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.