Ahhhhh, that wonderful week after Christmas. You know, the one where the holiday excitement in your little one’s eyes is now glazed over by boredom (already!) with their newest toys and gadgets and you are ready to climb the walls wanting them back in school? Yeah, that’s the one. I had almost forgotten what that feeling was like, and then wham! My grandson starts kindergarten and he is staying with us this week. But alas, my wonderful hubby being the awesome Grandpa that he is, has planned on taking him hunting and out to the farm for some target practice with his new Red Ryder BB gun we gave him for Christmas, leaving me free to catch up on my beading.
Speaking of my wonderful hubby, I gotta tell you, he is one that actually listens when I say stuff. I have been talking about going to our local Harbor Freight store for months and getting a rock tumbler to use in my wire worked jewelry. Christmas Day comes around and I opened my beautiful diamond and sapphire (my birthstone) necklace and then I have another big, and heavy box to open.
And people say romance dies once you say I do. Any guy who buys his wife a diamond sapphire necklace and a rock tumbler for Christmas is a keeper. And he’s mine, so all of you single ladies out there keep your grubby little paws to yourself!
Anyway, I was thinking the other day how much I wished I had a quick reference on my computer or tablet to all the different beads around, especially with all the new shaped beads that seem to be coming out almost weekly. Well lo and behold, when I purchased my digital edition of Quick+Easy Beadwork, Winter 2015, they featured a couple of pages of diagrams that I will be sharing with you here for you to bookmark on your devices. This issue also features 30 bead projects using these beads, bead embroidery with metal, and some 30 minute earrings. You can purchase it from Interweave here.
Cull your beads. Remove beads that are wider or skinnier than the average size bead-using consistently sized beads results in uniform beadwork. Keep the beads you removed because beads that are too thin or too wide can come in handy when filling gaps and when making gradual decreases and increases.
Pass through. To pass through means to pass through a bead a second time, moving the needle in the same direction as the way it was initially strung (Fig. 1).
Pass back through. To pass back through, move the needle in the opposite direction as the way it was initially strung (Fig. 2).
Repeat. When the word repeat appears after a semicolon, repeat the instructions that precede it in that sentence only. For example, here you’ll work the entire sequence three times for a grand total of 6 stitches and 3A: “Work 2 stitches with 1A in each stitch; repeat twice.”
Repeat from *. Repeat the instructions, starting at the text that follows the *.
Row vs. round. Rows of peyote stitch are worked back and forth; rounds are worked in a circle.
Secure the thread and trim. Tie 1 or 2 knots around threads between nearby beads, weave through 3 to 4 beads, and trim the tail close to the beadwork with scissors or a thread burner.
Splitting the pairs. Work 1 bead between the 2 beads of a pair in the previous row/round (Fig. 3).
Step up. Use a step up to prepare for the next row (or round). Unless otherwise directed, do this by passing through the first bead added in the current row/round.
Stitch. When directed to work a peyote stitch, string 1 bead and pass through the next up bead. The motion of stringing the bead you want to add and going through the next bead to lock the bead in place is considered 1 stitch.
Turnaround. Change your stitching direction without exposing the thread or deviating from the established thread path.
Up bead vs down bead. The top jagged end of a flat strip of peyote stitch consists of up beads; the bottom end is made of down beads. The very basic nature of peyote stitch is to string 1 bead and pass through the nearest up bead. The bead just added becomes the new up bead; the bead just exited is now a down bead.
Working thread vs tail thread. The working thread is the end with the needle, doing the work of stitching. The opposite end is the tail thread.
With all the terminology that we beaders use, sometimes it seems like we are speaking our own secret spy code. I love the look of confusion on people’s faces when I’m speaking bead. Somehow it makes me feel superior. My husband just thinks I’m nuts and spend way too much money on beads. He’s half right.
And I’m not going to let you go this week without showing off something I beaded. This bracelet (and please do not laugh) took me nearly three years to complete. I don’t mean the time and labor, but the design process. I must have started it and ripped it apart 20-30 times. I am just not used to working with cubed beads and this bracelet is square stitched almost entirely in 4mm pink marble Miyuki cube beads with 4mm firepolished and 11/0 galvanized pink rose seed beads adornments. I guess the reason it took me so long is I just will not let anything be completed until I consider it good enough to adorn someone’s wrist, neck, ears, you get the drift.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and has a very Happy New Year. Don’t forget for all your beading needs to check out Eureka Crystal Beads. You simply can’t beat their prices, fast and free economy shipping, or the amount you get for your money. Heck, Toho seed beads are sold in 20 gram tubes and super duos in 25 gram tubes! They are also ALWAYS running some kind of a sale! Another thing, they have some great absolutely 100% FREE downloadable patterns. There is a link to those on the sidebar on this page. Use discount code A10SAVE20R and receive 20% off your first order!
I am planning on posting a lot more tutorials in the coming New Year, so be sure to go find that little box that subscribes you to my weekly dose of snark in your email and fill it out. Every now and again you will get a bonus posting mid-week! Please let me hear from you in the comments too. I want to know what you are beading, what you think of my blog, and don’t forget to send your sarcasm memes to firstname.lastname@example.org to be used in a future posting!
Until next week, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!