Do you want to learn how to crochet with beads? Would you find it useful to have a variety of crochet patterns for making beaded trims and edgings? If so, read on to discover one of the best bead crochet pattern books on the market. This book teaches beginners how to do bead crochet, and it also includes projects suitable for intermediate and advanced crochet enthusiasts. There are 26 Spectacular Beadwork Patterns in The Beaded Edge 2.
This is a book review of The Beaded Edge 2: More Inspired Designs for Crocheted Edgings and Trims.
Authors: Midori Nishida and CRK Design
Publisher: Interweave Press
Copyright Date of the English Language Edition: 2012
ISBN 13: 978-1-59668-559-8
Book Format: Softcover — Trade Paperback With Perfect Binding
Number of Pages: 88
Cover Price: $17.95 US dollars
Skill Level: 3 of these patterns are designated as being “for beginners.” They’re lovely designs, and I think crocheters of any skill level will appreciate them.
The authors did not assign skill level ratings to the other patterns included in the book. In general, I think it will be helpful to have a working knowledge of crochet before you attempt to crochet these designs. If you’re brand new to crochet and you haven’t already worked a crochet project or two, you might wish to choose one of the books on our list of best crochet books for beginners in addition to this book.
So far I’ve worked 2 of the patterns in The Beaded Edge 2. Neither of them were the beginner patterns. As far as bead crochet patterns go, the two designs I worked were both surprisingly easy.
If you’re new to bead crochet, this is a fantastic book to learn from. You couldn’t ask for a prettier introduction to the topic.
The Focus of This Book:
This book’s purpose is teaching you how to crochet 26 different beaded trims, edgings and embellishments.
These edging designs were originally inspired by the beaded scarf edgings Turkish women use to adorn their head coverings. They are useful for that purpose if that’s what you want to do with them, but they have zillions of additional uses that will likely be even more appealing to Westerners.
You can apply these beaded trims and edgings to scarves, clothing, shawls, bags, purses, shoes, pillows, blankets and other home décor items. Some of these designs could also easily become jewelry pieces if you modify the designs slightly to include jewelry findings such as clasps and jump rings.
Quite a few of these projects are useful for dressing up your wardrobe. With these instructions plus some beads, crochet hooks and crochet thread, you’ll be able to make simple wardrobe staples look like one-of-a-kind designer haute couture pieces. You’ll be able to use these beadwork designs for transforming t-shirts, tops, blouses, dresses, cardigans and jeans into your own customized designer originals.
This book is divided into 6 sections:
- Spring and Summer — This section includes projects inspired by summer fruits and warm-weather flowers.
- Autumn and Winter — This section is shorter and has projects inspired by cool-weather motifs.
- Traditional — These designs are all based on traditional Turkish patterns.
- For Beginners — This section includes 3 projects that are specifically intended for use by those who are beginners when it comes to bead crochet. One of these designs includes a complete five-page step-by-step photo tutorial for a delightful trim you can use for accenting a long-sleeved t-shirt or other items.
- Story of Oya — “Oya” is the Turkish word for a woman’s head scarf. This brief section of the book gives some basic introductory information about oya. The author also describes a trip she took to Turkey to learn more about oya.
- Instructions — This section of the book gives you the beadwork instructions — and in a couple of cases, even the sewing instructions — you’ll need for making the bead crochet designs pictured in the book.
Projects Included in This Book:
- Gentle cherry blossoms: This design is intended as an edging for the neckline of a scoop-neck cardigan, although there are limitless other ways you could use it.
- Tiny little cherries: Multiple uses are pictured for this design. You could use it to embellish children’s shoes and clothing; it also makes a pretty embellishment for glass jars, decanters or candle holders.
- Fresh German chamomile flowers: This design makes a pretty beaded edging for a camisole.
- Honeybees: This design is pictured in use as a pendant on a necklace.
- Bashful little roses: This design is intended to be a beaded edging for a blouse.
- My beloved strawberries: The photo shows multiples of this cute strawberry design being used to adorn a tote bag. The instructions for this design include a complete four-page step-by-step tutorial with color pictures of every step.
- Sweet-colored sugar candies: As pictured, this is a beaded edging for a camisole or top, although there are plenty of other ways you could use it.
- Summer-colored pincushion flowers: This design is used to create a lariat.
- Fanciful butterflies: You could use this pretty edging just about anywhere.
- Popping soap bubbles: This design creates a gorgeous beaded edging for a tunic.
- Spring mimosa: The photo shows this design used as a continuous piece to make both the straps and neckline for a dress. It’s an easy, versatile design that has multiple possible uses. I crocheted a bit of this design and found it quite interesting to work.
- Arabesque: This design was inspired by arabesque patterns found in Islamic art. Here it’s used as an embellishment for the neckline of a dress.
- Mandarin oranges and blossoms: This lovely design is used as a beaded edging to adorn a crocheted vest.
