I am baffled as to how I cope with dealing with beads. The patterns I have tried request that so many beads go on the shuttle thread and so many on the ball thread. I have no trouble with doing a chain, but when I try to deal with all these beads on my shuttle thread they get taffled up as I pass my shuttle through making the double stitch. There must an easy way of doing this. Just a few beads is no great
problem I really need your help Heather. –Lesley

Ack, beads, I usually avoid them like the plague. I have the same problem, and on the rare occasion that a beaded pattern is too pretty to pass up, I mostly end up regretting it.

That said, here’s the only thing I have come up with that keeps me from pulling my hair out. When I have a lot of beads on the ball, that’s not usually a big deal, as they just hang down out of the way. The problem is when I have a lot of beads on the shuttle thread. Here’s the trick.

I pull out a lot, and I need a LOT of thread off of the shuttle; usually an arm’s-length at least, and shove all but a few beads way down there towards the end, then rewrap the shuttle. This keeps most of the beads out of my way for a a while, and I only have a few to fiddle with, and use, at any given time.

But then I make a couple of rings and chains, use up the thread on the shuttle, and have to pull the thread off again, shove the beads farther down, then rewrap. Wash rinse repeat.

This keeps the beads out of the way for the most part, but even so, I get too annoyed after a single pattern and swear them off until next Christmas when I feel the urge to make more glittery snowflakes. I have a similar relationship with metallic threads. Go figure.

Surely there are others out there who use beads a lot, and have come up with better methods. If you have a brilliant way to keep sane while playing with these tiny balls of irritation, please share in the comments.