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Dragon heads necklace

Two dragon heads meet nose-to-nose in a fanciful choker
Dragon heads bracelet
Wear your fantasy pet dragon around your neck for protection against spells.

My attempts to stitch a beaded acorn resulted in a design for a one-headed dragon. The discovery of the ball-tipped neckwire and a suggestion from my husband created Red-Eyed Reg, a two-headed dragon.

SUPPLIES

Necklace 16 in. (41 cm)

  • 4 4 mm fire-polished 
  • beads or round crystals
  • 4 8/0 seed beads
  • 11/0 seed beads
  • 30 g color A
  • 25 g color B
  • 5 g 11/0 cylinder beads
  • Add-A-Bead rigid 1 mm 
  • gold-plated neckwire (in the U.S., crystalcorners.com; in the United Kingdom, beadsdirect.co.uk)
  • nylon beading thread, size D, conditioned with bees- wax or Thread Heaven, or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12

INSTRUCTIONS

Dragon heads bracelet Figure 1
Figure 1

Dragon heads

1. On 4 yd. (3.7 m) of thread or Fireline, pick up a color A 11/0 seed bead and a color B 11/0 seed bead, leaving a 4-ft. (1.2 m) tail. Sew through both beads again.

2. Working in ladder stitch, work one stitch with a B and one stitch with an A. Turn the ladder, if necessary, so your thread exits an end bead pointing up (FIGURE 1, point a).

3. Work in flat herringbone stitch as follows:

Row 2: Pick up an A and a B, and sew down through the next B in the ladder. Sew up through the following B in the ladder, pick up a B and an A, and sew down through the next A (a–b). To hide the thread while making the turn, sew up through the second-to-last bead in the previous row and up through the last bead of the current row (b–c).

Rows 3–8: Work six more rows of herringbone, following the pattern established in row 2, for a total of eight rows including the ladder row.

Row 9: Begin working an increase: Pick up two As, and complete the first stitch. Pick up a B, and sew up through the next B. Pick up two As, and complete the last stitch (d–e).

Row 10: Complete the increase: Pick up two As, and complete the first stitch. Pick up two Bs, and sew through the next A in the previous row. Pick up two As, and complete the third stitch (e–f).

Rows 11–13: Pick up two As in the first stitch, two Bs in the second stitch, and two As in the third stitch (f–g).

Row 14: Begin working an increase: Pick up two As in the first stitch. Pick up a B, and sew up through the next B. Pick up two Bs in the next stitch. Pick up a B, and sew up through the next A. Pick up two As in the last stitch (g–h).

Row 15: Complete the increase: Pick up two As in the first stitch, two Bs in the second, third, and fourth stitches, and two As in the last stitch (h–i).

Rows 16–19: Work four rows of herringbone (i–j).

Dragon heads bracelet Figure 2
Figure 2

Row 20: Work a decrease: Pick up two As in the first stitch. Pick up a B in the second stitch. Pick up two Bs in the third stitch. Pick up a B in the fourth stitch. Pick up two As in the last stitch (FIGURE 2, a–b).

Row 21: Continue the decrease: Pick up two As in the first stitch. Sew through the next B, and continue up through the next B. Snug up the beads. Pick up two Bs in the next stitch. Sew through the next two Bs, and up through the next A. Snug up the beads. Pick up two As in the last stitch (b–c).

Row 22: Pick up two As in the first stitch. Pick up a B, and sew through the first B added in row 20 from left to right. Sew back through the B just added from right to left, and then sew up through the next B. Pick up two Bs in the next stitch. Pick up a B, and sew through the second B added in row 20 and the B just added, then sew up through the next A. Pick up two As in the next stitch (c–d).

Row 23: Work the first stitch with two As, and sew through the next two Bs in row 22. Work a stitch with two Bs, sew through the next B and A in row 22, and work a stitch with two As (d–e).

Dragon heads bracelet a
Photo a
Dragon heads bracelet b
Photo b

Row 24: Work a row of herringbone, picking up two As in the first stitch, two Bs in the second stitch, and two As in the third stitch (e–f and PHOTO A). Do not end the threads. Set the base aside.

4. On 3 yd. (2.7 m) of thread or Fireline, leaving a 4-ft. (1.2 m) tail, make a second dragon’s head base.

5. Stack the two dragons’ head bases, and, using the working thread from the second base, sew the two bases together using a square stitch thread path, connecting the edge beads of 13 rows (between rows 12 and 24). Sew through the beadwork to the other edge, and repeat the connection (PHOTO B). End the working thread, and trim.

