Sunday, June 7, 2009

Seedbead Tutorial - Spiral Weave Rope Chain

This beautiful pattern can be used in short pieces with larger beads in between (see my Aqua Lampwork bracelet in previous post), or in greater lengths for an entire bracelet or necklace (see my Bronzite Pendant necklace in previous post). It’s very versatile, and once you get the basic pattern mastered you can experiment with different sizes of seedbeads within the pattern to give it a different look.

You will need:

Beading Thread – Nymo or Fireline will work well

Thin Beading Needle

11/0 seedbeads – in 2 colours, I’ll refer to them as “A” and “B”

1. Cut a 4 foot length of beading thread and thread needle.

2. Tie a stopper bead (any 6mm or larger bead will do) about 8” from the end of the thread. Tie it so you can get the stopper bead off at the end of the project…you will be weaving the 8” of thread back through your rope chain after the clasp is added.

3. Decide which colour you want for the “core” of the spiral…you will use fewer of these beads. The other colour will be for the outside of the spiral. I will refer to them as:

“A” = core colour beads

“B” = outside colour beads

4. String 4 A and 3 B beads onto needle. Slide them down to lie next to the stopper bead.

5. Go back and pass needle through the 4 A beads. (I enlarged the picture to show detail).

6. Now string 1 A and 3 B beads. This pattern will repeat and form the spiral rope as we proceed.

7. Go back and pass needle through 3 of the previous 4 A beads from step #5, and the new A bead (for a total of 4 A beads...3 old, 1 new). Do not pass the needle through any of the B beads.

8. Continue in this pattern, adding 1 A and 3 B beads each stitch, then going through only the last four A beads in the core part of the rope chain each time. The B beads will spiral up in groups of three as the core of the chain is built.

9. Here is a close-up of the finished rope chain...

You can see the white "core" forms the backbone of the spiral, and the silver-lined aqua beads in groups of three wind around the core.

10. Continue in this pattern for the length desired, whether it's for a bracelet or necklace. I'll show you how to attach the clasp in the next posting.



Ingeborg said...

Can you please tell me about attaching the clasp on the spiral chain...Can't find the blog
love from Holland Ingeborg

Gillianbeads said...

Hi Inge,
I just leave about a 15cm (6") length of Fireline at the end and wrap it around the ring on the clasp, then weave it back through the beads. Do this several times and tie knots to secure it within the beadwork.
Make sure your clasp ring is smooth first, sometimes when they are cast there's a bit of "flash" left which can be rough.
Hope that helps,