Ow! Ow! Ow!
That’s my fingers crying. They don’t hurt much now, but by the time I was done making this bracelet, they were not happy. But even they have to agree that it was worth it. As they say — “No pain, no gain.” (Although, there might be a less painful way of making these bracelets. More thoughts on that later.)
I’d learned about bead crochet a really long time ago, but had never got a chance to work much on it. Mainly because I didn’t have the appropriate crochet hook. Now that I’ve bought a size 11 steel one (to try out wire crochet, mostly), I was ready to give bead crocheting a try.
I got out some nylon beading thread along with huge stashes of various cylinder beads. I would make a 6-bead spiral, with alternating dark and light beads. For the dark color, I chose the dark blue stash that included some heavy metallic (almost-blue) green cylinder beads. For the light color, I chose white beads, and some brown ones scattered randomly amongst them. It was then time to start crocheting!
I used about 240 beads for each ‘arm’ of the bracelet, with alternating dark and light beads. I pre-strung the beads onto the thread, made the initial loop with 6 beads, and built on the loop until the rope was a little less than 3″ long. It was a bit tedious when I started with the first rope, but by the time I got to the second rope, I wasn’t even consciously thinking about what I was doing.
When both ropes were ready, I chained two jump rings and added them to one of the ropes, and chained a lobster claw clasp to a jump ring, which I attached to the other rope. I then took a length of 22-gauge wire to add the central bead. (That’s a bit weak for a bracelet, I know, but I don’t own thicker wires…) I strung onto it a large, but low-key, off-white bead flanked by two ornamental spacer beads. I then attached the wire to the free ends of both ropes by making eye loops. Done!
Now, about that less painful way of making this bracelet. The problem: repeatedly pushing your crochet hook into tiny gaps between beads and their supporting threads is not good for your fingers. The solution: Kumihimo! I’ve been wanting to buy a Kumihimo disk lately, but they don’t seem to be available in this part of the world. Something to add to my to-ask-friends-traveling-abroad-soon list. 😀
If you have other thoughts about kumihimo vs. bead crochet, I’m very interested in knowing.