National beading week is now over, last time I told you all about the prep work I did for the secret bead along a pattern from Jean Power designed especially for the week by giving you a little bit of beading each day.
I surprised myself with this project because I honestly didn’t expect to finish it on time, I had a spare day as our beading group met on the Saturday when the project was scheduled to finish on the Friday and I did end up taking a day off. (more on that later.)
Of course if you have been following me on instagram you’ve had all the photos in real time, my feed has been filled with tiny little beads for a whole week. I did also pop the days photos on my facebook page too but I left out a lot of the details.
With the prep work I had all but two rivolis ready so at the start of day one I opened the instructions up, got out the beads I needed and set to work. Day one was relatively simple and I had it finished quite quickly, and had just enough thread left to knot off the ends. (beaders problems, will the thread last or will you have to add a new one in just for a few stitches.) I very proudly posted my “finished” day one on the secret bead along facebook page, however when I started looking at everyone’s finished pieces I realised that I had missed a row. Thankfully it would be simple to fix, I just had to add a thread in and bead the last row, but not today.
Perhaps my favourite of the whole lot. I loved this from the moment I had added the first bit of fringing. I did have to adjust the pattern slightly as the bicones I used were a little larger than they should have been, but it wasn’t a problem adding in the extra bead. I got so carried away with this one it was finished quite quickly so I beaded another of the rivolis left over from the prep work and left it threaded up ready for the next day.
I did see one of these on the facebook page where all the leaves had been nicely stacked so it looked more like a pinwheel. I’m not sure if I like the random or the organised look best, they both have appeal.
Another fairly quick one, a simple design yet very effective. I didn’t fully understand how this was going to turn out as I was beading the first round but it really did all click together when I started the second. It’s a really well thought out design and I think my second favourite of the 5 pendants. I do however regret my seed bead colour choice as the black looked a little dark against the rest of the beadwork, though I was determined not to change my colours at any point as that would have felt like I had cheated a bit. If I make any more of these I would match the colours better and probably try it with an extra round to fill it out more.
As this one was quick I took the opportunity to go back to day one and add in the third round that I had missed. I had to bring the new thread in from the 15’s at the back of the rivoli as it was to tight to bring it in from the 11’s where I had finished the second row but I don’t think that mattered as it doesn’t seem to affect how the beads sit. This is probably one of those designs that looks great either way (2 or 3 rounds of fringing. It obviously works with 2 as I didn’t originally notice there was anything wrong.) the full pendant does really stand out a lot more though the rivoli is more obvious when there are only two rounds of fringing.
Then onto the first time I encountered any issues. This looked simple enough to start with and round one was done in no time but as soon as I got to round two I started to have a few problems. First I read the pattern wrong and attempted a thread path that didn’t really work at all. I had also ended up beading at the back of the piece so I needed to bring my thread back round to the front. Second attempt and reading the pattern right this time it was a lot easier to follow though it was quite fiddly to stitch.
Then I had a rest day, I had intended to prep up that last rivoli but instead I had a day off entirely.
Another one where I didn’t read the pattern as it was written, round one was really fast and easy, though I couldn’t hazard a guess at what it would look like finished. Round two things started to take shape and then round three made some beautiful petals. I could have left it as it was but there was another, similar, round to do behind it. This is where I failed a bit as I got to a point in the instructions that told me to repeat what I had just done and I had to ask if I was supposed to because it didn’t look like it would work to me. It does work, but I didn’t think it would for me and I left it out and continued with the rest of the pattern. I am probably going to have to get another rivoli to make this one properly or completely unpick it at some point.
Days Six and Seven
These come together as it’s all about the rope, at the end of day 6 I was regretting taking that rest day as I didn’t feel I had got very far with the rope. But I also didn’t want to go too far just in case day 7 yielded another surprise. My day 7 was at our local beading group and I got most of the rope finished and the clasp made but I had to finish it off when I got home as during the group I was also helping other with parts of the pattern and showing them how bits were done. I do really love this rope though, I usually use herringbone as a rope but this is far more interesting and a lot simpler to bead as the path of the thread flows a little easier.
One thing I would change if I did this again would be my thread. I’m a fireline girl and while it didn’t pose too many problems with the pendant parts the rope certainly benefits from a softer thread as it made my rope quite stiff and therefore difficult to get the pendants on where others ropes squished a bit better to allow for easier threading. I probably also needed a longer attachment to the toggle for the clasp.
All in all a very enjoyable week of beading that shows you a little each day can go a long way. I will thank Jean again for a wonderful pattern and all her help throughout the week on the facebook page.
I also read Jeans latest newsletter this morning and am already quite excited at the prospect of doing something like this again next year.
Did you take part in the bead along? Which was your favourite day? Which one did you find the most difficult?