Category Archives: Bracelets

Netting and Peyote Stitch

My books finally arrived so that I could start learning seed beading properly. I am very much a book learner, with videos coming a close second.

The first book that arrived was ‘Getting started with Seed Beads’ by Dustin Wedekind. I chose it because of the title. The early projects in the book involved sewing and gluing, things that I wasn’t interested in learning. Then there was a section on netting. Netting as a technique is quite straight forward once you get your head around it. The best thing about netting is that the seed beads you use do not have to be the regular size ones, so this technique is a cheap first step to build confidence.

I created a variation of the ‘Curved Chevron Choker’, using the beads that I had. I am quite pleased with the necklace and wear it a lot. I tried a few more netting projects, and I have become confident that I can tackle more involved netting projects in the future.

The next technique to learn was ‘peyote stitch’. The thing with peyote stitch is that all the beads have to be exactly the same size, unlike netting. Oh, did I have trouble at first with this one! Starting off Peyote stitch is really tricky, getting the beads to sit on top of each takes a lot of patience. They just do not like doing it and seem to jump out of place. I even had to watch a video on it, though that took a long time to find one that showed exactly how to start ‘flat peyote’.

I used a project from another book ‘Beginners Guide to Beadwork’ by Madeleine Rollason. This book has photographs rather than charts to explain what you do. I used size 15 seed beads to create this ring.

I also learned how to add threads and secure threads in this project. Interestingly, when I did this I made the ring wavy. I suspect that this has something to do with the tension of the original weave. I do like the look it gave this ring though, like a herringbone shape.

I was so confident that I decided to have another go at flat peyote. This time a bracelet project called ‘Snappy Bands’ from the Dustin Wedekind book. It was still a pain to start off the peyote, I hope it will become easier with practice. The thing with flat peyote stitch is that once it is started it is very straight forward.

I hadn’t realised how big a project I was giving myself. The bracelet in total took 9 hours to create. I still have the problem of making the bracelet slightly wavy when finishing it but I tell myself that it is a design choice.

The one plus I did learn during this project was how to thread my needle easier, though I suspect that has just been practice. I still need to find an easier way to undo the knots and tangles though. I think next I will learn about the different types of peyote stitch. Who knows maybe I will get the hang of starting off Peyote stitch?

Kits and my first weave

After the success of the first kit I did, I decided to have a go at another kit in my stash. The Penelope Necklace and Bracelet kit by Pat at Spellbound Bead Co. This seemed to be a very straight forward kit. I loved the idea of threading beads through a chain, and this technique could be used with bigger beads to great effect.

My problems began with the finishing of the bracelet. The kit directs you to download a finishing explanation sheet. Surprisingly, it is not in the instructions of the kit. Now the explanation of the finishing seems to apply to more bead heavy weaves. This bracelet is just 3 beads at a time, so I got confused. I did email Spellbound Beads Co., and they were very helpful. I eventually worked out how to finish the bracelet without all the beads falling off.

I did really like the finished bracelet, as it’s so delicate and pretty. I decided to carry on and attempt the necklace. This is the first time I have ever used a metal sieve as a base for beads. It is a useful tool. I think I was cursed with this kit, however, as when I was finishing off the pendant I accidentally cut a critical strand of thread and it started falling apart. I did manage to save it by redoing some of the beads, and cheating by using an adhesive felt back that kept some of the loose threads in place.

Next was a kit recommended by Halfpenney’s Beads, the Spiral Cube Key Ring Kit (Fire option). This was really straight forward and I enjoyed making it. I will admit that I used my big hole needle instead of the one provided. I still have problems threading normal beading needles. I managed to create the keyring in 40 minutes, so was quite pleased with myself.

I did like the Spiral Staircase weave and decided to have a go with some beads from my stash. I managed it without hardly looking at the instructions. The only problem is I think the blue Delica type seed beads were cheap versions, and they cut the thread on me. I’m still pleased with it, but I know I need to invest in better beads.

So one weave down, and many others to learn.

Beginning Seed Beading

First off, seed beading is something that has never really appealed to me before. It always looked so fiddly and time-consuming. Yes, I know that’s odd, what with me being a wireworker which could be described in the same way. It seemed to me to be a lot of work for not much result.

Recently I have seen some beautiful seed bead pieces, and it made me think that perhaps this is something I should investigate. So I’ve decided to learn seed beading.

Question is, where do you start? I asked in FB groups for help, and lots suggested Youtube videos. Usually, I start with a book though, but there doesn’t seem to be many around for absolute beginners. I’ve found a couple online that may be ok, and I am waiting for them to arrive.

My next job was to see what I had in my stash, I have seed beads because of my love of kumihimo and macrame. However, a lot of them are not uniform in size. This is apparently important with seed beading. I also found 3 kits that I must have bought as part of a job lot at one point.

So the first one I attempted was ‘Deluxe Seed Bead Lace Bracelet’ by Carolyn Schulz.

The best thing about this kit is that it had a big eye needle, so no faffing about trying to thread it. I will admit it took me a while to get the hang of the initial instructions, due to me having no familiarity with what it was asking me to do. (As you can see from the photo.) It was relatively straight forward to create and that surprised me. It took me 3 hours to complete the bracelet.

I had been worried about the finishing, but there were crimp beads and I know where I am with them. So not bad for a first go, though I really need to stop sticking myself with the needle.

I also asked my jewellery making friends for help. They pointed me to Halfpenney Beads, that is only a short drive from my house. This shop is super friendly and helpful. I totally recommend it for other newbies to seed beading who are apprehensive about taking the jump into this new hobby.