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Thursday, August 30, 2012


Goldilocks Snake

     I have received a few questions about the supplies for the upcoming BSGB classes in London and Barton under Needwood, so I decided to do a blog post in glorious color for everyone.
The supplies list for the snake project is pretty straightforward.  I specified DMC Cebelia size 30 cotton crochet thread because it is a nice thread but any size 30 crochet thread will work.  If you prefer to use a nylon thread like C-Lon micro cord or Tuff Cord nylon, that should be fine as well.  I chose size 8/0 beads because there are more color choices than with size 6/0 beads but you could use size 6/0 beads and size 20 or 30 cotton.  You will just have a bigger snake.
     Goldilocks is made of Japanese and Chinese seed beads.  Sparklin' Jack is made of Japanese, Chinese, and Czech seed beads.  I often mix the Czech and Japanese beads in the snakes so you are not limited to only one manufacturer.  Also, sometimes a 10/0 bead is the same size as a 12/0 bead from another manufacturer so you can mix sizes if they are close to one another.
     I will teach you the actual crochet stitch used by Turkish prisoners of war to make their souvenir snakes but will also show you the bead single crochet stitch used for the snake jewelry in my book, Bead Crochet Snakes.

Sparklin' Jack
     Goldilocks snake employs 5 colors of beads.  Sparklin' Jack (in honor of Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee and the Olympics) uses 4 colors of beads and is closer to the zigzag pattern of the original snakes.

I designed this project using Chinese knotting cord for people who had never crocheted before and needed to work with a larger thread.  This is a braided nylon cord that measures about .08mm.  Students don't have to limit themselves to the supplies list, thought.  I want everyone who is doing this project to explore and have fun.  To that end, I have done up some other samples to inspire you.

Two bead combinations with Chinese cord

The two samples above use the Chinese cord and a variety of seed beads, rondels, and 4-6 mm beads.  The next photo shows 3 strands twisted together.

3 strands twisted together

Another combination:

fire-polish beads, size 6/0 seed beads, 8/0 seed beads, and dagger beads on metallic thread

You can crochet a mix of Czech beads with thread chains between them or crochet groups of beads (the two leaves and 6mm bead) and single mushroom beads with size 8/0 beads between them.  Strands can be single or mulitple.

Top: Czech bead mix with C-Lon cord
Bottom:  clusters of leaves and a bead, a mushroom bead, size 8 seed beads on C-lon cord

You could also try drops, cube beads, long magatamas, oval beads, and more.  Such necklaces could be finished with just a lobster claw clasp or could be made long enough to loop around your neck a few times with no clasp at all.


You need only 1 of the threads listed for the project; there is an extra bullet point on the supplies list making it look like you need two kinds of thread. 

I am looking forward to seeing you all in September and October.  Let me know if you have any more questions.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


     I am sorry to tell everyone that Beyond Beadery, one of our favorite bead shops, had two days worth of cash receipts stolen from their booth at Bead Fest Philadelphia last weekend.  This is such distressing news about two of my favorite bead vendors.
      The cash was out of sight at the register and not easily accessible to the general public so it looks like the work of a professional thief. Apparently thieves have figured out that craft shows are good pickings and I am hearing more and more stories of thefts at bead shows.
    Luckily the credit card receipts were safe but a number of us paid in cash so that Betcey could avoid the 3% charge on a credit card. She has not mentioned a specific dollar figure but it was a LOT, given the popularity of her booth at the shows.
     So, if you need to buy beads online, please think about buying them from Beyond Beadery.  The store will be closed for the rest of August but I am sure that Betcey and Mark will get orders out as soon as possible in September.  After I left Bead Fest, I remembered some things I forgot to buy so I will have to place an order with them--I for beads...such a chore.