6. Make a second dragon’s head. Set it aside.

Twisted tubular herringbone rope

1. Using the working thread from the first dragon’s head, work in twisted tubular herringbone to stitch a rope approximately 131⁄2 in. (34.3 cm) long. Match your stitches to the color rotation on the dragon’s neck: AA, BB, AA, AA, BB, AA. End and add thread as needed.

2. To attach the second dragon’s head to the herringbone rope, align the second head to match the stitches on the rope, and sew through each pair of beads on the second head, continuing the pattern on the rope. Make sure the dragons’ heads mirror each other when positioned at the rope ends. If needed, add rounds to the rope to correctly position the dragons’ heads.

Dragon heads bracelet Figure 3
Figure 3
Dragon heads bracelet Figure 4
Figure 4
Dragon heads bracelet c
Photo c
Dragon heads bracelet d
Photo d
Dragon heads bracelet e
Photo e
Dragon heads bracelet f
Photo f

Face embellishments

Embellish the convex side of both dragons’ heads.

Upper lip

1. Using the tail from the top dragon’s snout, pick up three As, and sew through the A on the other edge (FIGURE 3, a–b).

2. Zigzag through the two end Bs just skipped and the edge A again (b–c). Sew through the three As added in the first step, and the next 17 As along the upper lip (c–d).

Ears

1. Using the tail from the upper lip, work in brick stitch as follows. The orange-colored beads in figure 3 indicate where the ears should be attached.

Row 1: Work four stitches: an A and a B; a B; an A; an A (FIGURE 4, a–b).

Row 2: Work four stitches: an A and a B; a B; an A; an A (b–c).

Row 3: Work three stitches: two As; a B; an A (c–d).

Row 4: Work three stitches: an A and a B; an A; an A (d–e).

Rows 5–8: Work two stitches per row: two As; an A (e–f).

Row 9: Work one stitch with two As (f–g).

Row 10: Pick up three As, and sew through the first A added in the previous row (g–h and PHOTO C).

2. Sew down through the edge beads and across the top of the head to exit the corresponding edge bead on the other side of row 17. Make a second ear to mirror the first.

Eyes

1.
Sew through the beadwork to exit an A at the point where the second increase began in the dragon’s head (FIGURE 3, red-colored beads). Pick up a 4 mm fire-polished bead, and sew through the Bs in the center stitch.

2. Position a second 4 mm above the other increase stitch (FIGURE D).

Topknot

1.
Sew through the beadwork to exit a B two rows above the eyes and between the ears (figure 3, blue-colored beads). Pick up two Bs, sew through the two Bs in the herringbone stitch, and through the first B just added.

2. Pick up three Bs, and sew down through the second B added in step 1 to make a picot (FIGURE E). End the thread, and trim.

Lower lip and teeth

1.
Using the remaining tail from the lower jaw, repeat steps 1 and 2 of the upper lip, but do not sew through the 17 edge beads.

2. With your thread exiting the end A of the lower jaw, pick up a cylinder, and sew around the thread bridge between the first and second A of the upper lip (FIGURE 3, yellow-colored beads). Sew back through the cylinder and through the second A of the lower lip (FIGURE F).

3. Repeat, adding nine more cylinders between the lips. Reinforce the teeth by ladder stitching the cylinders together. Sew through the beadwork to the other side of the dragon’s face.

4. Repeat step 2 to add cylinders to the other side of the dragon’s mouth.

Nostrils

With your thread exiting an A at the end of the snout, pick up an 8/0 seed bead, and sew through the next two Bs in the center of row 1. Pick up another 8/0, and sew through an end A. Sew back through a B and the second 8/0, and connect the two 8/0s with a ladder stitch (FIGURE G).

Whiskers

With the thread exiting a B in the center stitch at the end of the snout between rows 1 and 2, pick up 14 As. Sew through an A 12 beads from the end of the snout (FIGURE H), and back through the As picked up in this step. Repeat on the other side of the snout. End the thread, and trim.

Assembly

Remove the ball end of the neckwire. Slide the neckwire through the beaded tube. Replace the ball end of the neckwire.

Dragon heads bracelet g
Photo g
Dragon heads bracelet h
Photo h

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