Adding beads to a crochet project, like a lace shawl or sweater, can be done in a variety of ways. The two most common methods for joining beads are pre-stringing the beads onto the yarn and bead-as-you-go. In this video, Mary Beth Temple compares the two methods so that you can decide which one will work best for you and your project.
Mary Beth begins by reviewing the technical details of each of the methods:
- – Bead-as-you-go uses a small crochet hook to add the beads to each stitch. This is typically worked on the Right Side of the fabric.
- – Pre-stringing the beads uses a beading needle to load all the beads onto the yarn before starting the project. The beads are typically worked into the stitches on the Wrong Side of the fabric.
There are pros and cons to each of these methods and Mary Beth notes that it often comes down to personal preference. If looking for speed, she suggests pre-stringing the beads, as you don’t have to take the time to bring the small crochet hook into the project to add the bead. You can just slide the bead right up and into the stitch. However, if you’re using any kind of novelty yarn or yarn with a halo, pre-stringing the beads is not advisable. Because the beads will keep sliding along the yarn, it can strip off the fuzz, sparkle, or other novelty features. In that case, adding beads as you go will be best.
Even though beading as you go might be a slightly slower method, there is less of a chance of an error. You pick up the bead you need and place it. If you make a mistake, it’s easy to take out. With the pre-stringing method, if the color pattern is wrong or an extra bead is on the yarn, you’ll have to break the bead off the yarn. No matter which beading method you choose, the beads are usually placed every other row, since there is a distinct Right Side/Wrong Side to the beading placement. If you want beads every row, a combination of the two methods should be used.