Friday, 19 July 2013


 I DID IT! Today I mastered the crocheted beaded rope technique and all by myself, no books but some really excellent videos on YOUTUBE and of course Ulla's demos and helpful advice yesterday....
I have never managed it before, I have tried a few times but it has always failed due to the wrong size beads/thread and hook combination or just nor understanding the methods needed.

Just to repeat: THESE are the videos you will need the first is in USA language but is very explicit, Ann Benson is just utterly EXCELLENT and the UK one uses larger beads: pony beads, size 5 thread and a 1.75mm hook I think.

Bead Crochet Mastering the Beaded Rope with Ann Benson

1.15mm hook( = #10 usa), thread # 10 and #8 seed beads

Now what did I have handy in my stash? a size 10 cotton crochet thread from Loop many moons ago, a size 1.25 mm hook ( the 1.5mm was bent and the thinner ones I couldn't find in a hurry)
and as for beads: these are Gutermann size 9 rocailles that you can buy in a tube at John Lewis.

Ulla had said use 2 colours which was great as I did not have 3 colours in the same type bead so I threaded up ABABABABABABABABAB etc Silver and Turquoise.
 Now Ulla had said crochet a bit of a tube without beads first but when I tried that I didn;t know how ton start with the beads in the round in the tube of 6 sts so I had to abandon that first attempt.
She also said to work a dc after each bead to lock it as a slop stitch would be too rigid, but when I did that for a few rows, too much of the yarn was showing and you did not get the smooth beaded side of a rope.

Now she did demonstrate those dc s so I'm wondering how she did them or whether with a much finer thread it will work for me.
 Here you see my threaded beads, the start at the left with the yarn showing and then the start of a smooth beaded rope.
 Beads and beading needle.
 This is the bit where I cradle the new bead into position between the two loops of yarn,, but behind them, before working a slip stitch.
 This is the yo for the ss
 This is the ss completed.
 This is the start of the next one: put hook under next bead: a silver one this time.
 Push the bead over the hook and down into ''doughnut '' position, it's the pale one above the shaft of the hook in the photo at the far left.
 Oh and this is inspiration from the FAB USA video tutorial!

 Here's the brilliant Ann Benson with her great graphics: she uses 3 colours: A,B,C.

 These USA size 10 or 9 are both a 1.25mm according to Pauline Turner in her crochet book.
Ulla was using a 0.6mm yesterday. That's  a USA size 14

 Using 2 or 3 colours helps you to get the right bead! You always use a silver with a silver and so on, so for the 5 steps: slightly adjusted from the video

  1. IN: stick your hook into the work under the next bead that is lying like a tyre. say bead colour A
  2. DOWN: move that bead over the hook and down into the doughnut position.
  3. MOVE: the next bead down from your thread, it has to be a colour A. Move it to the RIGHT of the doughnut bead. I have it behind the hook between the two loops on the hook.
  4. YO- yarn over
  5. Through: make that slipstitch in one or two moves but make it a ss not a dc.

 These next photos were bits of the video that were HUGELY HELPFUL:
 Beads on the outside, crochet tube on the inside is what u r aiming 4.
 This is the TYRE shot: beads waiting to be worked lie like TYRES of a car.
 This again is totally KEY.
 Et VOILA!!! I learned how to do it!!! I found that 30 cm of threaded beads make a 6.5 cm rope.

 Here it is: my 6.5 cm of rope which took me a few hours this afternoon and evening only.
There is a silver/turq striped spiral going on which is difficult to see.
 I used a fine beading needle threaded with sewing polycotton and tied into a closed loop through which I lay the crochet thread and then the beads slid onto the thread just fine.
Thanks to Ulla and Ann for the inspiration, demonstration and excellent video tutorial and thanks to an outspoken lady in the jewellery tent yesterday who wanted to buy a 0.6mm hook and start IMMEDIATELY and was very frustrated that she could not do so. I hope she succeeded in the end as have I.
I think some of her urgency rubbed off on me and ''MADE'' me just DO IT today when I had a long list of chores and other matters to attend to.

