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Friday, March 25, 2016

Bead Crochet Question: Slip Stitch vs. Single Crochet

     A prospective student for my Earn Your Stripes bead crochet class on April 16, 2016 asked me about the difference between the slip stitch crochet bead that she knew and the single crochet that I would be teaching.  Here is the answer for anyone else that isn't sure.

                                                     Slip Stitch Bead Crochet
      This is the method that most people in the U.S. learn to make bead crochet ropes.  With this technique, your hook goes under the thread that goes through the hole of the bead; this changes the position of the bead so that the hole goes from horizontal to vertical.  You can see how the beads sit in the photo below of my beginner slip stitch pendant project.

Slip stitch pendant

Because, the thread is mostly encased in the beads, you can use a thinner thread for this type of bead crochet.  Also, there is less thread showing between the stitches than with single crochet.  Designs crocheted with slip stitch will usually spiral.  Judith Bertoglio-Giffin has some wonderful patterns for bead crochet, if you haven't seen her work.  One pattern is shown below.

 Single Crochet With Beads
With single crochet, your crochet hook goes into the chain stitches behind the beads and the beads sit in front of the crochet, like a skin.  The single crochet with beads also involves 1 more step of adding a thread loop to each stitch.
If you compare a slip stitch tube with a stripe pattern to a single crochet tube with a stripe pattern, they look pretty similar, but the difference shows up when you move beyond a simple stripe pattern.

A single crochet tube in a striped pattern looks similar to a slip stitch tube, unless you know what to look for.
     One big difference between the two methods is that single crochet allows you to increase and decrease beads with more ease, which allows you to make 3-dimensional shapes like these below.

Bead crochet beads with bugle beads

Bead crochet pine cones

Another difference is that single crochet allows you to do more complicated patterns, as Brigitte Ilander has done in her book.

With single crochet, you can combine more complicated patterns with 3-dimensionality to get a snake necklace like the one I made for a private client.

Single crochet also allows you to make large pieces that lie flat, like this cuff bracelet, shown below.

So you may have to start with a simple spiral pattern to learn single crochet with beads but once you are familiar with the technique, you open a whole other world to play in.

1 comment:

  1. Great article! Exactly what I was looking for in learning the difference between two techniques - and more!