- Grapes: The pictured project is a blanket edging, although there are so many other ways to use this design. It would make an adorable addition to a wine bottle cozy. It would also be a great way to finish off table linens.
- Clover: A beaded edging for a skirt.
- Red hot peppers: This design makes a lovely addition to the sort of tote bag you take with you to the farmer’s market or grocery store when you shop for vegetables. While that’s how it’s pictured in the book, you’ll no doubt find many other ways to use it in your own projects.
- Soothing chamomile: This design is used to embellish an early summer stole. The instructions for this pattern span 3 pages and include a step-by-step color photo tutorial with pictures of every step in the process of making the design.
- Bright and lively scallops: This design is intended for use as a beaded edging for shoes. It’s pictured on some strappy ballet-style flats paired with an embroidered hippie-style floral skirt. Every boho fashionista needs a pair of these!
- Turkish belly dance: This is a beaded edging for a scarf.
- Little bird that eats red fruit: Another beaded scarf edging.
- Yachts on the waves: A beaded edging for blankets or kitchen linens.
- Sun-soaked flower garden: A beaded edging for a stole
- Dancing fans: A beaded edging for a change purse, as pictured on the front cover of the book.
- Raspberries: A beaded edging for t-shirts with a step-by-step photo tutorial detailing the entire process of making the edging and stitching it to the shirt.
- Lily of the valley: This is a pattern variation of another design in the book.
- Heart: This is a pattern variation of another design in the book.
The Best Things About The Beaded Edge 2
This book is a visual delight. The colors used throughout the book are appropriate and inspiring. The instructions are laid out in a visually appealing way. The fonts are clear and readable.
The styling is gorgeous and accessible. The focus is on wardrobe pieces that are simple, wearable, stylish and classic. The home décor items are practical and useful.
These are all appealing designs that people would actually want to make and use.
Color variations are shown for some of the patterns, which will be helpful for those of you who aren’t confident in making your own color choices.
Symbol crochet instructions and written instructions are included — so whichever you prefer, you’re covered.
The photo tutorials really help you visualize how these projects are constructed. If you’ve never done bead crochet before, I think you’ll find these instructions invaluable.
Criticism of This Book
While I wholeheartedly recommend The Beaded Edge 2 to other crochet enthusiasts, I would be a bad reviewer if I didn’t make a couple of critical comments pointing out the less-than-perfect things I noticed about the book.
In the pattern for the design pictured on the cover, the book is missing a directive to turn the work in between steps 3 and 4. At least, when I was crocheting the pattern, that’s the only way I was able to come up with a project that looked like the pictures. If you buy this book, I recommend you make a note of that on a post-it and stick it to page 85 of the book; hopefully you can save yourself some frustration that way.
I haven’t tested every pattern in the book to see if there are other minor omissions or errors, but the other pattern I tested was perfect as written. In general, I think the instructions given in this book are clear and helpful — although it’s obvious that this book is a translation into English, and the writing is sometimes a little bit quirky.
The only other issue I noticed was some blurry shoes in one of the photos, which is a distraction from the featured bead crochet design. However, the blurry part of the picture has nothing to do with the actual project, and it may even have been a conscious artistic choice the photographer made. I didn’t care for it, but really, it makes no difference in the scheme of things. This minor detail shouldn’t be a deal breaker for anyone who’s interested in buying the book.
Other Things You Should Know Before You Buy This Book
Patience Required: Bead crochet can be a bit “fiddly,” and the projects in this book are no exception. Fine crochet thread can be challenging to work with — so if you’re a bead crochet beginner, you may find it helpful to create your first practice pieces with beads, yarn and a crochet hook that are larger than the materials recommended in the pattern.
Expect that your first practice pieces made in this way will be bulky and heavy. They likely won’t be appropriate for adorning garments, because they’ll be too weighty — but there are plenty of things you can do with them. Try using them on items where the additional weight won’t be problematic. For example, stitch them around the edges of placemats, coasters, tablecloths or decorative pillows; it doesn’t matter if those sorts of pieces end up being on the heavy side.
By practicing with larger materials you’ll get a good feel for what you have to do to work each design. Then you can move on to crocheting with the finer threads and small, lightweight beads that are ideal to use for adorning garments and wearable accessories.
Beaded Edge 1 vs Beaded Edge 2 — This book is a sequel. The book that came before it is also called The Beaded Edge, and the same authors wrote it.
Both books are outstanding. If you can find a copy of the first Beaded Edge book, I recommend buying both of them. Between the two, I couldn’t choose a favorite; I love them both. I think they’re both well worth the asking price.
However, if you’re only going to buy one of these two books, my opinion is that Book 2 is a better choice for most crocheters, for a couple of reasons:
- The Beaded Edge 2 includes more patterns. Book 2 has instructions for 26 designs, whereas Book 1 only has instructions for 18.
- There’s a nice mix of patterns in both books, but The Beaded Edge 2 is accessible to a wider range of crocheters since it has some options that are intended for beginners.