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Soft symmetry

Drape a cloth-like band of beads around your wrist
Softsymmetryhero
Beadwork stitched in right-angle weave is fluid like fabric and can be manipulated in much the same way. In this bracelet, small folds in the beadwork coupled with gradated colors mimic an embroidery technique called smocking.

SUPPLIES

bracelet 8 in. (20 cm)

  • size 11/0 Japanese seed beads
    • 2g color A (lightest color) 
    • 4 g in each of 4 colors: B, C, D, and E (darkest color)
  • toggle clasp
  • Fireline 6 lb. test, or nylon beading thread, size D, conditioned with beeswax or Thread Heaven
  • beading needles, #12
SoftsymmetryFigure1
Figure 1

INSTRUCTIONS

Band

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of Fireline or conditioned thread, pick up two color C 110 seed beads, a color B 11/0 seed bead, and a C, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Tie the beads into a ring with a square knot, and sew through the first three beads again (FIGURE 1, a–b).

 

2. Work in right-angle weave as follows:

Row 2: Pick up two Bs and a C. Sew through the B your thread exited at the start of this stitch and the first B just picked up (b–c). Pick up three Cs, and sew through three beads in the previous stitch (c–d). Pick up two Cs and a B. Sew through the C in the previous stitch and the beads just picked up (d–e).


Row 3:
Pick up three Bs. Sew through the B your thread exited at the start of this stitch and the Bs just picked up (e–f). Pick up three Cs. Sew through three Bs in the previous stitch as shown (f–g). Work three more stitches to complete the row (g–h).


SoftsymmetryFigure2
Figure 2

Rows 4 and 5: Continue working in right-angle weave, incorporating color A 11/0 seed beads as shown. Each row increases by two stitches as in rows 2 and 3 (h–i and i–j).
 

Rows 6–17: Continue following the pattern in FIGURE 2, incorporating color D and E 11/0 seed beads as shown.

3. Repeat rows 6–17 five times. End and add thread as needed.

 

4. Taper the end of the bracelet as a mirror image of rows 1–5.

 
SoftsymmetryFigure3
Figure 3

Smocking

1. Weave through the center of the end of the bracelet, beginning at the C at the tip of the bracelet and exiting the C at the other end of the diamond-shaped pattern (FIGURE 3, a–b)

 

2. Skip three rows, and sew through the C at the tip of the next diamond-shaped pattern (b–c). Sew back through the previous C (c–d). Pull the thread tight, and cinch the two Cs together, creating a fold in the beadwork below the tips of the diamond-shaped patterns. 

 

3. Retrace the thread path between the two Cs, and sew through the beadwork to exit the C at the opposite end of the diamond-shaped pattern.


4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 along the length of the bracelet, exiting the C at the tip of the last pattern.

 
SoftsymmetryFigure4
Figure 4

Edging and finishing

1. Using Es, work four right-angle weave stitches (FIGURE 4, a–b). Sew back through the stitches to reinforce the strip, and continue through the next C (b–c).

 

2. Using Es, work nine square stitches (Basics) along the diagonal edge (c–d).

 

3. Pick up an E, and sew through the next two edge beads (d–e). Repeat along the edge of the band. To keep the tension tight, sew through a ring of beads on the band after every fifth bead added (e-f).

 

4. Repeat step 2 to square stitch Es along the next diagonal edge. Sew through the C at this end of the band. 

 

5. Repeat steps 1–4 along the remaining edges.

 

 

 
SoftsymmetryFigure5

6. Sew through the Es along a diagonal and the next E (FIGURE 5, a–b). Pick up two Es, and sew through the next E (b–c). Repeat along the length of the band. 

 

7. Repeat step 6 on the other side of the band.

SoftsymmetryPhoto

8. Slide the strip at one end through the loop of half of the clasp. Sew the end of the strip to the back of the band (PHOTO). Repeat on the other end. Secure the working thread and tails with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

 

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