Posted on by Valarie
The tall twisty bits are actually just giant herringbone stitches. Pick up an EVEN number of beads, we usually used 50, but it can be any number. One very helpful hint – to make things easier, make the two center beads easily identifiable. If you are using 50 total, that would be beads 25 and 26. We usually made them the same color, with 3 or 4 beads of another color on each side.
This is the first two “stacks” of our twisty section. You sew them exactly the same way you do the regular rows, they’re just very tall. See the flat blue-green beads between the yellowish ones in the middle of the loop at the bottom of the picture? That’s our center marker beads. (NOTE! on the other two loops shown below, we used the yellow ones as markers. Not really on purpose, but because I forgot what I had started in the heat of the photographic moment.)
Here we have finished all three stacks, and have done our step up row, just like we do at the end of all herringbone rows. Notice that we’re coming out the top of one of our center-of-the-stack marker beads. Pick up two more beads and go down through the other marker bead on the stack, just like a normal herringbone stitch.
Twist the stack you are working on (where your thread is coming out) two or three times, then twist the NEXT stack the same number of times in the same direction. Be careful to watch where everything is going, and keep them twisted. (It’s PERFECTLY legit to tape the suckers together in the correct positions if you feel the need or if they’re fighting it.) The picture above shows your needle going into the top of that next stack, ready to add two beads and go back down the next beed.
And this is where it gets even more fiddly. We’ve finished adding the two beads (next herringbone stitch) to the second loop, and we need to twist that third loop the same number of times and direction as the other two. Then we go up through the marker bead in the third loop, add two beads, and back down through the other marker bead.
Work your step-up by going through the top two beads in the top of the first stack (marker and one on top) and you have completed your first twisty!
Don’t worry if one stack is twisted more or less than the others, it won’t be noticeable. The important thing is that the herringbone tube after this returns to normal.
If you want to reinforce the twists, work another pass of thread through them while you’re weaving in your ends. Doing it now might make you crazy.
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.
We don’t give you specific patterns to follow when making the leaves, but you can look at the detail photographs and figure out what we did. We used one color of main leaf bead, one or two accent bead colors, and sometimes a different leaf vein color. You DO NOT have to copy our leaves if you want to use other color arrangements. Make your leaves the way YOU want your leaves to be. You can change the main leaf colors from side to side, you can mix up several colors. You can make solid color leaves if you want. Or striped ones! Your choice!
And if you find that you’ve made a leaf you’re not in love with, try weaving larger bright accent beads to some of the accent points. Or cut it apart and pair those beads with others.
Here are a few helpful hints to save you time, though.
Each Dancing Leaves kit contains two spools of size D C-lon beading thread. Use which ever color you like. Using darker thread will darken the appearance of transparent beads, lighter thread will make them look lighter. You can switch thread partway through a color segment to blend bead colors better. Or not. Don’t worry about it if you switch colors in the middle, it will add more interest.
If you have to add thread, leave yourself 4-5 inches of tail, and weave it in circles through 3 or 4 beads to lock it in place. You can make half-hitch knots around the thread, and then go through another few beads. Start a new thread by weaving circles through 2 or three beads and come out ready to add your new beads.
If you absolutely MUST tie a knot, try the magic invisible knot we use:
If you are a Fireline person, feel free to use it instead of the included thread. It will make everything just a bit stiffer, which is probably why you use Fireline in the first place. Use the 4lb for best results, as some of the beads get several passes through.
Yes, Beloved Campers, this weekend is DFW Fiber Fest in the Grapevine Convention Center.
What (I hear a faint voice calling) the Heck is Fiber Fest? Well, imagine Spring Break for Grownups, with all the usual SpringBreaking high jinks, with all the lovely fiber, yarn, and toys anybody could dream of, but without sand, sunburn, and the horror that is Swimwear.
That, my dears, is what it’s all about. And the Artful Bead is thick in the middle of it again this year.
The vendor area is open 9:00am – 6:00pm Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday but I don’t have it handy. Check it out at www.dfwfiberfest.org.
Oh, yeah, one more thing.. I’m too lazy to add that link tonight. So just type the dang thing in, OK?
I have to get some sleep now. Our booth is directly across from Brooks Farm Yarns. (Yes, the EXACT same yarn that mugged me 3 years ago and made me buy it and take it home. And it turned into a lovely kimono jacket, if I do say so myself.) I know it was watching me. Waiting to throw itself across the aisle and into my arms.
It will be all soft and colorful at me. And I will have to pay for it and take it home.
I make a crappy victim, don’t I?
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