Beaded Ropes for Visual Learners
If you’re like me, you learn beading the best when someone shows you exactly what to do. It’s why beading classes endure, and video tutorials are on the rise. Beadwork has a great catalog of video tutorials to help those of us who understand better when we see the weave in action. We have all this great knowledge at our fingertips, so I went through Beadwork magazine’s video tutorials and hand-picked three lessons that teach beaded ropes: one of my favorite things to bead. Join me on this beaded rope video journey!
Carol Cypher: Polygon Stitch 101 Course
Carol Cypher is an excellent teacher! In her Polygon Stitch 101 course, she uses mental tricks like using unexpected words (bead “flavor,” instead of color) and comparing beading to cooking to help her students pay attention and follow the beaded rope pattern. Beaders love suggestions, and Carol has LOTS of great tips that I had never heard before, such as using the Tulip beading awl to break a mis-stitched bead. (I’ve always just crushed them with my pliers, and I’ve wrecked my thread many times doing so!)
Carol offers a practical approach to polygon stitch, and she tells some good stories along the way. I love working with tools, so using a dowel rod to hold the beaded rope steady really appeals to me. It’s nice to have something to hold on to! I’m looking forward to taking my polygon stitch beaded rope skills to the next level in Carol’s second course, Beyond the Basics of Polygon Stitch.
Beaded Ropes Collection
If you’re looking for a beaded ropes collection that has a little bit of everything, look no further! Our Beaded Ropes Collection is stacked high with 5 great videos that will teach you 9 different beaded ropes. You can’t beat the price when products are bundled together like this, but these videos are available à la carte as well. This wonderfully curated beaded rope smorgasbord contains:
• Beadwork magazine former senior editor and “Stitch Pro” Jean Campbell’s two beaded ropes in her video shorts How to Work Chenille Stitch and How to Work Tubular Peyote Stitch with Two-Hole Beads. With a combined 18 minutes in these video tutorials, I know I’ll be able to find the time to learn these beaded rope stitches. I’m excited to try one of the newer stitches to the beaded rope scene, chenille stitch. In the tubular peyote stitch video, you work a beaded rope with two-hole beads, providing a fun and interesting challenge — and I expect the rope to work up nice and fast.
• 2013 Beadwork magazine Designer of the Year Jill Wiseman’s power-packed Beaded Ropes video teaches five beaded tope techniques! Learn the tubular variations of peyote stitch, herringbone, right-angle weave, netting, and spiral beaded ropes. Jill’s videos have a lot of great tips on how to start and finish beaded ropes, which is always the hardest part.
• Cubic Right-Angle Weave with Marcia DeCoster: Prismatic Right-Angle Weave and More Shaping Techniques. Did you know that you can create a cubic-right-angle-weave beaded rope with various numbers of sides, and it’s called prismatic right-angle weave? I can’t wait to try it! Marcia teaches some really great techniques for managing your thread, including how to prevent tangles and easily work with doubled thread. Take this technique to the next level and learn how to work increases and decreases to create even more interesting shapes in your beaded ropes.
• Diamondback Bangle by Katie Wall. You can make this addicting bead crochet pattern in tons of colors. As she stitches Katie’s pattern, Barb Switzer zooms in close so you can see how to start the crocheted beaded rope — so if you’re not an expert crocheter, fear not! Barb gets down to the basics and explains how to read a chart so you won’t make stringing pattern mistakes.
Tubular Netting: Exploring Sculptural Techniques with Nancy Cain
One of the first beaded rope stitches I learned was tubular netting, so it holds a place near and dear to my heart. In her video Tubular Netting: Exploring Sculptural Techniques, Nancy Cain elevates simple tubular netting techniques into the sublime! She teaches the basics of tubular netting, in case you’re new to the technique, and she goes even deeper with embellishments (externally and INTERNALLY) and how to sculpt and create interesting shapes with the stitch. My favorite patterns in Nancy’s designs are the spirals. She explains the nature of spirals in beaded ropes and shows how you can enhance them with different sizes and shapes of beads. So far I’ve only made a very simple beaded rope with tubular netting, but with Nancy’s guidance, I’ll be able to make some absolutely gorgeous necklaces that people will stop me in the streets over!
Whether you decide to bundle up and dive in head first with all of the videos I have chosen, or cherry pick your projects to sample beaded rope making, you’ll love the gratification you get when you finish a beaded rope!
—Meredith Steele, Beadwork technical editor
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