Absolute Beginner

Q: I am seeking some advice on what type of beading would make a good beginner's project for someone with some stiffness in the hands.

A: I suggest you start with simple strung necklaces. If you make long ones, they don't even need findings. You can buy the beading thread with a needle already attached, so you don't have to thread the needle (always a tough task, let alone for someone with a little less hand dexterity). Larger beads are beautiful and also easier to handle than the tiny ones. My hands aren't stiff, but they tremor a bit from strokes. Looming is easiest for me because I can stabilize my hand on the loom itself and if you have to rest, nothing falls apart. You should probably start with loom beading on a small loom. I recommend the one by 'Aleen's' which you can usually find in the beading aisle of a good craft store such as 'Michael's' or 'Ben Franklin'. With a small loom you can use a size 10 or 11 quilting needle, which is easier to thread than a regular beading needle. You should check into a beading supply catalog and get yourself some size D Nymo beading thread. Aleen's loom is very easy to warp the part of looming which takes the most time to do except for weaving the warp threads into your finished piece. When you warp your loom you must put one more warp thread than the count of your pattern because the beads go between the threads. Because this particular loom is slim the patterns you need to work with should be small. Many small cross stitch patterns can be worked into loom work, but you must keep in mind that beads are oval not square and the pattern may be somewhat distorted. With flowers this won't matter much but it could be a problem with human figures.