anchor your stitching. Then, cut the loose end of the wire close to that loop. Do this at the other end of your strand, too. You can then attach your jumprings and finding.
Seriously, imagine the possibilities here! You can make several strands and then braid them loosely together. You can make long strands or short ones, and use any size of bead. You can experiement with single crochet, double crochet, or even crocheting in the round. Oooooooooooooh!