Bead Stitching

     About two years ago I spent a good chunk of change on some beading materials. I bought a seed bead tower, a bead loom, some beading needles, and two different kinds of beading thread/wire. I was so excited to learn the ancient art of bead weaving and was ready to create projects that were more ornate and complex than the simple, but pretty, stuff I had been making at that time. But then, I guess I got intimidated. I backed off from the whole idea and went back to doing what I knew and all that. All that stuff I bought (except for a few of those seed beads) sat unused indefinitely. . .

     . . . that was until the middle of July of this year. I was finishing the last few projects in the style I had been using and could not think of anything else to do with it. I was in desperate need of inspiration when suddenly thoughts returned to that literal tower of unused materials. Perhaps it was time I put them to good use. I wasn’t even going to worry about that bead loom this time, not until I learned to work a beading needle first. It was just what I needed to breathe some new life into my creations.

     I watched a whole bunch of bead stitching videos/tutorials on Youtube for a few days to mentally prepare myself for this venture. I needed to get at least somewhat familiar with the basics before picking up the needle myself. During those few days I studied peyote and brick stitch and how to make daisy chains. And I managed to learn all three. However, I attempted the brick stitch first. Then I tried the peyote stitch and the daisy chain, which, surprisingly, gave me the most grief. I figured it was because I’m left-handed. Whether anyone wants to acknowledge it or not, handedness DOES make a huge difference.

     I did eventually learn the daisy chain stitch despite my initial struggles. All I had to do was use a totally different method . . .which yielded the exact same results. Didn’t take me all that long to figure out that the first way of doing it I was exposed to and trying to use wasn’t exactly suited to Southpaws like me. Anyway, I daisy chained a cute ring after I mastered this technique.

     Then I figured I would give the spiral rope stitch a go. Even though pieces done in this style look really complicated, the stitch itself is WAY easier than all the other ones I had learned at this point. It’s very versatile and can be used to create earrings, bracelets, necklaces, whatever. Used it to make a matching set for myself plus a few other bracelets. They turned out to be really nice . . .and I should probably make more of them.

     The last stitch that I learned to do was the square stitch and it was also surprisingly easy to master. Basically, if you can ladder stitch, then you’re already halfway there. Pieces done in this style look like they’ve been done on a bead loom and that works for me. It’s less hassle, and less threads you have to worry about weaving back into the beadwork.

     I have been experimenting and sharpening my skills with all of these stitches like crazy . . .all except for the right-angle weave. Have not come back to that since I first got the basics down last summer. I did effectively learn how it’s done and how it works, but the test patch that I made just looked off for some reason. Maybe I used the wrong beads? I have no idea. Right-angle weave is something I definitely plan to revisit in the future because I’ve seen people do all sorts of eye-catching stuff with it on the Internet, the kind of stuff I ultimately want to be making. But for right now I’m going to need to let a certain obsession run its course. . .


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