For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Moving On, and see what else has been going on.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Trying something new
With all the beading and crafting books we've been getting from the library, I tried a new twist of my favorite style of beading - the peyote stitch. The result is this bracelet which, unfortunately, I can't wear. One of the reasons I started making my own jewelry was that purchased jewelry for women have pretty much never fit me. Having unusually thick bones comes in handy sometimes - I've *not* broken them when they probably should have, more than a few times ;-) - but it sucks when it comes to finding jewelry that fits. With this pattern though, it was either this size, or it would've been too loose, so my daughters get to wear it instead.
This is actually a tube done in peyote stitch, giving an effect similar to beaded crochet. Normally, when using peyote stitch to make a bracelet, I start at one end and stitch to the length I need for a flat "fabric" result. With this, I worked it by the length. To work this pattern, I started the string with 4 black beads, then two each of the white and gold, making each section of the pattern 8 beads long. In peyote stitch, this string of beads makes the first two rows. I then peyote stitched it to 8 beads wide (rows 3 and 4 are the hardest!). I then "zipped" the long ends together to make a tube, which was then worked end to end to make the ring.
Final say: I love the effect of beaded crochet, and liked working a version of it in simple peyote stitch. Because it was mostly an experiment, I used colours and types of beads I had a lot of. To work it again, there's a couple of things I'd change.
First, I'd either go with larger beads (these were size 10 seed beads), or go with a longer and wider pattern. Using this size of bead, and 8x8 pattern made it a bit too narrow to comfortably zip into a tube. A side effect is that the bracelet is actually quite stiff and inflexible because of how tight the tube is. Part of the reason I love bead woven jewelry is its pleasant softness and flexibility, which is missing here. With the same size bead, I'd probably go with a 10x10 pattern next, or go to a slightly larger size of bead.
The other thing I'd change is the type of gold beads. These are plated beads, and for something as high-wearing as a bracelet, the plating wears off rather quickly, revealing the colourless, transparent bead beneath. It's the sort of thing you'd really have to look to notice, but of course, *I* see it, and the perfectionist in me starts to cringe. LOL
The bracelet is a hit with the girls, and now they're both asking me to show them how to do peyote stitch. :-)