Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lots of Bracelets were woven last week!

As I said in my last post, in addition to the double spiral bracelet I stitched with peanut beads, I also made quite a few other bracelets last week:

Last week was a productive week for beadweaving! (absent from photo: the peanut double spiral)

From top to bottom, in no particular order (more details below!):
1) Chevron Stitch bracelet, from BeadandButton.com, 2010  (Link to this pattern is no longer available - sorry!)
2) Flutter Bracelet, from AroundtheBeadingTable.com
3) Octopus Bracelet, which I found here as a free downloadable .pdf (it's in French, but all you need are the pics - I swear!)
4) Superduo and Peanut Bracelet ("Button Bridges") from Bead and Button Online.
5) Brick and Peanut Bracelet (Cherry Blossom Lattice) from FusionBeads.com.
6) Peanut Bracelet (Seurat") from Beadwork, June/July, 2014, pp. 74-75.
7) Pinch Bead and Freshwater Pearl bracelet from BeadandButton.com, 2006.
8) Superduo and Cube Bracelet (Skinny Twin Cube Band) from AroundTheBeadingTable.com (Abort! Abort!)

Double spiral with pink and purple peanut beads

I already talked about the double spiral in my last post, so let's look at some of the other bracelets - and be prepared; as usual, I'm gonna tell it like it is - at least, for me. Your mileage may vary....

1) The chevron stitch bracelet - this was a brand new stitch for me, and the pattern was super simple and fast ..... however:

1) This bracelet makes up much, much narrower than I expected it to be from looking at the picture on the pattern, partially because:
2) The materials list (in a box, at the top of the pattern, on page 53) calls for 5g of size 8/0 seed beads. So, I grabbed some 8/0s in my color scheme, and stitched away. The base makes up in a flash! Then, I proceeded through the rest of the pattern, and when I was completely done, clasp and all, I read the caption that accompanies the picture of the finished bracelet, at the very bottom of the page, where it says "The base of this bracelet is made with 8/0 Japanese cylinder [emphasis is MINE] beads." Um....seems like THAT piece of information should have been included in the materials list, because there's a difference between 8/0 seed beads and 8/0 cylinder beads. Jus' sayin'.

 Chevron Stitch bracelet, top

 Chevron stitch bracelet, underside

Nonetheless, it was a fun bracelet, and I am currently working on a much wider version. 'Cause that's the way I roll...

2) The Flutter Bracelet (top bracelet in picture below)- I am always looking for fun superduo patterns, and this one certainly was fun, and I think it's very pretty:

 3 superduo bracelets: Flutter, Octopus, and Skinny Twin

 I chose neon blue Superduos, capri blue 3mm Firepolish, Vitrail 4mm Firepolish, and galvanized silver 11/0s. The bracelet works up very quickly.

3) The Octopus (the middle bracelet in the pic above):
This pattern is free, and in French. I went to the trouble to run all the written instructions through Google Translate, but I urge you not to bother: half the important words get lost in translation anyway, and you honestly don't need them, because the illustrations are fantastic. Just know that this is a 2-needle pattern (my first! Ta-da!)

This one also works up very quickly. I love the gentle ruffling! I chose bright yellow superduos for the center motifs, because they look like flowers to me, so I made the surrounding 11/0s green (for the leaves!), and the outer and middle 11/0s purple, to look like more blooms.

8) The Skinny Twin Cube Band (the bottom bracelet in the pic above) (Yeah, I'm going out of order ... sue me!):

OK - the pattern calls for Twins, and I substituted Superduos. No problem.
The pattern calls for 2 colors of Twins, and I just used one color. No big deal.
The pattern calls for 3mm cubes. Check.
The pattern calls for 11/0 seed beads. Check.

I knew there was a problem when I finished stitching the second unit of Superduos, but I went ahead and added two more (thinking it would get better as it got longer...maybe?) before I finally bailed on this pattern. The bracelet's too narrow, but that's not the problem. The problem? It is so stiff it is almost inflexible. Part of this could be my tension, because I'm kinda known for my ultratight tension. But I lay the blame on the cubes. Round beads will all roll beside each other when you try to wrap the stitching around your wrist. Cube beads? Not big on rolling! You can actually hear the cube beads rubbing on each other as you try to bend the bracelet! I could see that this was going to be an uncomfortable bracelet to wear, so I quit, leaving just a sample for any interested customers to play with/inspect.

