Bead Crochet Jewelry (click on cover to buy)
An Inspired Journey through 27 Designs
by Bert Rachel Freed and Dana Elizabeth Freed
144 pages, trade paperback with French flaps
Bert and Dana Freed are a mother-daughter design team and the authors of our new book Bead Crochet Jewelry, which features a stunning range of 27 designs, showcasing a dazzling use of color and texture for jewelry that looks elegant and intricate. The projects range from simple single-crocheted strands of beads to impressive rope-like circular crocheted pieces.
Bert and Dana stopped by our office recently to conduct SMP’s first-ever Lunch & Learn. Armed with a trunk full of spools of cord, beads galore, and their handy Confetti Chain Stitch Necklace kits (sold here) they showed us just how easy it is to create your own beautiful beaded creations.
I have to admit that when I was first working on the book, I thought that the projects might be too difficult for me since I’m just a novice crocheter. The idea of pairing my mediocre crocheting skills with beadwork (something I’ve never done before) sounded intimidating and overwhelming. I’m happy to say that I was proven wrong.
At the Lunch & Learn, Bert and Dana passed out crochet hooks, strands of cord, and little packets of beads in an assortment of colors, shapes, and types. The first step was to figure out in what order to strand the beads on to the cord. This was the most challenging and fun part of the lesson. With the beads spilled out in front of me, the possibilities were endless! In the book, Bert and Dana extensively cover how to work color into your bead crochet projects, and really encourage you to play and experiment with the color combinations of cords and beads. They explain how different-colored cords produce a variety of results when paired with different beads. Below are two examples of the same color of beads being used with three different color threads, but look at how different the results are:
After divvying up my beads into families of colors and stranding them, I was ready to start crocheting. Bert and Dana went around the room and guided everyone through the easy steps of making a single crochet stitch, then moving the beads one-by-one up the cord after each stitch. So easy! Even the complete beginners in the room got the hang of it! I was so excited by how simple it was to make this necklace, I couldn’t wait to get home finish what I started. End result?
I love my new necklace and I’ve been getting tons of compliments every time I wear it out. Who knew that all it would take was one night of single crocheting in front of the tv? It really went that quickly! I love the combination of the beads and how each one is different from it’s neighbor.
Now my next project is to tackle circular crochet, so I can make one of the fabulous rope-like pieces in the book. I’d like to start with the Center of the Universe bracelet. I love the look of the spiraling colors and the central focal bead.
I started practicing the circular crochet technique after I finished my necklace. The step-by-step photos in the book really make it easy to follow all the steps. The photos clearly reflect the placement of beads on the cord, and what your hook should be doing at each interval. It makes it impossible to get lost in the process.
Now that I’ve got this new technique under my belt, I can’t wait to start playing with bead combinations and making up brand-new pieces of jewelry that I know will garner more compliments from friends. I think I’d better start clearing out another corner of my craft closet to make way for my new obsession!