The beading needle is a long, thin, flexible needle which makes it very useful for passing through the beads and I'm yet to find a bead too small to fit it. However, because it is so flexible, I find it too flimsy to stitch with. This is why I tend to use a size 28 cross stitch needle. The eye is small enough to fit most seed beads, and is sturdy enough for backstitch so I can combine the two to save time.
As much as possible I match the colour of the thread to the colour of the bead. Usually, I already have the colour of thread because I'm replacing the French knots in the pattern. Where I can I use beads already in my stash because a) that way I'm not spending more money and b) my supply shops in town are limited (ie non existant) so I have to wait for the mail! One easy way to match would be to take your threads with you when shopping or use this conversion chart I found while searching the net.
I tend to place my frame on upside down when beading. This means that any stray beads will be caught by the sides of the frame rather than slide off into the carpet or hidden depths of the chair.
Storing the Beads
Storing the beads while stitching is often the most tricky. You can either leave them in their usual container and hope you don't send it flying, or you can place a few beads either onto a flat surface, into your upside down frame, or on the lid of an empty container. Anything that is relatively flat so you can access the beads, but has sides to keep them from rolling away.
If I am backstitching while beading, I will complete a few back stitches before adding the beads. However, if I am just adding beads I will weave the thread through some already-finished stitches to anchor it in place.
Adding the Bead
Occasionally, the French knot in the pattern will take the place of a whole stitch. I have mostly only come across this on printed cross stitch designs. In this instance, I would come up from the bottom left corner and down through the top right corner as if completing the bottom half of a cross.
In actual fact, beading is really simple and straight forward - providing you don't send your container of beads flying! Have fun and let me know how you get on.
Happy Stitching (and beading!)