Stitch Pro: What is PRAW?

I’ll admit, we editors over here at Beadwork magazine are a little snooty about our words, and there's a good reason why: There are folks out there constantly claiming to have invented new stitches…or trying to rename the stitches that have perfectly good names. (Yes, maybe there's something that SEEMS like a new stitch, but it's usually just a variation of a standard one…she says down her nose through her very librarian-style bifocals…)

So, to keep our readers from being bombarded with misinformation, we are very particular when we accept "new" naming conventions, especially since beadweaving is such an ancient craft. Once in a while, however, we welcome new stitch terminology because it makes so much sense. Enter "prismatic right-angle weave", or PRAW.

PRAW is a general term that moves beyond cubic right-angle weave, since not all 3-D right-angle-weaving is done in cubes. What about those shapes with 3 or 5 sides? One of Beadwork's Designers of the Year, Cindy Holsclaw and some of her mathematically minded beading friends came up with a pretty nice system for identifying these beaded shapes, and we snooty editors really like it.

I've done some little drawings below to help describe PRAW. Picture that each "wall" of the shapes below are made up of right-angle weave units. (To create the floor/celing of each prism, you'll just pass through the top/bottom beads of each wall, just as you'd do in cubic right-angle weave.) The naming convention includes the number of walls for that prism. So it works like this:

PRAW 3 has three walls and makes a TRIANGULAR PRISM:

PRAW 4 has four walls and makes a CUBE (and is more commonly called cubic right-angle weave, or CRAW):

PRAW 5 has five walls and makes a PENTAGONAL PRISM:

PRAW 6 has six walls and makes a HEXAGONAL PRISM:

PRAW 7 has seven walls and makes a HEPTAGONAL PRISM:

PRAW 8 has eight walls and makes a OCTAGONAL PRISM:

Want to know more about how to bead these prisms with right-angle weave? Check out Cindy Holsclaw's web seminar, How to Stitch Prismatic Right-angle Weave, airing live on Tuesday, March 24 at 1p.m. EDT.

What do you think about PRAW? Do you feel comfortable with this new naming convention? Have you had success with actually doing any of the PRAW stitches? Please be sure to share with your fellow beaders on the Inside Beadwork Magazine blog!

Happy beading-

Jean Cox (Campbell)

Content Strategist, Interweave Bead Group

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