Quick and Easy: Try This Herringbone Rope with Twin Beads!

If there's one thing we beaders can be grateful for, it's the never-ending source of inspiration that we can find on the internet for our beading projects! I recently joined a wonderful online group of beaders, who are all committed to elevating the craft of beadwork into an art. One of the members, Beth Clark, posted a beautiful photograph of some herringbone stitch ropes she's been making, following a tutorial she found through Pinterest on a Hungarian blog. Well, I'm always game for a new beading pattern using two-hole seed beads, especially my enormous collection of Twin beads, so I took a stab at working up her tutorial and discovered a fun, easy way to make a new kind of beaded rope using two-hole seed beads.

After working up a necklace of my own using this herringbone stitch technique, I can see why Beth is so obsessed with it! The resulting rope was smooth and supple, but extremely sturdy and suitable for hanging heavy beaded pendants. I can also imagine a whole world of ways in which to embellish these beaded ropes using seed beads, pearls, or even small loops of fringe. Try this herringbone rope technique with your favorite colors of Twins and size 11 seed beads!

Materials for an 18" rope necklace:

  • 40 grams Twin beads (A)
  • 10 grams size 11 seed beads (B)
  • 6 lb. test braided beading thread
  • Clasp of your choice

Tools:

  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter
Using a comfortable length of thread (you can always add more later), pick up 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A, and 1B. Pass through all beads again to form a ring, and exit a B.
Round 1: Pick up 1A, 1B. Pass through the top (empty) hole of the next A in the ring, and up through the next B. Repeat twice.
After you have passed through the final A and B in the ring, pass up through the top hole of the next A.
Round 2: Pick up 1B, 1A. Pass down through the next B in the ring, followed by the top (empty) hole of the next A. Repeat twice.
After you have passed through the final B and A in the ring, pass up through the next B in the ring. After you have passed through this B, use your fingers to smooth the beadwork into a little cup while pulling gently on the thread.

As you work this herringbone tube, you'll follow a simple pattern: when you exit an A at the begging of a round, you'll pick up 1B and 1A, and pass through the next B and A in the ring, ending the round by passing up through the next B.

Alternately, when you exit a B at the beginning of a round, you'll pick up 1A and 1B, passing through the top hole of the next A and up through the next B in the round, ending by passing up through the top hole of the first A in that round.

Tips for working this Twin bead herringbone rope:

  • To add new thread, leave your thread exiting from a bead at the beginning of a round. Look down the tube and find a bead a few rounds underneath where your thread is currently exiting, and insert your needle up through that bead, following the path straight up to the bead your thread is currently exiting. You can tie a half-hitch knot around the thread as you work your way up the beaded tube. Continue beading while holding the old thread tail aside, keeping your tension firm. Once you have beaded a few inches, you can weave in both thread tails and trim them close to the beadwork.
  • To finish off your rope, just pass through the top (empty) hole of the next A in the round, and up through the next B. Repeat a few times until the end cinches up nicely, and add your clasp by using seed bead loops to attach it to the beaded rope.
  • Once you get the hang of the pattern, this rope works up very quickly — I made an 18" necklace in just under a couple of hours, and even had time to make a quick bangle bracelet before going to bed that evening!

If you're looking for more quick and easy beading projects using herringbone stitch (as well as your other favorite off-loom beading stitches like peyote stitch, right-angle weave, and beaded netting), you'll be thrilled to know that the new Quick + Easy Beadwork special issue is now available! Get forty-three brand-new projects for beaded earrings, bracelets, and necklaces using all your favorite seed beads, shaped beads, and jewelry findings. Best of all, Quick + Easy Beadwork is also available as an instant download, so you can get to your beads right away. Get your copy of Quick + Easy Beadwork and see why it's so much fun to lose yourself in a quick and easy beading project!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

3 Comments

  1. Jackie M at 12:46 pm April 4, 2017

    I give up. I cannot get this at all

  2. Chrisalis W at 2:58 pm April 16, 2017

    Yes, it is a most frustrating tutorial. Over the years people have commented and I have even written to interweave to try and get improved instructions without any success. In fact the person at Interweave sent me the instructions for a totally different product!

  3. Marcy S at 12:31 pm September 17, 2017

    Try this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozp7JaXrFKg&feature=share You may be able to follow this better.

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