Check out my new range of colourful, sparkly resin bracelets

Check out my new range of colourful, sparkly resin bracelets
These stylish bracelets feature a selection of crystal focals and silver beads and have a strong, crystal-encrusted magnetic clasp, making them perfect for the girl who can't get a regular bangle over her knuckles. They also come in larges sizes for girls with bigger wrists.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

RAW Exploration - Learning valuable lessons

Here's the next bead weaving kit I've made up during my holidays. This one is a variation of the first one I did where the basic pattern has been built on by adding an additional RAW stitch on each side of the main beads, as well as a contrasting bead in the centre. This one is worked with just one needle and whilst I found it easier to manage than the two needles in the first kit, it was harder because you have to work with a longer thread which sometimes gets tangled.


But all in all, it was easy....... except for a tiny little mistake I discovered just before adding the last two RAW stitches on the circle at the end. You can't see anything wrong with the pattern, can you?Well, neither could I..... until I got all the way back to the beginning and noticed that..... after the first round I had forgotten to add the connecting seed beads between each circle. Grrr! I hadn't bothered to read the pattern after the first couple of circles because I thought I had the pattern down pat! Huh! Lesson learned..... FOLLOW the instructions!

OK, no big deal I thought. I'll just undo all my work back to the beginning and start over. It will be good practice. So I patiently undid every stitch so I could reuse the beading thread which came in the kit. There was no extra provided for such an event and being a public holiday meant I couldn't just run out to buy some, so undoing it was a necessity. And all was going well, until I got to within the last three circles and found I had split the thread with the needle. Well, that was the end of that. The thread would be too weak to make a bracelet with it now so I had to put it aside until the shops re-opened.

But when I was finally able to get to the shops I got an even better lesson about beading threads. I hunted high and low for a silk thread fine enough to pass through the seed beads 6 times (required when attaching the clasp). No luck! The ones in stock were all too thick. No worries I thought. I've heard that Nymo is a good thread to use with Miyuki beads so I thought I'd give that a try. It comes in a great range of colours and should be fine enough to pass through the seed beads many times.

But then I got a great piece of advice from the shop owner. She suggested I use Fire Line because it was better suited to a bracelet which has movement in it than Nymo. You can knot it and it comes in different breaking strengths. Then she pulled out of her pocket two 3D seed bead ornaments that she was working on. They were identical to look at, but when she put them in my hand I could immediately tell the difference.... one was soft and flexible and had been made with FireLine. The other was stiff and sturdy and was made out of Spiderwire. For her project, the Spiderwire was the best choice, but for mine, FireLine would be perfect. So home I went with FireLine and before I knew it I had remade the bracelet, this time including the seed bead circles.

This was such a valuable lesson to have learned. Now I can select the right threading material for my projects and feel confident that my bead weaving will not fall apart when it's worn. Aren't mistakes wonderful?!

I'll be back with more bead weaving bracelets later in the week. In the meantime, happy crafting!

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