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Warp speed bracelet

Accelerate loomwork projects with a clever new technique

Finishing the long warp threads at the end of a loomwork project can be time-consuming and tedious. This inspired technique eliminates those threads, giving loomed beadwork a tantalizing new appeal. Sewing the ends into tubes to accommodate a custom-made slide clasp gives this piece a unique, contemporary look. 

SUPPLIES

  • Japanese seed beads, size 11/0, 5g each of 4 colors
  • Power Pro 20 lb. test or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
  • loom (see editor's note)
  • 2 1 1/4 in. (6mm) dowels 6-in. (15cm) long (optional)
  • 4 cords to attach dowels to loom (optional)
  • 2 strong rubber bands (optional)
  • chainnose pliers
  • clasp
  • 8 in. (20cm) 18-gauge wire, round or twisted

INSTRUCTIONS

Warp speed bracelet fig 1
Figure 1
Warp speed bracelet a
Photo a

You must know the length of the project before you add the warp threads to the loom. There are about 12 rows of beads per inch (2.5cm) of length.

Set up the loom

1. Tie a 2-yd. (1.8m) length of thread on the loom or a dowel with a surgeon’s knot.

2. Pick up a size 11/0 seed bead and slide it up to the knot. Hold the bead in place and bring the thread around the back of the loom. Go through the loop of thread right next to the 11/0 and tighten the thread so it is snug against the loom (FIGURE 1 and PHOTO A).

Warp speed bracelet b
Photo b

3. Repeat step 2 until you have lined up enough beads to equal the desired width of the bracelet and add two extra beads. My design is 21 beads wide, so I used 23 beads to create the correct number of spaces (PHOTO B).

Warp speed bracelet c
Photo c

Set up the warp

1. Thread a needle onto a spool of Power Pro or Fireline. Sew through the first 11/0 at the top of the loom.

2. Skip the first 11/0 on the bottom of the loom and sew through the second 11/0. Skip the second 11/0 at the top of the loom and sew through the third 11/0 (PHOTO C).

3. Continue setting up the warp threads this way, pulling more thread off the spool as you need it. Exit the last bead on the top. Leave 24-in. (61cm) tails on each end to use for the clasp. Wrap the tails around the dowel to keep them out of the way, and tape the ends.

Warp speed bracelet d
Photo d

Weave the pattern

1. Start with a 4-yd. (3.7m) length of thread and tie it to the first warp thread, leaving a 6-in. (15cm) tail to weave in later. Bring the needle under the warp threads.

2. Using one of the patterns shown, string the first row of beads and slide them up to the knot. Push the beads up through the warp threads and sew back through all the beads (PHOTO D).

3. Follow the pattern, keeping the tension even and the beads snug.

4. When you finish the pattern, secure the tails with half-hitch knots between a few beads. Snip the threads that hold the base row of beads in place. Every other bead will fall away, leaving a staggered pattern.

Warp speed bracelet fig 2
Figure 2

5. If the bracelet is long enough, you can simply sew the end rows together to make a cuff. You can also finish off the ends with a sliding clasp. To start, weave a bead between each bead on the end row using the 24-in. tail (FIGURE 2, a-b). 

6. Work five rows in square stitch, adding two beads with each stitch (b-c).

For complete project instructions, click here to download & print this PDF

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