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Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace

Make a statement of quiet elegance with cylinder beads, pearls, and fire-polished beads in a monochromatic palette.

Fire-polished beads inserted between rows of spiraling cylinder beads take you beyond standard Ndebele herringbone stitch. A blend of playfulness and precision, this subtly asymmetrical necklace is as beautiful as it is intriguing. 

 

SUPPLIES

necklace 20 in. (51cm) 

  • Nymo B, conditioned with beeswax or Thread Heaven
  • beading needles, #12
  • 5–7 stick pearls
  • 130–140 4mm Czech fire-polished beads
  • 10g Japanese cylinder beads, in each of 2 colors: A, B

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace Figure 1
FIGURE 1
Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace Figure 2
FIGURE 2
Side one, spiral tube

1. On 2 yd. (1.8m) of conditioned Nymo, leave a 6-in. (15cm) tail, and pick up two color A and two color B cylinder beads. Sew through all four beads again in the same direction. Alternating pairs of As and Bs, work in ladder stitch until you have a two-bead ladder that is eight beads long (FIGURE 1). Join the ladder into a ring by sewing through the first two As, the last two Bs, and the first two As again. 

2. Work the next rounds as follows: 

Round 3: Work one round of tubular Ndebele herringbone stitch, using an A and a B in each stitch.
Rounds 4–65: Working in spiral herringbone, pick up an A and a B, sew down through the next B, and continue up through two As in the next stack (FIGURE 2, a–b). Repeat around for four stitches (b–c). 

At the end of 65 rounds, the tube is approximately half the length it will be when finished. If you wish to adjust the length of the necklace, make this section longer or shorter as desired.

Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace Figure 3
FIGURE 3
Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace Figure 4
FIGURE 4
Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace Figure 5
FIGURE 5
Spiral transcendence herringbone necklace Figure 6
FIGURE 6
Fire-polished embellishment
Continue working in spiral herringbone as follows:

Round 66: Work the first stitch, but sew down through two Bs and come up through three As (FIGURE 3, a–b). This creates an opening where you’ll insert a 4mm fire-polished bead on the next round. Complete the round (b–c).

Round 67: Work the first half of the first stitch (c–d). Pick up a 4mm, and sew up through two As in the next stack (d–e). Complete the round (e–f).

Round 68: Work the first stitch, but sew through two Bs and the 4mm, and continue up through three As on the next stack (FIGURE 4, a–b). Work the second stitch, and, following the method used in round 66, create an opening for a 4mm (b–c). Complete the round (c–d).

Round 69: Work the first stitch, retracing the thread path through the 4mm as in the previous round (FIGURE 5, a–b). Work the second stitch, adding a 4mm (b–c). Complete the round (c–d).

Round 70: Work the first stitch, sewing down through one B and up through two As on the next stack (FIGURE 6, a–b). Sew back down through the second B from the top on the previous stack, continue through the two As of the next stack (b–c), and tighten to close up the gap above the 4mm. Work the second stitch, retracing the path through the 4mm (c–d). Work the third stitch, leaving an opening for the next 4mm (d–e). Work the fourth stitch (e–f).

Round 71: Work the first stitch. Work the second stitch, retracing the path through the 4mm. Work the third stitch, adding a 4mm. Work the fourth stitch.

Round 72: Work the first stitch. Work the second stitch, closing the gap above the second 4mm. Work the third stitch, retracing the path through the 4mm. Work the fourth stitch, creating an opening for the fourth 4mm. 

Round 73: Work two stitches. Work the third stitch, retracing the path through the 4mm. Work the fourth stitch, adding  a 4mm. 

Round 74: Work two stitches. Work the third stitch, closing the gap above the third 4mm. Work the fourth stitch, retracing the path through the 4mm.

Round 75: Work the first stitch, creating an opening for a 4mm. Work two stitches. Work the fourth stitch, retracing the path through the 4mm.

Round 76: Work the first stitch, adding a 4mm. Work two stitches. Work the fourth stitch, closing the gap above the 4mm. 

Rounds 77–83: Repeat rounds 68–74.

Round 84: Work three stitches. Work the fourth stitch, retracing the path through the last 4mm.

Round 85: Work three stitches. Work the fourth stitch, closing the gap above the last 4mm as in round 76.

Rounds 86–93: Work in regular spiral herringbone.
Spiral transcendence earrings

Please download the free PDF for the rest of this project, including the instructions on completing the four-sided bead cage, creating the fringe, finishing side two of the spiral tube, and making the bead caps and clasp. 

On the PDF you will also find instructions for making these matching earrings!

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