23 October 2010

Bead talk!

An interesting question popped into my inbox a few days ago.  It was from Sandy who is a relatively new tatter. She asked me this:-

Hi Jane, long time no e-mail, I have been reading patterns and have noticed that with patterns that have beads  no one says what size of bead  or type to use of course the thread has to be considered but a little help with the beads would be nice. I can tell a seed bead I think but after that I am lost. Being new at tatting really new all the information would be nice.  I don't even know what the beads are or size to buy. Please help I am sure others have the same question but might feel it is to stupid to ask. Not me, if you could put it in your blog that would be great. I am only able to order from catalog's and I can tell you there are thousands of beads in all sizes. Please Help

Beads are something that I've always 'taken for granted'.  I started using them in tatting about thirty years ago.  Believe it or not I was making earrings back then with beads!!!!  Only a few and mainly for eyes but they were 'there'.  Since then I've learnt a lot about them!!!  

Seed beads are my main core purchases.  Size 11.  This is one of many links which help to explain a lot better than me about sizing them.  Also another here.
Perhaps this chart will help too.  Actually if you read the note under the seed bead chart you'll see why this becomes a difficult question to answer!!!

When it comes to 'other beads' of varying sizes I tend to buy and then later decide what to use them for.  One of my main sources is Ebay where anything and everything can be found.  This is another source for many very pretty beads!!!!  The shop that the Hospice runs at the local tip!!!  Sally and I always pay a visit there when she's in town!!!!

So, to sum up, Sandy, I think if you buy size 11 seed beads they will become your 'core' bead.  They sit nicely on most threads.


TAT19540 said...

Chart and sites are great! I like seed beads for size 20 and it kind is hit and miss with other thread sizes and beads. The big thing is you need such a small crochet hook for the smaller beads that some times it can make a mess of threads as you join. If Sandy can make it to a WalMart in her area looking at different size beads will help. Sometimes buying on line is a hit and miss.

Bree at "Bree's Way" said...

I have been doing bead weaving for nearly 20 years and in doing so using oodles of beads and sized. I literally have millions of beads in diff storage containers all organized in my craft room right now to choose from. Delica beads are little Japanese beads that are size 11, and are all laser cut during the manufacturing process, so they are much more uniform in size and fit together much closer and neater if you want that look. I would suggest going to walmart or hobby lobby and buying some random sizes and playing with them, hobby lobby has them on sale for 50 off at least every other month for promotional purposes and just string some up and make little test rings and chains with some inexpensive size 20 cotton. just get a feel for what works for you, no better way to learn than testing and practice. also practice with plastic versions of the real crystal_ones, they are at least 1/8th the price until you are ready to make your master pieces then use the real crystals :)

Jane Eborall said...

Thanks for all the advice, Bri's Bits. Just wish I wasn't so many thousands of miles from your stores!!!!!

Bree at "Bree's Way" said...

I am going to post an article about beads and their different uses, more in-depth for beginners to beads, and some store links that will ship, and I apologies for those who are not in the states, I often forget this wonderful net reaches much further than my small small world of New Mexico, I meant no disrespect in any way. I do have a great site that will ship many hundreds of types of beads to most any part of the world, and I will be posting that site in my article also. I hope this will help your friend and anyone who wanders to my page. I it nice to meat another beader as well as tatter :)

Margarets designer cards said...

Hi Jane,
Great to read about beads, I was very interested and have looked up the links and saved the pages for later. I am very interested Bri's Bits article about beads and very interested to read about the stores who will post to the UK. I have a job to find a bead that will go through the thread nicely so your advice is most welcome. thanks Margaret

Sally Kerson said...

Very interesting comments - and of course your post Jane. There are so many beads to choose from. You ought to see Jane and I when in the "tip shop" it is the case of who can get to the beads first!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.