Saturday, February 28, 2009

Learning Herringbone Stitch

One of my beading related New Years resolutions was to learn “herringbone stitch", also called “Nbedele.” So, since I am dyslexic finding a tutorial with good graphics and clearly written instructions is essential for me. So after googling “herringbone stitch” I found a wonderful tutorial for “flat herringbone stitch" on Billie Sanchez’s site, Wicked Oak Designs. So, I downloaded and printed a copy of Billie’s tutorial and proceeded to learn “flat herringbone stitch".

When learning a new bead weaving stitch, I like to use the larger size 6/0 seed beads for my practice piece. These beads are easier to see, and have larger holes than the smaller size 10/0 and 11/0 seed beads. After beading about five inches of my practice piece, with some trial and error, I felt like I had a feel for the stitch. I was ready to try creating a “herringbone stitch” bracelet.

For my bracelet I chose 2 colors of size 8/0 seed beads, color lined crystal copper and color lined amethyst copper ab (aurora borealis). The size 8/0 gave the bracelet a marvelous texture. I used the color lined crystal copper to create a toggle clasp and loop closure. Here is a picture of my first “herringbone stitch” bracelet.

I am very pleased with how this bracelet turned out, even though it is just a little bit too big on my wrist, although, it fits my neighbor’s wrist perfectly. And, she has been dropping broad hints about her upcoming birthday.

After finishing this bracelet, I also created 2 more bracelets using a variation of the “herringbone stitch." One bracelet was made using size pink 8/0 seed beads and size 10/0 cream seed beads. The other bracelet was created using size 8/0 yellow, orange and 10/0 cream seed beads. These two bracelets can be seen on my picturetrail website. They are located in the bracelet album and are labeled as “Cotton Candy” and “Florida Citrus”

So, I would like to thank Billie Sanchez for creating and offering this tutorial free of charge and I think that I am now ready to tackle “tubular herringbone stitch. If you are interested in learning “herringbone stitch, I highly recommend Billie’s “herringbone stitch” tutorial. You can find this tutorial on her website, Wicked Oak Designs. Billie also has lots of other beading -related goodies available on her site.

Wicked Oak Designs

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook.

I am, also, on myspace.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Beading With Angelina

The other day I went into the craft store to purchase some yarn so that I can make a hat and scarf for my son. So, of course, being a self confessed beadaholic, I did not pass up the opportunity to peruse the craft store’s selection of beads. While debating with my self whether or not I wanted to spend the money on a strand of ridiculously over priced glass beads (for which I had no clear idea as what to make with them), Angelina said to me, “Mother, I want to bead too.”

I looked down at her, smiled, abandoned the string of ridiculously over priced beads and said to her, “Alright lets go get you some beads.” Angie picked out a large bag of multi-shaped and brightly colored plastic beads and some clear plastic cord in which to string them on. Angie had a huge grin on her face and hugged her beads tightly to her chest as we made our way to the check out line.

When we got home I poured the beads into a bowl, cut a long length of plastic cord, added a stopper bead to the end of the cord, and gave her the bead bowl and prepped plastic cord. She went into her bedroom with her beading supplies, sat down on her bed, and began to string the beads on the cord. I grabbed my current beading project and joined her in her room and, also, began to bead.

As we sat together and beaded, I found myself more engrossed in watching her string beads, than working on my own project. At first, it seemed as though she picked out and strung the beads on the cord at random. There didn’t seem to be any type of color pattern or particular bead shape pattern. I thought that she was creating a sort of freeform necklace. But as I watched her more closely, I saw that before she added a bead to the cord she would rub it between her fingers. Then she would decide if the bead would be strung on the necklace or would be put back into the bowl in favor of a different bead. It was then that I realized that she was choosing the beads that she would string by their texture.

If you are unfamiliar with Autism, this probably doesn’t make much sense. Many autistic individual, Angelina included, are very tactile sensitive. There are textures that feel good to them as well as textures they can’t tolerate the feel of. That is why it is not surprising that she would choose the beads for her necklace based on their different textures.

When she was finished, I tied the knot for her, buried the ends of the cord inside the beads, and cut off the excess cord. Angie then asked for a second piece of plastic cord to be cut for her so that she could create another necklace. Angie beaded 2 brightly colored, multi-textured necklaces. She was very proud of her work and so am I. She kept one necklace for herself and gave the other one to me. The necklace she made for me is the best present that anyone has ever given me!!!

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website, “Bead Between The Lines.” I recently added pictures of several necklaces and chokers that I have created. You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And please, take a moment to sign my guestbook

I am also on myspace.