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Our Bead Crochet Obsession

Our Bead Crochet Obsession

By Dana Freed Fiddes

In 2003, we learned a new beading technique in a class we were taking for fun. We had no idea it would change our lives forever.

A Little Backstory

My mom, Berti, started crafting as a child and her natural curiosity led her to explore many different mediums throughout her life. She is an expert knitter, crocheter and needlepointer, so naturally she has owned both a yarn store and a needlepoint store. As a young woman she worked in the garment district, later discovered interior design, and has enjoyed success as enamel artist and teacher. Throughout her life, the arts have remained at her core.

Growing up, I soaked it all in like a sponge. I wanted to learn everything my mom had to teach me, and spent my childhood with needles in hand. I never needed encouragement; it was in my soul. And so, I followed in her footsteps becoming an expert in the fiber arts and turning my passion into a career.

(You can learn more about us on our About page.)

How Our Beading Adventure Began

In 1999 when I started college (conveniently in my hometown of NYC), my mom took a seed bead weaving class. She love it and suggested I join a summer workshop. I was completely hooked.  

So hooked, in fact, that I did something totally crazy: I arranged my entire schedule over the following three years of college and two years of grad school around Tuesday afternoon beading classes with my mom. We couldn’t get enough!

Sometime around 2003, our beading teacher dedicated a term to bead crochet, something we had never heard of before. (See an example here.) Being avid knitters and crocheters as well as beaders, we were really excited because the technique combined everything we love.

The process was fascinating: all the beads need to be strung onto the thread first, so you have to plan your pattern ahead of time. It’s like an intricate puzzle—right up our ally. Once the beads are strung, the crocheting begins. The beads are stitched together, one at a time, in a continuous spiral. (Be sure to follow us on Instagram and check out our Reels to see how it's done.)

We really enjoyed the process, but more importantly, we loved the outcome: a dimensional, flexible, intriguing rope-like cord that is perfect for bracelets, necklaces and lariats. 

We are constantly asked: “What is that?” and “How is it made?” because bead crochet looks so different from simply strung beads. Its dimensionality creates a fully tactile experience—the beads don’t just look beautiful but actually feel amazing to touch and wear. Ropes are both smooth and textured at the same time, begging your fingers to keep sliding across them. Faceted beads look extra sparkly when crocheted because they’re seen en masse, not just in a single strand, and smooth beads have extra shine.

(Don’t believe me? See what Becky Stone had to say in InStore Magazine!)

The Next Phase

We became completely obsessed.

So obsessed, in fact, that in 2006 we started teaching the technique ourselves, selling our jewelry, and working within the bead and fiber industries to to introduce this amazing technique to a wider audience. 

In 2012 we published our book Bead Crochet Journey: An Inspired Journey Through 27 Designs. More than just a detailed “How-To" covering bead crochet from beginner through advanced, book includes personal anecdotes, inspirational musings and technical guidance. (See the book on Amazon here.)

Since 2006, we have sold our work and taught the technique to thousands of students nationally and internationally. From New York to Sedona, to Brussels, to Tokyo… it has been our great honor work work with so many incredible people.

We hope our customers love wearing their bead crochet jewelry as much as we love making it!

See some of our beaded necklaces and bracelets in our Bleecker Street Collection.