Creating beaded crochet is not only fun, but the use of beads helps create beautiful clothing and accessories. There are three basic ways to crochet with beads: you can crochet beads into stitches as you work; sew them on to finished crochet items; or crochet bead ropes and use them as jewelry or as adornments for other projects.
Beading into Crochet
You probably won't find beads labeled "crochet beads" in a crafts store or a bead store. Instead, you'll want to look for beads with holes big enough for your crochet thread or yarn to pass through, a size eight or larger. If you want to use smaller beads, you'll need a beading needle and fine nylon or polyester thread along with your crochet yarn.
When you're crocheting beads into a project like a crocheted scarf, shawl or bracelet, decide how many beads you want to use. String the beads in the order you want to use them onto your crochet thread or yarn.
Begin crocheting as you normally would, making a chain and a base row of single or double crochet. When you're ready to add a bead on the right side of your work (the bead crochet stitch), put your crochet hook through the stitch in the previous row that you're working onto, yarn over and pull the hook back out. At this point you should have two loops on the hook.
Move the first bead up the yarn and next to the loops, yarn over from the yarn on the far side of the bead and draw that yarn through both loops on the hook. The bead should now be secured from the back side of the work and be visible on the front side.
If you're making a large crocheted scarf or shawl that will be ornamented with multiple long rows of beads, you may find it easier to string the beads for one row at a time. You can then cut the yarn a few inches from the end of the row and weave the loose ends into the wrong (back) side of your work when you do the finishing work.
Decorating with Beads
If you want to decorate a completed crocheted sweater or shawl with beads, you can choose either the very small size 11 or 14 glass beads and nylon or polyester thread (cotton thread may break from either the weight of the beads or sharp edges around the hole) or larger wood, stone or gemstone or pony beads and a thicker thread or yarn. You can stitch individual beads wherever you want to put them or adapt a pattern into rows and string each row on a separate length of thread and attach each thread to the garment, securing the thread between each bead. If you are having trouble finding a pattern, bead loom patterns are a great place to start looking or you may want to choose a counted cross stitch pattern and use beads in place of the stitches.
Crochet Bead Ropes
To make bead ropes, you need the following crochet supplies: a small steel crochet hook, a whole lot of size eight glass beads and two spools of size 10 polyester or nylon thread. String the beads onto one thread, knotted at the end. With a second thread, chain 15 (or more, if you want a longer rope) and turn the work. Insert your crochet hook into the second chain from the hook and yarn over, then hold the bead string next to the chain. Pull the top bead (the last one you put on the string) snugly against the hook and the chain. Yarn over behind the bead to make a loop around the bead and complete the single crochet stitch by pulling the loops back through the chain, doing a yarn over and pulling the yarn through the yarn over to finish the stitch. Now the bead should be securely fastened to the chain. Repeat with the remaining chains.
You can decorate pillowcases, clothing or accessories with this rope of crocheted bead. You can also wind several long ropes of beads together to make fashionable jewelry like bracelets, anklets and necklaces. Decorate crocheted flowers with matching or contrasting ropes of beads, add a safety pin to the back and you've made a stylish pin.
Combine crochet with beads in any of the three ways described and you can greatly expand your repertoire of crochet work.