More Fun With Right-angle Weave: What If…?
Right-angle weave is one of those bead-weaving stitches where I love to ask the question, "What if I…?" You can work right-angle weave with just about any type of bead, so the possibilities for variations are endless. The same goes for embellishing right-angle weave: one of my favorite, easy ways to get creative with right-angle weave is to create a base and then experiment with different embellishment techniques.
Right-angle Weave with Glass Beads. Start your adventures with right-angle weave by doing something easy, like working it using 4mm Czech fire polished beads. You can make up a pretty mesh bracelet pretty quickly with this technique, and if you're not terribly comfortable with the thread path, it helps to be using bigger beads.
You can embellish a right-angle weave bracelet like this in so many ways! My favorite, simple way to add embellishment is to use the "stitch in the ditch" technique where I add something like a crystal button or shaped glass bead cross-wise between two beads, but you can also add some lovely texture by just adding regular seed beads.
Adding Embellishment. If you take your right-angle weave one step further, you can make a base using 3 or 4 beads per side of each unit, and then add larger beads or sets of beads diagonally across each unit. This is another technique that I go back to again and again, as I play with patterns (staggering embellishment), experimenting with different sets and sizes of beads for embellishment, and even playing with shaping my right-angle weave base to make a necklace that drapes nicely across the neckline.
And don't forget about adding embellishment to the bottom of your right-angle weave necklace. You can add loops of fringe, straight fringe, or play with other techniques to add a little something extra to your right-angle weave beading projects.
Easy Shaping Techniques. Believe it or not, the easiest way to shape your right-angle weave doesn't necessarily involve lots of increases and decreases. When you change up the size of your beads from one row to the next, you can achieve graceful curves without making a single increase or decrease. I first tried this technique with a few strands of gemstone beads that I had in my stash, and the result was a fun 1940s-style beaded necklace that I accented with a large carved gemstone flower.
The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to learn more about stitching right-angle weave is what I always say about life: be fearless! Even if you end up ripping out what your beadwork, you can look at it as a successful failure: you might not have achieved what you wanted to at the beginning, but now you know what not to do. Take a deep breath, regroup, and come up with a different plan of attack for your beadwork. And don't take it too seriously — right-angle weave is supposed to be fun, right? Approach it with a light heart, and see how far you get!
Are you ready to learn more about right-angle weave, cubic right-angle weave, and embellishing from a master bead artist? Marcia DeCoster is "the" authority on all things right-angle weave when it comes to stitching beautiful beaded jewelry using this off-loom bead-weaving stitch, and you can learn from her right at home with two of her latest videos, Prismatic Right-angle Weave, and Cubic Right-angle Weave with Marcia DeCoster: Embellishments. Each one can be downloaded individually to your favorite desktop or laptop computer so that you can start beading right away, or pre-order both videos on one convenient DVD to watch anywhere, anytime you want to learn more.
Have you ever asked the question "What if I…?" What did you try? Was your experiment a success, or a successful failure? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your experiences with us!