Bead Weaving and Finding Zen
There are many reasons to love beaded ropes. They’re fun to design because they offer lots of room for experimentation. They’re pleasing to stitch because of their repetitive, Zen-inducing thread paths. Their flexibility and soft drape also make them easy-to-wear and versatile in how you wear them. They can be casual and organic or embellished and elaborate. It’s simply an essential bead weaving skill and there is no one better to learn from than Jill Wiseman. She’s a natural teacher who communicates with clarity and a deep, easy knowledge. In her video, Beaded Ropes with Jill Wiseman she demonstrates, step-by-step, how to make beautiful beaded ropes with five different stitches: spiral rope, tubular peyote stitch, herringbone, right-angle weave, and netting.
Spiral rope is a great stitch for the beaded rope beginner. It’s easy, customizable, and a lot of fun to play with. In this section, Jill will show you the basics of constructing the spine and loop that form the spiral rope, how to make the loop closer or farther away from the spine, and how this will influence your overall design.
You’ll also learn how to embellish your rope with a variety of beads such as crystal bicones and gemstone chips. Embellish the spine for a half-hidden pop of color or the loop for a more bold statement. Or add a bit of peyote to the loop for added texture.
Peyote tubes should also be approachable for the beginner, as peyote is a favorite stitch that most beaders already know. It’s a great tool when stitching ropes because of its versatility: it can be even- or odd-count, or cellini or Dutch spiral. Jill will take you through these four types of peyote and what they can do for your beadwork.
When choosing between even- and odd-count peyote for your project, know that you cannot switch between the two mid-way, so select whichever look you prefer and stick with it. Even-count will require a step-up and odd-count won’t. Jill will show you how to maintain appropriate tension and get past those first few tricky rows with ease. She’ll also demonstrate how to use a kniting needle as a dowel that will help when establishing the tubular shape you need.
Peyote is also used to create cellini and Dutch spiral forms. In the video, Jill will explain how to achieve gorgeous undulations with different bead shapes and sizes. She’ll also show you how to turn a cellini into a Dutch spiral by adding loose sections of beadwork.
Herringbone is Jill’s favorite stitch because of its softness and drape. It also has the capacity to be straight, square, or spiraled in shape. In Beaded Ropes with Jill Wiseman, learn to stitch a herringbone spiral by building it around a satin rat tail, or insert a piece of wire for a structured collar that you can wear that night.
Cubic right-angle weave can be scary, but Jill makes it easy with some simple rules demonstrated step-by-step. CRAW is a series of squares that can have any number of beads on each side. Jill will show you how to create CRAW with one or two beads on each side with both seed beads and larger fire-polished rounds.
Netting is a lovely stitch for making ropes because of its flexibility. It’s the most flexible of all the beaded ropes, allowing you to do fun things with it like tie it into knots. Jill loves to create netted ropes filled with beautiful beads such as top-drilled pearls, crystals, or fire-polished rounds—and she’ll show you how!
Any of these five bead weaving stitches is guaranteed to create a simple lovely beaded rope which can be worn on its own or built upon with any number of embellishment techniques and materials. The room for invention is endless and Beaded Ropes with Jill Wiseman is the perfect way to get started with one or all of these types of ropes. Once you’ve mastered the techniques, check out our 18 Beaded Ropes to Make eBook or the Beaded Ropes Collection, which features Jill’s video along with four other beaded rope videos.