This week for our Weekly Wednesday Review Katelyn tested out the Crochet Necklace Kits from the Well Done Experience. Bert and Dana, the mother daughter team behind the Well Done Experience, not only make kits but also have a book. Keep reading to learn about their book and kits.
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Hi everyone! Thanks for joining me this week for the Weekly Wednesday review. This review is near and dear to my heart because not only am I a yarn lover (knitting and crochet are my jam) but I also LOVE making jewelry. During my quest for finding some great ways to combine my two loves together I came across Bert and Dana’s book “Bead Crochet Jewelry, An Inspired journey Through 27 Designs” and fell in love!
My First Project:
Although it really isn’t a hard concept to master I had never really thought about using beads and crochet together to make jewelry until I saw their book. Needless to say I had to purchase it right away and get started on a few projects! One would assume that I would start with the ‘easier’ project of just chain stitches with beads, well that would be silly! I went straight for the next level of difficulty and made a circular crochet bracelet.
Once I got the hang of making the circular crochet and putting the ends together to make it look seamless I thought that I would try my hand at using crystals. In the book you will find patterns that have the beads all the way around. I liked the look but thought, what if I only do a small section of beads.
Taking about 100 4mm rondelle I made a circular crochet section that I used as the focal of my necklace. Adding end caps and a bead to the end I was then able to attach chain to make it the length that I wanted. I LOVE this look and have made several different colors in this same technique. Don’t be afraid to play around with what you can make.
In the Bead Crochet Jewelry book you will find the first chapter to be all about the materials you will need to get started. If you purchase the kit all of the materials you need will be provided for you. As you work through some of the other projects you may need to pick up a few jewelry making tools.
- Steel Crochet Hook
- Assorted beads
- Sharp scissors
- Needle-nose pliers
- Round-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Safety pins
- Jewelry findings or buttons
Tips For Working on Bead Crochet Jewelry:
After working a few projects in bead crochet I have a few tips and tricks for you before you get started on your own project.
Practice before making a big investment-When you learn a new technique you need to teach your hands and your brain how to work the stitches. Over time you build up muscle memory and it may be hard to change over to a new skill. Be kind to yourself and start by using something like pony beads and worsted weight yarn until you understand the concept, them move on to smaller beads. Although it will add some time before you start your jewelry project, it will be worth the headaches that you could face later.
Take your time when stringing your beads-In all of these crochet bead projects you will be stringing your beads first before you get started. It is super important that you pay attention to what you are stringing. It is not easy to change up what you have strung without taking everything apart. If you are using small beads (like in my bracelet) you do have the option of breaking the beads to get back to the pattern that you wanted. This isn’t easy to do but is possible.
Also remember to add a few more beads then you think you will need. Although you could add more length after you finish it is much easier and cleaner if you take the extra time in the beginning and add a few more beads then you think you will need.
Don’t hang your finished pieces-Many of us have jewelry boxes where we hang our necklaces to keep them organized. Althing this is great for most jewelry I highly suggest that you don’t hang your bead crochet projects. Since they are made using thread (or another cord material) there is the possibility of the project stretching if it is hung. This could ultimately change the finished length of your project. This could make some sections look tighter than others since it is common for them to not stretch evenly.
Be careful of using super glue-We all know that there is the suggestion not to use knots in our projects and yet many of us end up putting in a few knots along the way to make sure things stay in place. One of the things that I always do when I have a knot in my bead work is to add a drop of glue to make sure that there is a secure hold. If this is going to be something that you wear often you will want to make sure that it doesn’t fall apart the first time you wear it.
I suggest using something like E6000 or a hypo cement glue. You will want to stay away from super glue if you are using anything that is crystal, glass or clear in color. Super glue will cause these surfaces to frost, which is something that you can’t easily remove. The other two options I mentioned are much easier to work with and won’t cause your beads to frost. The E6000 is not quite as precise as the hypo cement glue but you can use a toothpick as your application tool.
Plan your project before getting started-Just as you would for another other crochet or knit project be sure to plan out what you want to accomplish. How do you want your colors laid out, what order do you want your beads in or do you want them to be random. I am going to use that dreaded word that you can ‘swatch’ your bead project before you start. Work a few round of the pattern that you selected before stringing all of the beads to make sure that you like it. If not change it around before you string 1,000 small beads on your thread.
Materials Count-We always encourage you to try new thing and play around with material when you are making projects. Use a pattern as a starting point not the rule. Please consider the materials that you are using when making your beaded project. Remember that this is something that you will wear often. Think about the wear and tare of putting the piece on your wrist or over your head. Also consider that beads (depending on their shape) can be abrasive to the thread that you use. Don’t go for something that is cheaper which might break, take the time to source the materials that are suggested in the book and find what works best for you.
About the Bead Crochet Necklace Kit:
Bert and Dana’s kit are ideal for beginners to jewelry making. Everything that you need to make the necklace comes in the kit. All of the beads that you need, the crochet hook and the thread are all included. The only additional materials that you need are scissors and possibly some clear nail polish. It can sometimes be a challenge to source the right high quality beads or stringing material. By purchasing a kit you don’t have to worry about that, all of the decisions were already made for you.
Stringing the beads is the hardest part of the kit. It really isn’t hard but you need to focus on what you are doing. You will want to make sure that you are staying in pattern as it will be more difficult with these beads to correct a mistake once you get started. I suggest that you get a bead mat or some material to put your beads on while you are stringing so that they don’t roll around. Another tip is to use a tray to keep your beads on as well so that they can’t roll of flat surface you are working on.
In your kit you will have more than enough thread to make your necklace. You can use the extra thread to make other jewelry pieces. If you head to the bead isle at any of your local craft stores I am sure you could spend hours there picking out the perfect pieces for your next project. Just be sure to consider the weight of the beads. The heavier the beads the more it will pull on your stitches and give a sloppy look.
About the Bead Crochet Jewelry Book:
Once you make your first bead crochet project I am sure you will be ready to pick up a copy of Bert and Dana’s book to continue your journey. In their book they have 27 different projects for you to try. They talk about the materials you need and where to purchase them along with photo tutorials of all of the steps you will need to know.
Through out the book they give you ideas for mixing materials to get different looks and show you how the color of thread can alter the way your finished piece will look. I find the book to be very inspirational when deciding what project to make next.
Purchase a Book or Kit:
Bert and Dana are so wonderful to us that they are offering to giveaway one copy of their book, “Bead Crochet Jewelry, An Inspired journey Through 27 Designs”! Use the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!
Fine Print: Giveaway ends March 13th at midnight MST. Giveaway only open to US residents.
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