Beads are fun to use and add a little sparkle to your tatted piece. They can be added to any patterns to make it more elegant, add pizazz, or create a different look. There are only three ways to add beads in tatting.
Here is a guideline:
#8 extra fine needle - 11/0 bead-2.1mm or referred to as seed beads, use with Size 80 or 70 thread
#7 Fine needle - 11/0 bead-2.1mm or referred to as seed beads, use with Size 60, 50, 40, 30 or 20 thread
#5-0 needle - 8/0 bead-3.1mm, use with Size 20 or 10 thread
Images are clickable to larger images for your convenience.
Working off the ball, pre-string the beads onto the thread leaving them next to the ball. Pull up a bead when the pattern calls for it (Pb). This bead acts like a picot, but there are two ways to proceed. Photo #1 on the top needle, no space was left for a picot: on the bottom needle a 1/8 inch picot space was left. Photo #2 on the top needle, 4 beads (4Pb) were pulled up with no picot space. The bottom needle shows what the ring looks like with all of them in place.
When making a ring, you can put a bead on the tatting needle. This way the bead is between the double stitches. Photo #3, on the top needle, the bead sits between the double stitches without a picot; the bottom needle an 1/4 inch picot was left with the bead on the needle. Photo # 4 shows what the ring looks like with both of them in place. Before you begin tatting, be sure that the bead will go over the eye of the needle.
This method is a joining with a bead. Slip one bead on a Size 15 or 16 crochet hook, the joining picot, slide the bead onto the picot (+b), photo #5. Keep the crochet hook in the picot and immediately join; put the thread behind the picot, pull the thread through the picot, then put the thread on the needle as normal, photo #6. Finish the pattern. Photo # 7 shows the rings with a joining picot. The joining picot can be on rings or chains.