Today I’m going to share a technique with you that I will be incorporating into a few of my upcoming patterns. I’m going to show you how to add beads to your crochet-work, without pre-stringing them! I love how versatile this technique can be. While adding beads to crochet is not a new concept, this method removes the need to string them all before you start your project! Lets get started!
I first saw this technique done by a knit designer that I follow on Instagram, Knitdiaries. She was adding bead to her knit tank top, and I thought “Hey, I bet you could do something similar with crochet!”. Way back when I started my business, I bought a tub of assorted beads to try it out with crochet. But, alas, it got lost in my brain and craft cabinet until just recently when I decided to try it out again.
I was pretty excited with how well this technique worked with crochet. After experimenting with some beads, hook sizes and yarn weight, I came up with a simple project to incorporate the technique. So if you’re wanting to practice, or you just love fancy ear warmers, check out the Bauble Headband! And if you’re in the mood for a beanie, try the XOXO Slouch Hat!
About the Technique
Ok, so let’s talk about adding beads to crochet! Most beading in crochet-work requires you to string your beads ahead of time. That means you need to know exactly how many beads and what order you want them in before you start. You would traditionally string them on first, then begin your project, sliding a bead up your yarn or thread when you need it. With this technique that I’m going to show you, you can just add beads as you go. The main difference between the two is that instead of the beads being in the stitches themselves, they will actually be next to the stitches.
I find that this technique works best when the beads are added onto the right side (the front) of the work and a row of stitches are worked over them on the wrong side (the back). This pushes the beads forward, somewhat similar to adding a bobble stitch to your work. You can definitely accomplish it without working back and forth in rows, but that’s just my favorite way to do it. Also while you can do this with any stitch, I find that a half double crochet or smaller helps keep the beads at the front of the work.
Let’s do it!
Ok, so let’s learn how to add a bead! I’ll walk you through this technique step by step. You can find the corresponding photos numbered below.
- Pull up a loop: First pull up the working loop on hook a little higher than usual.
- Remove hook: Then, take your hook out of your work, making sure to leave that working loop pulled up.
- Put Bead on Smaller Hook: Next, you’ll put your bead onto a small crochet hook, I used a 1.50mm hook. The trick is really to just find a hook that will fit through whatever bead size you’re using.
- Pull Loop through Bead: Using the small hook, you’ll pull the working loop of yarn through the bead on the hook. Keep in mind that the smaller the bead you choose, the lighter weight yarn you’ll need to ensure it can pass through the bead.
- Reinsert original hook: Finally, you’ll reinsert your hook where you removed it with the added bead below it and continue crocheting according to the pattern.
- Continue working: When you work the next row of stitches, you will simply push the bead to the front of the work making sure the stitch gets worked behind the bead.
Sometimes, if easier to watch a technique being done. If you’d rather watch a video on this, you can check that out below.
So now that you’ve seen this technique, how would you incorporate it into your own crochet? I’d love to see how you’re doing it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @craftingforweeks so I can see your work!
And if you’d like a project to practice with, check out any of these free patterns on my blog that incorporate adding beads to crochet!
- Make a simple ribbed ear warmer that has a whole lot of flair with The Bauble Headband!
- Check out this popular textured slouchy beanie pattern and substitute your bobble stitches for beads with The XOXO Slouch Hat!
- Make a fun textured ear warmer to coordinate with your XOXO Collection pieces with The XOXO Ear Warmer!
- Check out this textured cowl scarf that’s full of visual interest and a perfect partner to the slouch hat or ear warmer with The XOXO Cowl!
- Make a fun set of fingerless gloves with The XOXO Mitts!
Until next time, Happy Crafting!