This is one end of the lariat, ready to attach the leaves. We call the decrease points, where the 2-bead stacks split off (or the end stacks) the “twiggy” bits. These are the main leaf attachment points.
Put the needle on the long tail of a leaf (remember we said Don’t weave in both tails?) Pick up a few beads, shading from the leaf color to the lariat color. You can have long leaf stems or short ones. We did both on our samples, depending on the mood of the day.
Go up through three or four beads of the “twiggy bit” attachment point of your choice and pull it tight. Weave the tail in through some of the beads next to the ones your needle went through, and go back down all the way through the stem back to the leaf. Secure the thread by looping it around the threads running across the top of the leaf, and then go back through the stem and bottom of the lariat again. Two or three passes of thread through the stem of the leaf make it much stronger.
If you end your thread in the leaf, you can trim the tail immediately. If you end it on the lariat side, leave about an inch of thread untrimmed until you finish all the leaves on the side. Otherwise, when you’re weaving other leaves in, you might pull the tail out accidentally.
Here we have attached a leaf to the lariat in a place that isn’t a twiggy attachment point. Work it the same way, going back through the stem and weaving your tails. Nature isn’t always tidy.
When attaching leaves and deciding how long to make the stems, consider how they will hang. You don’t want them all clumped together at the same level when you’re wearing your lariat, so adjust by changing the number of beads in your stem. You can attach more than one leaf to a twiggy bit, or you can attach them to the main stem.