Psyched for Spikes!

Lately, I’ve been seeing some very inspiring beadwork made with spike beads—so inspiring, in fact, that I finally ordered some for myself. Beware: Designs incorporating these hot new beads are anything but subtle!

Today, I share with you a quick-and-easy way to turn a 7x17mm spike into a charm or pendant using tubular peyote stitch. Make two for a funky pair of earrings.

Rounds 1 and 2: Use a comfortable length of thread (I used about 4' of FireLine) to string one 7×17 spike. String 9 size 11° seed beads; pass through the spike again. String 9 more size 11° seed beads; pass through the spike and position this new set of beads around the other side of the spike. Pass through all 18 seed beads. To set the tension, I knotted my working thread between beads, then passed through a few more beads. If adjusting the bead count to accommodate different-sized spikes or seed beads, make sure you end up with an even number of seed beads around the base before moving on to Round 3.
Round 3: Work tubular peyote stitch with 1 size 11° in each stitch, placing the beads of this round closer to the base of the spike than the tip.
Rounds 4-6: Work 2 rounds of tubular peyote stitch with 1 size 11° in each stitch. Work Round 6 with 1 size 15° in each stitch. Use tight tension so the beadwork begins to cup around the base of the spike.
Loop and Rounds 7 and 8: Use size 15°s to form a loop that spans over the base of the spike, connecting to beads of Rounds 5 and 6. Weave through beads to exit Round 1. Work 2 rounds toward the tip of the spike, using size 15°s.


Embellishment: Work rounds of embellishment as you wish. The hard part is knowing when to stop! In this sample, I used the stitch-in-the-ditch embellishment technique to add 1 size 11° between each bead of Round 3. Then, I stitched 3-bead picots with size 15° to the stitch-in-the-ditch beads. And since I was happy with how that layering turned out, I added another round of 3-bead picots (again with size 15°s) to the beads of Round 4.

Here's a side and top view of my finished piece.

Please share your spike-bead experience. This certainly won't be the last time this fun new bead shape makes its way into my beadwork.

The spike shown here is "amber magic" from Beyond Beadery.

Have fun!
Editor, Beadwork



Post a Comment