How to Stitch Russian Spiral, Free Instructions

In the late 1990s, a handful of Russian-language beadwork books hit the United States. Beaders here went wild, deciphering the instructions despite the language barrier, because they were so excited to try techniques they had never seen before. The leaves, fringes, chains, and ropes that graced the pages of these books would forever be known as “Russian” to beaders, including this lovely Russian spiral rope.

Russian spiral is one of the easiest spiral ropes to do, and it’s also versatile. You can interchange bead color, size, and type fairly easily for dramatically different results. And because you add several beads at a time when you stitch, it works up fairly quickly.

MATERIALS & TOOLS

  • Size 11° seed beads (A)
  • Size 8° seed beads (B)
  • Size D nylon or 6 lb braided beading thread Scissors
  • Beading needle

Round 1: Place the needle on the thread and string {1B and 3A} three times, leaving a short tail to weave in later. Tie a knot with the working and tail threads to form a tight circle. Pass through the first B strung (Fig. 1). Note: In this example, the A beads are purple and B beads are green.

How to Stitch Russian Spiral

Fig. 1

Round 2: String 3A and 1B, then pass through the next B of Round 1; repeat twice (Fig. 2).

How to Stitch Russian Spiral

Fig. 2

Rounds 3 and on: String 3A and 1B, skip the nearest 3A, then pass through the next B of the previous round; repeat to the desired length (Fig. 3). Note: There is no step-up with this technique, as the nets created with each stitch just continue to spiral up like a staircase.

How to Stitch Russian Spiral

Fig. 3

Try This!

  • We’ve used size 11° and size 8° beads in this sample to accentuate the spiral in this rope, but you may use just about any combination of bead sizes for nice results. Just be careful one size of bead isn’t so small that it slips inside the holes of the other beads.
  • Slowly increase the number of size 11° beads between the size 8° beads to form a cone, as I’ve done in the black/silver sample on page 14. For extra interest, pepper in long magatamas to make a spiky cone, as in the purple/gold sample.
  • For a very boxy chain, use bugle beads instead of the 3A in each net.

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2 Comments

  1. Ursel H at 7:59 am March 26, 2017

    I love Russian Spiral, thanks for the refresher. But to which issue are you referring?

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