Bead Crochet
An Old Idea dressed up in some New Techniques

The concept for this piece goes back a very long time—before I learned to make glass beads, before, really, even I learned to do bead crochet. Originally, the idea was to sheathe stainless wire in kumi, as for a bracelet posted elsewhere on this site and dangle all sorts of strung work off the ends. I actually got as far as starting a piece, in some very washed out pastel silks. Braiding around the wire, particularly curvy memory wire, proved to be difficult, so I never completed anything but the one bracelet.

After learning bead crochet, it occurred to me that beaded crochet tubes would also make a nice sheath for memory wire...but it still proved difficult to insert. Finally after some trial and error, I was able to insert the memory wire by straightening one end the length of the beaded crochet tube of a coil of memory wire—that's a lot of waste to make a self-needle, but it works.

Glass, amethyst, cloisonne, silver, steel, nylon thread. 10nov2004 (09nov04 directory)

I didn't set out to incorporate my glass beads: the color of the crochet tube determined the color fact, the focal was a demo bead of bullseye I made at last Gathering. However, it's pretty, it's purple, and it's not the sort of thing I typically sell (generally I put Thompson Enamels on first) so it struck me as a perfect candidate. There are some other pretty purple hollows sprinkled here and there, but my main purpose was exploring the stringing concept.

Closeup of focal. Though difficult to see, you can just barely see the double strung 2mm amethysts inside the focal.

I was very pleased with the way this necklace came out. It is easy to put on and take off (just spread the ends of the memory wire) and relatively lightweight. It's unusual. I think it's fun, and I hope it will be the start of a (long-delayed) series.