Sunday, 10 January 2010

"Berries and Vines" mini tutorial

*Instruktioner på svenska finns HÄR.*

So... I was planning on writing about a type of cross-weaving patterns I chose to call Berries and Vines. Only to realise I couldn't find instructions online to link my post to. So I had to take a couple of photos and write my own instructions. Of cause, after publishing them, I did find online tuts. But maybe my mini tutorials could still be useful, as I show how you can make these bead chains using a single-needle or two-needle technique. In the (mostly Japanses) tutorials I'd read only the two-"needle" approach was used, but I've begun to like and even prefer single-needle RAW so of cause I wanted to make these my way too. Click the pictures to enlarge.

I prefer making these with 6 mm round beads and 11/0 seed beads. Using 4 mm or 8 mm rounds also work, but I think 6 mm look best. Not too small, not too big. Using white glass pearls, you can make a simple but romantic bridal necklace or jewellery set.

Two-needle version

This is simply a version of cross-weaving of two-needle right-angle weave (RAW). It is asymmetrial, meaning you have several small beads on one thread and on large bead on the other, unlike basic RAW where you have the same number (and size) of beads on both sides.

1. Cut a thread into the length you need or feel comfortable to work with. If using a soft beading thread, thread a needle on each end of it. Using stiffer cord or beading wire does not require the use of needles, which make it a bit easier to handle.

2. String the number of beads you want to make a loop. This loop will be used to attach a clasp afterwards so chose a number depending on the jump ring in question. If you want to attach the clasp directly to the beadwork, string it onto the thread aswell, before closing the loop. Push the beads to the middle of the wire and go through the last bead on your right with the thread in your left hand, going from left to right, so the threads cross in the bead hole. Pull the threads.

3. Now you will begin to stitch your chain: String seed beads onto your left needle. How many you need depends on the size of your round beads and how much of its perimetre you want to cover. For a 6 mm round bead, 6-7 japanese seed beads is enough. Increase or decrease the number if using smaller or larger rounds.

4. String a round bead onto your right needle and then go through the last seed bead on the left side so the two threads cross.

5. String seeds onto the needle on you left side (note that the threads have changed sides) and string a round bead onto the right needle. Cross the thread in the last seed bead.

6. Repeat throughout the lenght of the jewellery piece. Finish by making a loop just as the first one. Attach a clasp using jump or split rings.

Single-needle version

If you already know single-needle right-angle weave (RAW) this is easy. For basic instructions for that technique, see e.g. FusionBeads or Beading Daily. The single-needle version can feel a bit complicated at first,not least when as here combining large and small beads, but then you'll find it's fast and easy. Also a bit more secure as you pass the thread through the beads more than once. It is important that you have good tension and you need to pull on the thread every now and then.

1. Begin by picking up enough beads to make a loop. This loop will be used to attach a clasp to your jewellery piece. Go through all beads once more and knot (surgeon's knot). Go through the first bead again and pull the thread so the knot slides into the bead. Now you can begin stitching the chain.

2. Pick up seed beads (see Two-needle version for the amount) and then a round bead. Go through the bead your thread comes out from and go through all the seeds you picked up. Make sure you go in the same direction as the bead were stringed.

3. Pick up seeds and a round bead. Go through the bead your thread comes out from (the last bead you stitched through in the previous step). Go through the seeds you picked up in the same direction as they were stringed. Note how you this time work counterclockwise if the last circle was clockwise -- or vice versa.

4. Repeat throughout the lenght of the jewellery piece. Alternate between making clockwise and counterclockwise circles, just following the direction of the thread. Finish by making a loop just as the first one. Attach a clasp using jump or split rings.


A simple way of vary the basic pattern is to add picots, as in the orange and white-and-red samples above. In the orange bracelet, I've placed picot on the seed bead "vine", while I've made picots with every other larger bead in the christmas bracelet.

I have illustrated a few simple picots here -- in this bracelet I've used Picot 1, as seen in my illustration below.


  1. This is awesome tutorial.. i love this...send it to me plzzzzzzzzz!!!!hehe..thnx 4 the great tutorial

  2. These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. This looks ideal for some beads that would otherwise languish unused in my stash.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I'm new to beading and am going to try these :)


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