Bead Looming Projects from June/July 2019 Beadwork
The June/July 2019 issue of Beadwork magazine is sure to please the bead loomers out there, and tempt those who have yet to try their hand! Let’s talk about the three bead looming patterns in this issue and learn about this fun and addicting technique.
If you need to brush up on your bead looming knowledge, look no further than the Techniques section found in the back of every issue of Beadwork magazine. Here’s what it says about beaded loomwork:
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for warping your bead loom. Note that you will need one more warp thread than you have number of beads in a row. Tie a thread to an outside warp (tie onto the left warp if you are right-handed or the right warp if you are left-handed). Use a needle to string the first row of beads and slide them down to the knot. Bring the beaded weft thread under the warp threads and push the beads up so that there is one bead between each two warp threads. Hold the beads in place and pass back through all the beads, making sure that the needle passes over the warp threads. End the threads by weaving back through the beadwork, tying knots between beads.
Beach Blanket Bracelet
Susan Pelligra’s fun and summery mini beach blanket demonstrates a clean way to finish beaded loomwork using increases and decreases.
One of the most challenging (and honestly, least fun!) parts about loom weaving is the finishing. It’s so fun to get started and so relaxing while you’re stitching the beads. Then you get to the end and have to finish your weft and warp threads and figure out how to put a clasp on—well, if you’re like me, you have more than a few unfinished pieces in the UFO box!
Susan Pelligra takes the edge off of finishing her beaded loom work by using slide end tubes that are designed to fit over seed beads at the end of beadwork to form a seamless, finished termination. By working an increase and a decrease in the loom work for her pattern, Susan was able to free up the design limitations that using these slide end tubes could have otherwise caused.
Desert Sky Loomed Bracelet
Lindsay Burke’s Desert Sky Loomed Bracelet is a gorgeous wavy little band of beaded loomwork that combines Delica cylinder beads with Swarovski crystal round beads. What really sets this piece apart is the adjustability in the length, a challenge that all bead woven bracelets face.
It’s really frustrating to spend a lot of time stitching a bracelet, just to have it not fit! By using this tube slide clasp and 1mm beading chain, Lindsay cleverly solved the problem of sizing. Finished with short tassels in coordinating blue, it’s a smart solution that looks great.
Garden Party Loomed Lariat
One of my favorite parts about beaded loomwork is how it transforms beads into a textile. It’s like weaving a fabric from beads that you can turn into jewelry, accessories, and decorations. Cindy Kinerson’s Garden Party Lariat is a long, clasp-less, and open-ended necklace that you can loop around and tie in various ways, reminiscent of a fiber art scarf.
The warp threads for this lariat are a braided silk lamè that also lends an artistic and textural feel. Part of the appeal of this project is that the warp threads become a design element, whereas with most beaded loomwork the warp threads are mostly invisible.
Honorable Off-Loom Mentions
From flat peyote stitch to a variation of brick stitch, these three projects may not be woven on a beading loom, but they do all share an aesthetic similar to that of loomed bead weaving.
Wendy Ellsworth’s Agave Cuff uses flat peyote stitch and herringbone stitch to create a three-dimensional geometric band that was inspired by the thorny and spiky plants of the American Southwest. Wendy’s use of color and pattern is very much like the style of a lot of beaded loomwork.
Michelle Gowland’s BARGello Bracelet is also worked in flat peyote stitch, modified to accommodate the two-hole CzechMates Bar beads. It has a slinky feel like loom-woven beadwork does, and has a pattern reminiscent of Bargello needlepoint.
Amy Haftkowycz’s Melon Delight Wrap Bracelet is a beginner-friendly pattern that uses a variation of brick stitch to weave beads between two waxed cotton cords. This fun and unique twist on today’s popular wrap bracelet trend incorporates artistic handmade metal components and stacked beads. I find that this technique is very similar to loom bead weaving, and would be a great introductory project for anybody who likes the style but does not wish to invest too much time or money without trying it first!
Try Bead Looming
I love bead looming in all of its various forms and applications—weaving a textural fabric of beads is relaxing and rewarding. I’m feeling really inspired to get out my bead loom (affiliate link) and get stitching one of these patterns. Will you join me?
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine