I got started as a bead weaver after finally finishing a bead kit I had bought many years back at a big box store. It was a basic spiral rope pattern although it did not explain that….I had a lot of fun figuring out how to complete the kit, despite its vague instructions. After it was finished I was hooked on bead weaving.
Bead weaving is fascinating to me as it is like solving a puzzle – but once the puzzle is solved you have a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear! I have taken my jewelry making skills and designs up a step from just stringing and wire-work to creating intricate woven pieces with tiny seed beads that come in so many shapes, sizes, colors and finishes. The tiny beads are addictive and I want all of them!
I am teaching myself the following list of off-loom bead weaving stitches by making a jewelry piece using each one. So far I have learned peyote, herringbone, spiral herringbone, RAW, and look forward to sharing each of those projects with you. Each stitch or pattern I learn allows me to realize how the thread path will change the position and pattern of the beads. I hope someday I will be able to create my own designs by combining the stitches.
For beginners to bead weaving, I suggest starting as I did with a simple spiral rope as it is an easy pattern to follow and only requires 2 or 3 colors of seed beads. This project familiarizes beaders with working with a thread and needle, holding tension, and stopping and starting your thread. Adding a simple toggle clasp is easy to learn on a spiral rope, just remember reinforcing the thread is important to durability. The next stitch to learn is definitely peyote stitch which is a highly versatile stitch and once mastered you will find it easy to learn the rest.