4) The Button Bridges Bracelet (superduo and peanuts):

In addition to always looking for fun Superduo patterns, I'm also on the lookout for fun peanut and/or brick patterns!

This pattern almost didn't get made ... it calls for something called "Crystaletts," and: I don't have any, and besides that, I think they look cheap and gaudy (there, I said it) in the pictures featured with the pattern. But it uses Peanuts and Superduos ... so I tried to look past the Crystalletts. It called for 3mm Crystaletts, and I am a big substituter, so I worked up the bracelet with 3mm Firepolish, which worked perfectly.

 Superduo and Peanut Bracelet, top

Superduo and Peanut bracelet, underside

The base of the bracelet is stitched first, with Superduos in herringbone. This takes awhile, and you have to really pull your tension tight after every stitch in order to get the beads to line up without your Fireline showing.

I really like this pattern, but again, it's a little too narrow for me. I love the netted and picot peanut embellishing on the sides, though! Peanuts are fun!

5) The Cherry Blossom Lattice (brick and peanut bracelet):

First, the pattern calls for a double row of RAW,

Cherry Blossom Lattice, picture courtesy FusionBeads.com

and that was a little too much for me, so I stopped with a single row.(I know, hard to believe, right? After all my talk about liking wider bracelets? But my issue here wasn't the width, it was the busy-ness of the pattern. Too many colors and shapes, and it just looked to fussy for ME. Again, YMMV.

Second, the pattern called for 3mm Swarovski pearls, so naturally, I substituted 3mm Firepolish. Worked great!

Brick and Peanut Right Angle Weave

Another fast project!

6) The all peanut bracelet (Seurat): Easily my favorite of all of these!

Nothin' but Peanuts ... Netted Peanuts

I fell in love with this bracelet the minute I saw it in Beadwork - I love the colors, and I love matte beads, so I knew I was going to try to duplicate the colors in the magazine as closely as I could.

The pattern calls for 11 different matte colors of peanut beads; I didn't have that many, so that was a minor speed bump. I ended up using 7 different colors (2 for the 1st row, 2 for the second row, and 3 for the 3rd row, although 2 of these are so close in hue that they might as well be the same color!). I unfortunately didn't have a matte purple (or matte anything else that would work) for the 2nd row, and had to substitute a shiny one - I can live with it, but just barely....

One word of caution about this pattern: I strongly urge you to at least use (at least) 2 colors for each row, and to alternate them in your pick-ups, as I did. Otherwise, you will lose your dang mind trying to count peanuts when you go to add the next row, trying to find the middle peanut of each net! If you are alternating colors, you can train your eye to aim for the color that the middle peanut is, and not have to worry that your count is off, because it won't be (unless you screwed up your bead order).

This is a really fun pattern (if you like netting), and very fast.

7) The pinch bead and FWP bracelet:

pinch bead and FWP bracelet, top

Pinch bead and FWP bracelet, underside

I had to really dig into the archives for this one, but I love the result - those irregular freshwater pearls (in my favorite color: Peacock!) look fantastic in this bracelet.

I had a good reason for digging this one up: In my zeal to add peanuts, bricks, 2-hole lentils, and 2-hole tiles to the bead shop's inventory, something had to go .... and that something was pinch beads. Pinch beads have been a regular item in my shop forever, and I frequently use them in spirals, Russian spirals, and more - but their popularity has fallen off among my customers, so they were the obvious choice to discontinue. My whole stock of pinch beads is now in the sale bin, and I wanted to work up a sample of something quick, easy, and pretty that used the pinch beads. Hence, this particular bracelet: Perfect!

So, that covers last week. Almost. I also started on some soldered bangle bracelets on Saturday, and will be working on them more today once I get this post finished. I'm also putting the finishing touches on the wider chevron stitch bracelet I mentioned above.... more details later!

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