Working Beads on the Loops of Hairpin Strips

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One way to incorporate beads within hairpin lace work is to catch the beads on each loop of the strip as it is worked.

This tutorial is for those already familiar with working hairpin lace.  See our in-depth, free tutorial on hairpin lace if you need an introductory lesson to this technique.

Step 1:  Prestring beads on your wire/yarn.  When you pre-string your wire with beads, you string them in the reverse order that you will actually use them.  This means that those you stitch with last will be those that you load onto the wire first.

Step 2:  If working a bead onto every loop of the strip, it will be necessary to include a bead on the starting loop of the strip.  If working a slip knot with yarn, make sure that the bead is caught within the loop portion of the knot when placing the loop on the prong.

If working with wire as pictured, simply twist the wire into a loop around the prong, catching a bead in this loop.  It will be easier to work if the bead is held to the back of the work.

Step 3:  Prior to working first stitch, bring bead up to front of opposite prong, then work the stitch so that the second bead sits to the front of the loom.

NOTE:  When working hairpin lace with wire, take the hook completely out of the stitch to turn the loom, then re-insert the hook once the loom is turned.  In this way, you will avoid overworking the brittle wire.

Step 4: After working the stitch, bring bead to the stitch, then turn work. 

Repeat this step of bringing up a bead to each new stitch before turning loom.

Step 5:  Work as many stitches as desired, catching a bead in each loop prior to turning loom as shown in step 4.  Tie off work as usual.

Notice that beads will be in a consistent position in relation to each prong.  Placing the bead at each new stitch ensures that beads are always placed to the back of the loop that will be worked for the next stitch.