A New Angle on Right-Angle Weave
Are you someone who is struggling with learning how to do right-angle weave? If so, no worries — you're not alone. The undulating thread path of right-angle weave can be a tough one to wrap your head around, but once you've mastered this
popular off-loom bead-weaving stitch, you'll wonder how you ever did without it!
Learning a New Bead-weaving Stitch
When learning any new off-loom bead-weaving stitch, there are a few things you can do to make it easier, and these also apply for learning right-angle weave.
Use big beads. This is especially true for right-angle weave, where you want to be able to clearly see your thread path as you stitch. It's also easier to hold your beadwork when you use bigger beads (think size 6o seed beads or bigger).
Color matters, too. Using a dark thread with light beads gives you more contrast between your beads and thread, so you can see where your thread is actually going.
Shorter threads for faster beading. A short length of thread is less likely to get tangled. If you're not spending all your time working knots out of your thread, you can better concentrate on your thread path. Using a shorter length of thread also gives you the chance to learn how to add new lengths of thread, another skill that you should master when you're learning how to bead.
For Right-angle Weave, Skip the Seed Beads!
But when I'm teaching right-angle weave to beginners, there's another trick that I use. You may not believe it, but sometimes, it's easier to learn right-angle weave by using any type of bead other than seed beads!
Even when you're using larger seed beads, it can be hard to see the thread path of right-angle weave when you're using just four seed beads for each unit of right-angle weave. So what I like to have my students do is to use bugle beads, 4mm round beads, large fire polished glass beads, or even sets of seed beads for each right-angle weave unit.
Using something like a bugle bead makes each side of the right-angle weave unit more obvious, and makes it easier for my students to see where they need to stitch next. Instead of just visualizing floors and ceilings and walls in your little right-angle weave "apartments", you can actually see them when you use bugle beads!
Another advantage to using these types of beads instead of seed beads is that the beadwork is easier to hold. If you can hold your bead-weaving comfortably, you're more likely to have better tension, and better tension in right-angle weave means that your beads line up properly so you can see your thread path.
Ready to give right-angle weave another go? Don't give up just yet! Once you get the hang of it, you'll find yourself using right-angle weave for all sorts of beautiful beaded jewelry projects.
And if you just happen to need a few new ideas for beaded jewelry projects, then you definitely won't want to miss Favorite Bead Stitches 2012. You'll find thirty-four fantastic beading projects using herringbone stitch, beaded netting, peyote stitch, square stitch, and of course, right-angle weave. Plus, new for 2012, you'll find six brand-new, never-before-published beading projects in this special issue!
Can't wait to get started? Favorite Bead Stitches 2012 is also available as an instant download for your desktop or laptop computer. All the same great content from the print version, but in digital format, and ready for viewing in just minutes! Or you can still order a copy of Favorite Bead Stitches 2012 and find a new favorite beading stitch today.
Do you have any tips for someone trying to learn right-angle weave? Share them here on the blog!