Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bead Crochet!

Hi, all! This week I've taken a break from my tutorial writing to learn a new skill: Bead crochet!  I've crocheted all my life but I've not been very successful with using small beads to create a rope.  I finally have it down and I'm loving it!

Here's my very first successful bead crochet rope:


I love it!  :)  Here's another view just because:


And here's my experimentation with size 8 hex beads:


Last night, I was incredibly tickled to run across a software program that lets you design your own bead ropes!  Squeeee!  So, I'm tinkering with that and I hope to create something fabulous soon.  I will definitely work on a bead crochet tutorial soon, but I want to experiment a little bit first.

So, this software!  It's called Jbead and it's a free download and it's free-ware, meaning you can use it and not worry about stepping on anyone's toes, etc.  Here is their website:  http://www.jbead.ch 

They don't have tutorials, which is stinky, but you basically color in the middle column.  The column on the left side shows the stringing order and the column on the right is the actual rope and how it will look when beaded.  There are arrows in the toolbar that you can use to rotate the rope to see the back side of the rope.  It sure comes in handy!  I've made some cute patterns only to turn the rope and realize the back side isn't meeting up correctly or it's just plain ugly.

You can also save and print the charts once you make them (the print icon is blanked out until you color in some tiles and then it's available).  You can just do enough to get a repeat on the design- you don't have to color in the entire strip.  You also can control the width and length of your graph, copy and paste (from the left strip), etc.  The numbers next to the squares on the far right side tell you the stringing order if you don't want to use the chart.  it's very handy!  If it says 3 blue, 2 red, 1 white, then you string in that order:  b.b.b.r.r.w  :)  The only problem I have right now is that some websites say to read the charts from the bottom to the top and some say to read from the top down.  the color square chart on the right side suggests that, for this program, you read from the top down.  I'll have to test the theory with a bit of rope.  Have fun with it!

So, what do you think of my new blog?  I'm probably overextending myself but I thought it may be fun.  Oh!  If you've read this far then you deserve a treat:  For 15% off your purchase in my Etsy shop (click the link in the sidebar), enter coupon code "VCAO15" during checkout!  This coupon code expires June 1st.