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Spiral seed bead necklace

Drop beads accentuate a sculptural spiral centerpiece.
Spiral seed bead necklace_full
Go for a spin and try out some warm tones!
Incorporating large and small seed beads in each round of tubular herringbone causes one side of the rope to “grow” faster than the other, resulting in a spiral. Use drop beads to set off the twists and turns, then finish with a strung necklace or chain neck straps.
 

SUPPLIES

both necklaces

  • nylon beading thread or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #10 or #12

warm-tone strung necklace, 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm)

  • 7 11–12 mm faceted round glass beads (amethyst)
  • 8 7–8 mm accent beads (bronze)
  • 92–96 6 mm gemstone drop beads (amber)
  • 8 5–6 mm round glass beads (marbled red)
  • 30 6/0 seed beads (gold)
  • 10 g 8/0 seed beads (gunmetal)
  • 8 g 11/0 seed beads (rust)
  • 3 g 15/0 seed beads (amethyst)
  • toggle clasp

cool-tone chain necklace, 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 7 11–12 mm faceted round beads (medium blue)
  • 92–96 6 mm glass drop beads (sky blue with AB finish)
  • 8 5–6 mm round beads (light blue)
  • 30 6/0 seed beads (F463A, blue matte metallic iris)
  • 10 g 8/0 seed beads (F463A, blue matte metallic iris)
  • 7 g 11/0 seed beads (Miyuki 11-577, dyed butter cream silver-lined alabaster)
  • 3 g 15/0 seed beads (Miyuki 15-1524, sparkle peony pink-lined crystal)
  • toggle clasp
  • 24 in. (61 cm) 22-gauge wire
  • 15 in. (38 cm) chain, 6 mm links
  • 4 5–6 mm jump rings
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters
INSTRUCTIONS
 
Spiral herringbone rope
Figure
FIGURE 1
Figure 2

1. On a comfortable length of thread or Fireline, pick up two 8/0 seed beads, leaving an 8-in. (20 cm) tail. Sew through both beads again, and position them side by side. Working in ladder stitch, add one bead per stitch: an 11/0 seed bead, a 15/0 seed bead, an 11/0, and an 11/0. Form the ladder into a ring.

2. With your thread exiting the first 8/0 in the ring, work the following rounds in tubular herringbone stitch in a counterclockwise motion. End and add thread as needed.

Round 2: Pick up an 8/0, a 6 mm drop bead, and an 8/0, and sew down through the next 8/0 in the ring and up through the following 11/0 (FIGURE 1, right, a–b). Pick up an 11/0 and a 15/0, and sew down through the next 15/0 in the ring and up through the following 11/0 (b–c). Pick up two 11/0s, and sew down through the next 11/0 in the ring and up through the following 8/0. Step up through the first 8/0 added in this round (c–d).

Round 3: Pick up an 8/0, an 11/0, and an 8/0, and sew down through the next 8/0 in the previous round and up through the following 11/0. Continue working the round in tubular herringbone stitch following the established bead pattern, and step up through the first 8/0 added in this round (d–e).

Rounds 4–26: Alternate between rounds 2 and 3.

Round 27: Work a round following the established bead pattern, but substitute an 11/0 for the 15/0.

3. Repeat rounds 2–27 five times, then work rounds 2–26 again. Work a round without adding a drop bead or an 11/0 between the 8/0s. To stabilize the last round, work a herringbone stitch thread path through the beads without adding any new beads.

4. With your thread exiting the first 8/0 in the last round, pick up three 11/0s, and sew down through the 15/0 across from it on the rope. Retrace the thread path to reinforce the three beads just added, and end the thread. Repeat on the other end of the rope.


STRUNG NECKLACE

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread or Fireline, attach a stop bead, leaving a 24-in. (61 cm) tail. Pick up an 8/0, a 6/0 seed bead, an 8/0, a 5–6 mm round bead, an 8/0, a 6/0, an 8/0, and a 7–8 mm accent bead. Repeat this bead pattern three times.

2. Sew through the three 11/0s on one end of the spiral herringbone rope.

3. Pick up an 8/0, a 6/0, an 11–12 mm faceted round bead, a 6/0, and an 8/0. Sew through the first 11/0 in the column of 15/0s on the rope with your needle pointing toward the other end of the rope (PHOTO 1, below).

4. Repeat step 3 five times, sewing through each subsequent 11/0 in the column of 15/0s and repositioning the rope so it spirals around the beads in the same direction. Repeat once more, but sew through the three 11/0s on the other end of the rope.

5. Pick up the bead pattern from step 1 to work the second side of the necklace as a mirror image of the first.

6. Pick up six 11/0s, half of the clasp, and four 11/0s. Sew back through the first two 11/0s picked up.

7. Sew through all the strung beads on this side of the necklace, and continue through the three 11/0s at this end of the rope. Sew through a round of beads in the rope, then sew back through the three end 11/0s. Sew back through all the strung beads on this side of the necklace, and retrace the thread path through the clasp connection. Sew through a few beads on this side of the necklace, and end the working thread.

8. Remove the stop bead, and use the tail to repeat steps 6 and 7 on the other end of the necklace.

Close up strung necklace
PHOTO 1

Side view
Chain necklace

1. Add thread or Fireline to one end of the spiral herringbone rope, and work steps 2–4 of “Strung necklace.” End the thread.

2. Cut a 3 1⁄2-in. (8.9 cm) piece of chain. 

3. Determine where you would like to attach a bead connector, and cut the chain at that point. Determine where you would like to attach a second connector, and cut the chain at that point, creating three chain segments.

4. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 22-gauge wire, and make the first half of a wrapped loop on one end. Slide an end link of one chain segment into the loop, and complete the wraps. String a 5–6 mm round bead on the wire, and make the first half of a wrapped loop. Slide an end link of another chain segment into the loop, and complete the wraps. 

5. Repeat step 4 to attach the second bead connector to the chain.

6. Repeat steps 2–5 three times to make a total of four chains with two bead connectors each.

7. Open a 5–6 mm jump ring, and attach the end links of two chains and the three 11/0s on one end of the rope. Use another 5–6 mm jump ring to attach the remaining end links of the chains and half of the clasp. 

8. Repeat step 7 to attach the remaining chains and half of the clasp to the other end of the rope.

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