Crochet Basics by Mary Libby Neiman
Mary Libby Neiman, owner, On The Surface product-line, authored Bead Crochet Basics. Her designs and those of fiber artists Gwen Blakley Kinsler, Laurel Kubby, Janet Ohle and Karen Ovington teach you how to make bead crochet jewelry, an amulet bag, bead embellished ribbon flowers and a scissors fob.
Mary Libby explains how to bead slip stitch with a basic stripe rope as the example. Her step-by-step instructions, illustrations and images make it easy to learn the bead slip stitch. There are rope patterns, combining more than one size bead for texture and how to create three dimensional effects, add daggers and other shaped beads.
There are instructions for all the bead crochet stitches. Instructions for making the Gold Luster Topaz Fringed Lariat include the beaded fringe. The designers’ project instructions are prepared in the format they each prefer, which means some of the projects have standard crochet instructions and others are more narrative.
The Fuchsia Scissors Fob is a fun project once you are comfortable with crochet. You work part of the floral form in the round and the rest in rows and bead chains. I plan to make two of the florals with 15/0 Japanese beads and Elite thread. These floral forms will make great earrings. You could also make a pendant with one of the florals in sizes 15/0 or 11/0 beads.
Single crochet is the main stitch used to make The Bead Looped Flower. The bead crochet loop section is worked in a variation of the Swag stitch, dating back earlier than the 1880’s. This is a great little bead loop piece that could stand alone as embellishment or a component in an artwork without the ribbon section.
I recognized the stitch used to make The Beaded Loop Necklace; I have a variation of the stitch on my website. The stitch can be tracked back to the 1970’s; however, I am sure it came into existence earlier. In addition to necklaces, you can make bracelets and earrings which are great as gifts. This is an easy-to-make stitch; however, the beginning instructions will be confusing for those new to bead crochet.
A bead index chart compares bead sizes and shapes used in the projects. There is a photo of several ropes using the same pattern and each rope is worked in different bead size and color combinations for comparison.
A skill level guide is provided to help you to decide which project to make first. All the projects are crocheted with bead slip stitches except the amulet bag, bead embellished ribbon flowers and scissors fob. The “Intermediate” skill level is indicated for three of these projects and “Experienced” for one. Experienced and intermediate crocheters are expected to already know how to single crochet, double crochet and make triple popcorn stitches. I do wonder why a triple stitch was used for the amulet bag instead of a double crochet stitch with a chain added for length. The double popcorn stitch is much easier for new crocheters to manage.
All the projects worked in bead slip stitch can also be worked with bead single crochet stitches. Depending on stitch and bead placement, each rope will look different from the bead slip stitched rope.
If you like Bead Crocheted Ropes by Judith Bertoglio-Giffin, you will enjoy Bead Crochet Basics by Mary Libby Neiman. If you already use bead slip stitch to make ropes, you will want these additional patterns, tips and information. If you want to learn bead slip stitch, Bead Crochet Basics will get you going.