Secret Bead Along – Prep Work

With just a few days to go before the project starts properly I really need to get a move on with my prep work, but it is causing me a few problems…

finished bead work rivoli My first rivoli went quite well, the instructions in the pattern are very clear and easy to follow. But in a rush to get my son of to his kayak lessons I had left the ends to do later.

So with the brief trip to the lake over I went back to my beading. Even though I had a meter of thread left I thought it might be best to knot it as if I had finished the thread, then if the worst happened in another part I could happily cut it off and add a new thread.

Then came tying off the tail end. I popped the needle onto the tail and weaved it through a few beads.

one lost delica bead in the beadworkIt was at this point I realised just how tight my tension was,  I had problems tying off the thread. When I finally got the needle through where I wanted I heard a rather soul destroying crunch that was one of the delicas breaking.

Yes I was a little gutted but learn from your mistakes I’ll start again and this time I’ll knot the tail end before I get onto beading in the 15’s. That way the tension won’t be as tight and I’ll not risk the same happening again.

3 rows of delicas So starting again, I got all three rows of delica done and knotted off the tail. that wasn’t going anywhere, I was happy and continued with the beading. It did make the whole thing a little tighter going round but it was manageable.

Then onto the 15’s, I did the two rounds for the front and weaved through to the back. I checked at this point to see if the rivoli was going to fit and it was lucky I did because if I had done the first round of 15’s on the back I wouldn’t have been able to fit the rivoli in.

first row of size 15 beads to tighten up the bezel settingI completed the first rivoli again and this time opted not to knot the longer end, after all I didn’t really need to I was only going to so I had it secured if needed when I might make a mistake in the next steps. I’ll just have to try and not make a mistake.

Onto the second one, feeling a little more confident now, knotting the tail after the delica rounds again. I think this one may have been a little tighter though because as I was zipping up the back part I crunched one of the 15’s. Typically it had to be one from the bezel and not from the bit I had just stitched or I could have just worked backwards a little.

So start again on that one, but I was over stressed at this point and after knotting the tail I found that I hadn’t even stitched the delicas right. (answers on a postcard on how you mess up peyote) I had to stop for a bit.

Now we are just a couple of days away from the first days instructions being released and I only have one rivoli prepped. On the facebook page Jean has told me not to worry as I can always do a rivoli a day with my normal beading but I hope that I can get a few more done before Saturday.

The moral of the story

Check your tension. It’s a lot easier to tighten up slightly loose bead work than it is to try and force a needle through a stitch that is too tight!

National Beading Week

NBW LogoFrom 25th July to 2nd August beaders will be getting stuck into projects for National Beading Week.

Bought to us by the Beadworkers Guild the incentive can help you find that mojo, try new things or get into beadwork for the first time.

The national beading week website has some great links to projects that you can take part in, my regular bead group, Barmy Bassingham Beaders, (it’s “that” half of the room that are the barmy lot, sometimes we do wonder what is going on.) will be running an extra session on 1st August at Aubourn Enterprise Centre. If you are local and interested you are welcome to come and meet us all.

One of the things that we will be doing is a secret bead along from Jean Power, she has created a pattern as a set of instructions where we receive a part of the project step by step each day throughout national beading week. The idea being that you have no idea what you are making until the last day when you put it all together.

Since Rivolis were the only thing I needed to buy for the project (I usually bezel my own lampwork cabochons) I spent a little while choosing a colour and settled on Tanzanite thinking that I would be able to easily make a colour combination with the rest of the beads I did have.

This morning I have spent probably longer than I should deciding which beads I am going to use. With a little help from my husband I picked out these;
seed beads, rivolis, delicas and all other types of beads ready for the secret bead along

  • Slate grey delicas
  • Matte black 11’s
  • Purple pearls
  • Teal bicones
  • Iris blue super duos
  • Iris gold 15’s
  • Iris blue 15’s

I’m a little undecided on the 15’s at the moment I’m not sure if I want to do them as all in the iris blue, all in the iris gold or split in half. This is probably the only disadvantage of not knowing what I’m making because I can’t visualise the colours in the finished piece. I’m quite attracted the iris gold though as it gives more of a contrast overall.

If you are interested in the secret bead along you can find the instructions on Jean’s website, the pattern is only £5.

Of course if you are completely new to beadweaving don’t feel left out by wondering how on earth you are supposed to make a start, here are some great free instructions on peyote stitch or if you are really serious about learning all the wonders of tiny beads you can join the guild for access to lots of stitch resources or get yourself an in depth book like Mastering Beadwork.

I’m off to make a start on the prep work now, are you taking part? what colours do you opt for?