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Crotchet Know-How: Beading Tutorial

crochet techniques

Beading is a great embellishment but you must choose the right size of beads for the size of yarn you’re working with. Many beads are made for fine threads and wires so the hole in the centre of the bead is too small for yarn. Adding lots of beads also makes the work much heavier, so bear this in mind.



Seed beads are most commonly used for yarn. They are shaped like little seeds and are sized as either 6 or 8. Size 6 is approximately 4mm in diameter and is a suitable size for double knitting and aran-weight yarns. Size 8 is approximately 3mm in diameter and is suitable to use with 4-ply and lace-weight yarns.



All the beads must be threaded onto the yarn before you start crocheting. If you run out of beads and need to add more, you will need to cut the yarn at the end of the row/round and thread more beads onto the ball and then join in the yarn again to continue. If the beads need to be placed in order, begin threading with the last one to be used first, so it will come up to the hook last. The size of the bead hole is usually too small for a yarn sewing needle eye to go through, and the yarn is too thick to be threaded onto a normal sewing needle, so here is a technique to thread the beads onto the yarn.


1. Make a loop with some cotton sewing thread and thread a sewing needle with the loop (not the end). Leave the loop hanging approx 2.5cm (1in) from the eye of the needle. Pull the yarn end through the loop of the thread.


2. Thread the beads (two or three at a time), onto the sewing needle, pushing them down onto the strand of the yarn. Continue to thread beads until the required number is reached. Beads are placed when working with the wrong side of the work facing you. The beads will sit at the back of the work, and so appear on the front (right side).


1. When a bead is needed, slide it up the strand towards the back of the work so it’s ready to place in the right part of the stitch you’re working (see pages 64 to 65).

2. Work the stitch as indicated in the pattern. This will secure the bead at the back.


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