Have you ever had a great idea for a product or tool that would make beading easier only to find out it already exists? And that the tool is really great? This was my experience recently.
I have been doing a fair amount of bead crochet lately, and even though I've been doing it for years, I still sometimes have some trouble getting the first few rows going. I know this is the case for a lot of people. There just isn't enough to hold onto as you try to manipulate your hook, beads, and cord. So I thought about designing a bead crochet starter tool that would alleviate the problems of getting started. But first I went online to see if such a thing already existed, and sure enough, I found the Bead Crochet Starter Jig from StudioDax. It's a simple tool but very effective. The starter kit comes with a CD with clear instructions for using the jig. The jig allows you to do 5- and 6-around ropes, and she also has instructions for making your own jig if you like to do projects with more beads in the round.
Here's an overview of how it works:
1. First, as with any bead crochet project, string all your beads. Then, complete the setup by crocheting the bare cord onto the tool. This creates loops onto which you will attach your first round of beads.
2. Work the first round, attaching them to the setup cord.
3. As you work the second round, you'll already be able to clearly see the beads lining up in rounds. This is soooo much better than the "cluster of grapes" that you have if you're doing bead crochet without the tool.
4. Work in regular bead crochet for at least 1 inch.
5. When there is enough beadwork to hold onto, remove it from the tool if desired. One caveat - the very first bead you crocheted comes off when you remove your work from the tool. Keep this in mind if you are crocheting a pattern that can't easily be fudged at the ends.
6. Continue crocheting till your project is done, and complete as desired. Yes, you can complete a seamless join or any other type of finish.
I think this tool is really great and it cuts down on both the time and frustration that is normally involved in getting bead crochet started. So if you've ever struggled with bead crochet but really want to master it, this is the tool for you!