Monday, July 23, 2012

Spiral Stitch Variation

Hello! Just a quick post today- I wanted to share a little tip I discovered awhile back on how to make your spiral stitched ropes more... spirally :)

A recent post on the OTTBS facebook page asked us members to post pictures of our very first beaded creations. This spiral stitched bracelet here I think was my first (but my memory is faulty), and I remember liking it because I added an extra step to it to make the bracelet more solid and less slinky- I didn't like how the bugles kept moving around, so I added one last stitch to the completed bracelet (look at that awful toggle, lmao!)

Looking at this old photo, it made me want to revisit spiral stitch, which I haven't touched in quite awhile! I decided to go with some delicious faceted cylinder beads (I believe they're Toho's) with a taupe coloring and an iridescent sheen, spiralled around some 8/0's in three metallic shades. I implemented my 'trick' for this one too, and here is the result!

Unfortunately the photo really doesn't do the iridescence justice, but here you can see the tight spiral I was able to achieve with the regular garden variety spiral stitch we all know and love. This rope is rather stiff, but not so stiff that I can't make a bracelet out of it, or a necklace.

If you look close, you can see my trick implemented here in this photo. All I've done is run a thread down the length of the rope through the first bead in every 'set' of small beads. In case that doesn't make sense, here's a photo of what I'm talking about.

Here you can see what I mean- my needle is stitching through the first bead in each set of beads stitched around the core of 8/0's. When you complete your rope (by the way- if you want to do this trick, make your rope longer than you think it should be, because it will shrink when you do this), ensure you have a decent length of thread on your needle, then run your thread through the edge beads of each spiral stitch, as shown. When you get to the end of your rope, pull tight- the rope will curl up and tighten before your eyes! (I find this extremely satisfying for some reason, haha). I like to knot at this point, using the tail thread that is inevitably there from where you started the rope. Then, I go back up the rope using the first seed from each spiral stitch on the other side. I hope this makes some sense.

Regardless of what you decide to do, it will turn out beautifully. Without my 'trick', spiral stitch forms a slinky, supple rope with a straight column of core beads surrounded by spirals of outer beads. My trick forces both the spiral beads AND the core beads to spiral around each other, creating a more sturdy, substantial rope. Either way is great! Just do what seems to be best for the project you're working on :)

For now, I'll leave you with this video of Neo licking the condensation off of some beers, haha. 'Till Next Time!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fortune Teller Beads

So, recently I discovered a free PDF for Diane Fitzgerald's awesome Fortune Teller Beads. The PDF contains instructions for a 19mm bead, but after some playing around, I was able to modify the design to work with a 14mm bead and two 20-22mm marbles I've had around for awhile. If you're interested, you can download the instructions here, along with instructions for two other projects.

This is my first go, using transparent lavender and coppery-gold seeds for the netting, and a plastic iridescent 14mm bead for the core. The design allows for room to add bits at either end of the bead, so I stitched a purple glass drop to the bottom and a purple glass bead to the top, with a few more coppery seeds that I aim to turn into the bail for a necklace. I think that since the bead is rather ornate, I'll go clean and simple on the necklace part.

I'm in love with this technique- it's easy, it works up quickly, and at the end you get to gather up all the seeds on each end into a tight circle, and it's really really satisfying to watch them tighten up around the bead when you pull it tight, haha.

Here's my two large beaded marbles- I did the blue one first. I had to modify the design a bit by altering the bead counts in each netting stitch and then adding one seed between each seed at the top and bottom where the netting 'gathers'. I thought the blue one looked a little naked, so I added transparent purple and silver beads in between the 'windows' that the netting creates. I'm not thrilled with the look, but it was fun nonetheless.

The red one I really love :D I used coppery size 8/0 seeds at the intersection points in the netting, and i like the look it gives. I'm imagining a tassle of fringe hanging off the bottom- I'm not good at maintaining the right tension on fringe, so that will be good practice :)

That's all for now. Today I'll leave you with Trinity having a conversation with me. 'Til Next Time! :)