Monday, March 30, 2009

Bracelet Base

I have more flowers to share with you, but I wanted to pause and add the tutorial for the base I use when making bracelets using these beaded flowers. There's one bracelet pictured in the header of this blog, another in this post, and one in yesterday's post. All of these bracelets are built on a 3-bead peyote base made of either 8/0 or 6/0 seeds, 3 or 4mm cubes, Miyuki 8/0 plain or hex seeds, 8/0 or 5/0 Miyuki triangles. The one thing I want is a large-holed bead because I will be adding all of the embellishments through the center beads. I also like this technique because it has a nice working rhythm that yields a flexible, sturdy and smooth band. Here's one of my bracelets using "loopy" flowers and sunstone chips, one of my "Chips Ahoy" collection of necklaces and bracelets.

I first found this 3-bead technique in a special Interweave publication, Jean Campbell's "Beaded Cords, Chains, Straps and Fringe," and I've used it ever since.

I work with nine to ten feet of thread doubled to four and a half to five feet, so I don't have to add a new thread. And, yes, it can be aggravating in the first few rows, but I deal with it.

The beginning:

String four beads and move them to about 6" from the end of the thread.

Bring the needle through the first two beads on the thread as shown. Pull the thread until the last bead added (#4) is sitting on top of bead #3.

(I flip the beads in my hand after each step so that I'm always moving the needle from right to left. There's no real reason for this except that I can work faster this way.) Pick up a bead and take the needle through the center bead and the #3 bead below the bead on the left. Pull the thread to bring the needles into position. You'll note that there's now a space in the middle.

Take your needle through the first bead in the row, add a bead, and take the needle through the last bead in the row. Now you're ready to weave the band.

The Rest of the Story:

I think of the three steps as Straight, Down, and Across. (Remember that I flip the strip with my left thumb as I pick up the next bead with my right, so I'm always moving my needle from right to left. It's all part of the rhythm.)

I continue with Straight, Down and Across until the base is the desired length without the clasp.

No comments:

Post a Comment