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Make an elegant impression with a two-needle technique

This classic design is easy to make, and it adjusts well to a variety of bead choices. Splurge on crystals for an elegant, special-occasion necklace, or use glass beads and pearls for a more casual piece.

necklace 17 in. (43cm)

  • round crystals, pearls, or glass beads
    • 46 6 mm or 5 mm
    • 23–29 4 mm
    • 36–44 3 mm
  • 2g size 11/0 seed beads
  • clasp 
  • DandyLine .006
  • beading needles, #10 or #12
Editor’s note:
Keep your tension as tight as possible while you work. Don’t worry if the beadwork still feels loose. Reinforcing the top and bottom of the motifs (steps 8 and 14) will pull the beads snug.
Figure 1
Click on images to enlarge.
Figure 2

1. Center a 4mm bead, crystal, or pearl on a 2-yd. (1.8m) length of beading cord. Thread a needle on each end.

2. Using the left, or top, needle, pick up an 11/0 seed bead, a 6mm bead, and an 11/0 (FIGURE 1, a–b). Using the right, or bottom, needle, pick up two 11/0s, a 6mm, and an 11/0 (d–e).

3. Cross the needles through a 3mm (b–c and e–f).

4. Continue working both needles as follows:
Top needle: Pick up an 11/0, a 3mm bead, and an 11/0 (FIGURE 2, a–b)
Bottom needle: Pick up an 11/0, a 3mm, an 11/0, a 6mm, an 11/0, a 4mm, an 11/0, a 6mm, and an 11/0 (c–d). Sew through the 3mm again in the same direction (d–e). Keep the tension tight so the beads flip and form a loop next to the previous loop.

Figure 3
Figure 4

5. Pick up an 11/0 with the bottom needle, and cross both needles through a 3mm (FIGURE 3, a–b and c–d).
Top needle: Pick up an 11/0, a 6mm, and an 11/0 (FIGURE 4, a–b).
Bottom needle: Pick up an 11/0, a 6mm, and two 11/0s (i–j).
Both needles: Cross through a 4mm (b–c and j–k). This completes one motif.

6. Pick up two 11/0s on each needle. Hold the needles together, and pick up a 6mm (c–d and k–l). Pick up two 11/0s on each needle (d–e and l–m). Cross through a 4mm (e–f and m–n).

7. Repeat steps 2–6 three times. Then repeat steps 2–5 for a total of five motifs.

Figure 5
Figure 6

8. Using the bottom needle, sew through the two 11/0s and the 6mm of the last motif (FIGURE 5, a–b). Pick up an 11/0, and sew though the 6mm, the 11/0, the 4mm, the 11/0, and the next 6mm (b–c). Pick up an 11/0, and sew through the 6mm, two 11/0s, and the 4mm (c–d). Sew through two 11/0s, the 6mm, two 11/0s, and the next 4mm (d–e).

9. Repeat step 8 across the remaining four motifs. End with your needle exiting the end 4mm on the first motif.

10. Working on one end of the necklace at a time, pick up two 11/0s and a 3mm. Then string the following pattern until the necklace is 1–1½ in. (2.5–3.8cm) shorter than the desired length: String an 11/0, a 4mm, an 11/0, a 3mm, an 11/0, a 6mm, an 11/0, and a 3mm. Tape or clamp the needle on the right side of the necklace so the beads don’t fall off.

11. Using the needle on the left side of the necklace, pick up two 11/0s, a 3mm, and three 11/0s. Sew through the loop or jump ring on a clasp half, pick up three 11/0s, and sew through the 3mm in the same direction to form a loop (FIGURE 6, a–b). Reinforce the loop with a second thread path. Pick up two 11/0s, and sew through the last bead strung in step 10 (b–c).

Figure 7
Figure 8

12. Keep the tension fairly tight so the beads are snug but not stiff, and tie a half-hitch knot. Sew back through the remaining strung beads to the first 3mm (FIGURE 7, point a), tying a few half-hitch knots between beads. Pick up two 11/0s, and sew through the 4mm (FIGURE 7, a–b). Sew through the top two 11/0s (b–c). Tie a half-hitch knot, and sew back through the two new 11/0s and the 4mm (c–d).

13. Using the needle on the right, repeat steps 10–12.

14. To reinforce the top edge of the motifs, continue sewing through the beads as shown (FIGURE 8, a–b). Then sew through the bottom 11/0s and the 6mm to the next 4mm (b–c). Repeat across the remaining motifs. 

15. Secure the threads in the beadwork, and trim the tails.

FIND MORE: necklaces , seed beads , crystals , pearl

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