Studio Sunday: 3 Bead Weaving Stitches Enhance Your Beaded Lace
The beautiful projects in Modern Beaded Lace can all be achieved with basic bead weaving stitches. It’s Cynthia Newcomer Daniel’s eye for design and way of transforming delicate seed beads and sparkling crystals into flowers, leaves, and scrolls—the elements of lace that makes each piece so stunning.
Flipping through the pages of Cynthia’s book recently, I was again reminded what a gem it is! It’s packed to the brim with tips and techniques, including how to design your own beaded lace. If you’re looking to spend some time creating an original design, the following three bead weaving stitches in particular can give a piece a distinctive lace look.
Take a peek inside the pages of this best-selling book and familiarize yourself with fringe stitch, netting, and Russian snake stitch.
To make a fringe stitch, come out of the bead you want the fringe to hang off of. String the required number of beads for the fringe, and add another bead, often a smaller bead, to make the tip (Fig. 1). Skip the tip bead and go up through all of the fringe beads. Go through the bead you started from and bring your thread out in the next place you want to add fringe (Fig. 2).
You can see fringe stitch in action in Esha’s Fan necklace from Modern Beaded Lace. The centers of the leaves are created using this stitch before the outer edge of each leaf is stitched to hold them in place.
Netting is worked off of an existing row and is excellent filler for beaded lace. To work netting, bring your thread out of the bead where you want to begin. String an odd number of beads; in this example, I am using three 15°, one 11°, and three 15°. Skip over the desired number of beads on the starter row and go through the next bead; in this example, I am skipping over two beads on the base row (Fig. 1). Continue adding nets until you have added as many as you need (Fig. 2). There are several ways of starting the next row; this example shows going back down the last three 15°, one 11°, and adding another net between the last two stitches. You can see that the triangle created in the first row will become diamonds in the second row (Fig. 3).
The three-dimensional lacy flower figure used in Aster Earrings feature a single line of beads for the cordonnet and the netting that holds the figure in place. These earrings are dome-shaped, but could be made flat by increasing the number of beads in the cordonnet and netting if you wished to use them in a necklace or bracelet.
RUSSIAN SNAKE STITCH
String three 11°, five 15°, three 11°, five 15° and go through the first set of three 11° to make a circle (Fig. 1). String one 3mm pearl, cross over the circle, and go through the second set of three 11°, heading away from the tail to make the first unit (Fig. 2). To make the next unit, *string five 15°, three 11°, five 15° and go through the same set of three 11° you started from (Fig. 3). String one 3mm pearl, cross over the circle, and go through the second set of three 11°, heading away from the tail (Fig. 39). Repeat from the * until the beadwork is the desired length.
In Modern Beaded Lace, you’ll see Russian snake stitch used in two entirely different ways. The Heartstrings necklace features the stitch in the chain that holds the feature pendant in place. In the Deco pendant, it’s used in the main body of the design.
If you haven’t grabbed a copy of Modern Beaded Lace yet, what are you waiting for? You could be spending quiet time in the studio stitching up some fantastic new designs. Download a copy, practice these simple stitches, and create something unique today.
Editorial Director, Books
Learn the secrets of making beautiful beaded lace!