Am now VERY HAPPY with my new skill and thanks to Ann Benson who said it will be a muscle memory now , like riding a bike I will never forget?!
The challenge will be to find a finer thread and getting the thread/bead size and hook size combo ''just right''.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Waterperry part 2

 Continuing through the Ceramics tent: the way this artist had added flowers struck me as a good idea.
 These were just amazing large vessels:
 Then there was someone making ceramic jewellery:
 And this textured rounded bowl with the cobalt interior:
 I got the impression he may have been Dutch?
 Little tiny shiny centre bowls but the attendant person- hopefully not the artist- was a very grumpy bored looking young man, possibly even a teenager?  He was very disinterested in any people.

 This lovely girl was demonstrating in the silversmithing and jewellery tents:

 And then , OH WOW! ULLI KAISER you just MADE MY DAY!!!This lady was just sooo very helpful and demonstrated very slowly and beautifully:
 It looked beaded and I thought: bead -work with a needle but it was ALL CROCHET!

 With fantastic bold modern silver fittings and elements turning these beaded ropes into DRAMATIC statement jewellery:

 Ullli is in the first chapter of this very inspiring book, I will google or see if Amazon have it?
These lovely links are all beaded rope-links.
 And here she is! The lovely lady herself, telling me so much and letting me take notes and showing small seed beads, vintage beads and irregular semi precious beads can all be crocheted into lovely ropes and lariats.
She so very kindly told me about this site:

and also to google BEAD CROCHET on Youtube and I found this incredibly helpful - even if it is all in USA terminology- video! 

Bead Crochet Mastering the Beaded Rope with Ann Benson

But remember it was ULLI who was the inspiration and who showed me how to do it, I have been meaning to have a go and have tried a few times over the past 7 years , but have always got the size of beads, size of thread and hook size wrong somehow.
Anyway I shall report back when I've done some! HOW EXCITING, I am so lucky to learn something new just about every single day. THANK YOU!

 Giving a flavour of the day:

 oak in the woodwork tent: the names of herbs caught my eye and THEN....
 I liked what it says on the seat edge!
 And this one too:
 Here was a young lady weaving a basket of dampened rushes:

 And aren't these the cutest little baskets?

Her Aunt was showing more basket making:

And then with just about an hour to go before I was to meet Miss E I ventured into first the products and materials market place and then the artists marketplace:
 This is a shop in Witney called the pottery place that I didn;t know about but will be visiting soon!
 Lovely printing blocks! And the sweetest small MDF letters for decoupage or decopatch.
 General impressions
 Fab colourful glass jewellery but I had run out of time to look...

 Now THIS was an amzing acket with the London skyline felted into this lovely piece. One lucky lady may be given this as her husband was admiring it as I took this photo... Lucky lady, £350.
The inside is royal blue felt, hand made and totally unique this is a one off by the talented: FELT AMSTERDAM and yes the artist was Dutch and we had a lovely chat.
 She has a studio and runs workshops in Amsterdam. There were many lovely pieces but this stood out for me. The texture has been created by the shrinking of the wool fibres as they are felted into the fabric, nuno felting. The fabric was printed with the London skyline on a silk and cotton blend fabric.
 I have now met with Miss E at 15:40 and quickly had some lunch in the shade and am now being rushed to go home....

 Such sweet wrens!
And a sleeping textured FOX.

 This is where we started at part 1: The artist is Sarah Morpeth and here she is with her fabulous work:

This is her.

There are even more BEAUTIFUL photos of her work here:

 This lady does illustrations of nature and also was selling this gorgeous silk scarf...
 Having to say goodbye now: BYE BYE Waterperry House:I did not go inside this year but in previous years I have heard some sublime piano music played in the house.
 Looking towards the gardens which also I did not visit this time... too hot?
 Miss E, impatient leading the way with her ice cream. I'm needing a sit down for the last of my scrummy chocolate waffle cone and my feet which hurt quite a lot by now.
 A hint at those lovely flower borders of the famous Waterperry Gardens

Bye bye, what a totally wonderfully, educational, inspirational, sublime, delicious,darling of a day!
I hope to be back next year.