Wowzers, what a week! I have been busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony this week! Three beaded ropes, a bracelet to finish the design on and bead up, photograph and submit to the Potomac Bead Company Design Challenge 2016, my daughter closed on her new house this week, my LBS is moving to their bigger and closer to me (yippeeee!!!) location (both of which I am helping to move!), and oh yeah, did I mention that I also got selected as PTA President at my grandson’s school for the upcoming year? Sheesh! And on top of all of that? I have about 12 new designs parked in my head that need to either be written out, beaded, or both, plus a few tutorials that need to be written on some things I have recently done! There are just not enough hours in a day, which is probably why I never sleep at night. Ha!
My latest entry in the Potomac Challenge was another bracelet, although I think it would make a lovely bangle without a clasp. I would like to introduce you to “Chih-Nu,” named after the Chinese Goddess of spinners, weavers and clouds. She rules over handicrafts, fire, and rain. It was made with faceted Rountrios in vintage copper, Rounduos in pastel turquoise, DiamonDuos in pastel dark coral, Potomac crystal rondelles in crystal AB, Miyuki 11/0 delicas in duracoat galvanized champagne, and Firepolished Chinese crystal rondelles in fire and ice. The closure is with a Potomac Czech Cup button in vintage copper and Miyuki 11/0 seed beads in brown iris.
So last week I showed off the jewelry I did for the wedding, including the Jill Wiseman bracelet, “Flower Power,” which is done in tubular netting. If you recall, I mentioned that I loved the stitch so much, it would be my “go-to” stitch whenever I needed a beaded rope for anything from now on, and it will be! But, who am I to hog all of the glory of that wonderful technique?? Not me! So, this morning I managed to put together a little photo tutorial of how to get going on your own tubular netted rope.
This is my first picture tutorial done on my own, so please bear with me! It was not easy balancing beads and thread, a needle, my phone (cuz that’s how I took the pictures) ,and keeping it steady so these pictures would not be blurry, a toddler (did I mention that my Doodlebug spent the night and she adores watching me bead!!!), and trying to get my thumb on the shutter button all at the same time!
One of the great things about tubular netting is the flexibility of the rope. It is super slinky and moves and drapes beautifully with or without a pendant. The only other rope stitch that even comes close to it is the Russian Spiral (which I will cover in a couple of weeks), but this is just super lightweight. The size of your rope is dictated strictly by the size of your beads. The bigger the bead, the fatter the rope. If you are making it for a pendant though, I recommend using 11/0 seed beads so the bail will go on smoothly without getting caught.
Basic Tubular Netting
Supplies: All you really need are two tubes of either 11/0 or 8/0 seed beads, your choice of beading thread (I used Wildfire here because that is my go-to for black beading thread), scissors or thread burner, needles (you can see I am using my ever trusty Tulip size 11 needles!), and a stop bead.
Step 1: On a comfortable length of thread, string your stop bead and leave about a six-inch tail to use for a clasp later. Then add 12 beads, alternating your two colors. For my beads, color A is the orange, and color B is the blue. (fig. 1)
Step 2: Bring your needle up through your 1st bead and through all your beads to form a tight circle. (fig. 2)
Step 3: Once your circle is formed, exit your needle from your 1st “B” bead. (fig. 3)
Step 4: Add three beads in this order: A-B-A. Skip one B bead and go through the next. Repeat this twice more around the round.(fig. 4)
Step 5: Step up to the next row after going through the last B bead by also going through the 1st A & B added this round. Your needle should now be exiting the 1st B bead added to the previous round completed. (fig. 5)
Step 6: Continue adding your three beads and skipping to every other B bead. The only time you will ever go through an A bead is during your step-up to the next row. Continue until desired length. (fig. 6)
This is what eight completed rows looks like. It took approximately six minutes to complete. (fig. 7)
Finishing Up: To finish up and seal off your ends so that you can attach your clasp, simply just only add your two A beads on the last row and do not add any more B beads. Pull tight and you will notice the lip of the tube will pull in slightly. This makes a nice end to a tube bead or a rope chain on a necklace or bracelet. If desired, you can continue adding rows and decreasing the number of beads to make it even more tapered.
That is really all there is to it. A lot of people use a dowel or rod inside their rope to get their first few rows going because it is a rather wonky, jumbled looking mess for about the first four or five rows as the tube begins to form (like Chenille stitch does). The first time I attempted it, I used a 3 mm or 3.5 mm crochet hook, depending on bead size. I have actually found it easier not to use it though, because it just gets in the way and slows you down.
If you are looking for projects to try out this technique, then look no further than Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches, where Jill has an entire section of her book devoted to various netting techniques. Another great one that I have discussed previously is Sonoko Nozue. Her book, “Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue: 25 Jewelry Designs From A Master Artist,” extensively covers various types of netting as well, and her main focus is how to embellish it with Swarovski crystals – and man-oh-man does she use a lot of crystals in her work!
Last week I made an enormous plea for your help in keeping this blog going by your donations via the Paypal donation button at the top of my blog. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that my WordPress theme had been updated by the server and that very much-needed Paypal donation button was gone! Thanks to a loyal, kind, and GENEROUS reader who pointed that out to me, it is back in place for those of you who would like to see me keep posting. I would also like to publicly thank Carol Carnes for donating the fees for my upcoming annual domain renewal. Without her folks, next week would have been my farewell post!
If you can swing something like $5.00 toward my monthly fees, I would really appreciate it! Just two donations a month will cover it, that’s all! If you can’t, no worries, because I am forever grateful to you anyway for your reading my ramblings in the first place each time I post. I do ramble on, don’t I?
If you haven’t signed up as an email subscriber, you are about to be missing out! Bonus postings are about to become a frequent and impromptu thing! If you crochet, then you will really like the impromptu postings! impromptu postings only go out to email subscribers and the links are not posted on social media. I’m about to start a CAL tomorrow (crochet-along) so I will be posting about that too!
Don’t forget to chime in and leave me a comment, a question, a rambling of your very own! My grandson has started carrying my phone around with him on Sunday afternoons so he can let me know when it dings that I have one! He gets just as excited as I do, and as an outgoing kindergartener, I am letting him read them to me for practice with his reading skills, so watch the language! lol
Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!