Baltimore Needleworks had a wonderful post late last week about beads.
Using beads in needlepoint can be confusing to many people. The sizes are different, the needles are often both long and sharp, the threads are weird, and there are so many techniques to attach the beads.
This post explains much of this.
I can amplify and answer some of those questions I posed here as well.
Beads are sized by how many of them fit into an inch. 11 is the most common size. This size fits well for solid beading (a bead in every intersection) on 14 mesh and for open beading on 18. For solid beading on 18 use size 14.
Beading needles come in many different types but traditionally they are long and often quite sharp. John James has made lovely ball-point beading needles for many years and they are perfect for beaded needlepoint. There are two sizes. While the ends are not sharp, these needles are much smaller than tapestry needles with smaller eyes, so you may want to use both a threader and a thimble.
If you are making jewelry, you are probably using either some kind of metallic beading wire, which is not suitable for stitching, or beading thread, a man-made thin thread available on bobbins in a limited number of colors. You can use beading thread for stitching, but you might not want to. Alternatives to beading thread include floss and stranded silk. Your thread should match, more or less, the color of the bead.
You can create a lovely effect by using clear (crystal) beads and sewing them on with different colors of thread.
Check out the post, there’s lots more to learn.