The lovely Therese and Christine have gone and done it again, tempting weavers with a challenge to learn or get reacquainted with some beadweaving stitches in the third Time to Stitch challenge. This time around we were to make something with a spiral stitch (African helix, Russian spiral or Cellini) and something with a flat stitch (either brick or square).
In my typical fashion, I made grand plans of an elaborate piece that would somehow incorporate all of the stitches. But the reality of my schedule thought that level of ambition was friggin hilarious, so that plan was shelved for now. However, I did manage to get a few things done, so settle in and wander down the beadweavy path with me....
First up was my brick stitch adventure. This isn't a stitch I use a lot, and I wonder why not. It's quick, it's easy, and who doesn't need a little instant gratification in their lives sometimes, right? My plan was to make a brick stitch bracelet, adding interest to the basic stitch by using a variety of bead sizes. I got through one sequence of the varied sizes, and realized I had a really cool ring staring back at me. So I stitched it up and made another!
I'll probably go back and actually make a bracelet or two (or twenty) from this idea.
And it was then on to the spirals. I'd done African helix and Cellini before, so I tackled the Russian Spiral first. I queued up the video tutorial Therese and Christine had provided, and watched intently. Several times. And despite my careful attention, I ended up with a butt ugly mass of seed beads by about the third or fourth row, and I just could not figure out what was going on. So I'd mutter a little curse, rip the ugly thing apart, and walk away.
Finally, with nerves firmly in hand, beads at the ready, and needle well threaded, I decided to take another swipe at it. This time, instead of trying to work alongside the video tutorial, I printed out a pdf of some instructions.
It still didn't work. I was starting to seriously doubt myself here.
Until after the 4,000th time I was unstringing after it had mysteriously gone wrong AGAIN at some point during the third round. I looked at the instructions, and realized that the initial stringing pattern is two small, one large, etc...NOT, as I had been doing, three small, one large...
I hadn't felt quite so blonde in a long time. I shared my experience with Christine, who'd expressed her own frustrations with spirals, and then finished the Russian Spiral, which you can see as the centerpiece here:
|It looks innocent, but it nearly drove me nuts to get it going...|
I did have moments when I thought this thing was going to kill me.
Then, just to convince myself that I could do a spiral stitch without losing the precious little that's left of my mind, I worked up a Cellini spiral. I've done the stitch before, and both love it and realize that it is a giant time suck. But I really wanted to work in the other color palette I'd selected, so long hours be damned, I jumped in.
It was all good until right before I started weaving the ends shut, when the tube split right along the crystals. Just like the shorts on a tourist who's had one too many trips to the buffet line before he bent over to pick up that dropped item, this baby split like the seat of a pair of too-tight pants.
Yes, I said some words that would have shocked my mother. But I got it woven back together, and here's the final spiral:
When deciding how to finish it, I was trying all kinds of stringing patterns, but finally realized that it's a bold, substantial piece of weaving that needed a substantial necklace to balance it out, lest it look as oddly proportioned as an ostrich in ballet slippers:
|I love Disney's Fantasia, and the dancing |
animals always make me laugh
So here's the final product, asymmetrial and bold:
Thanks to Christine and Therese, for stretching our skills, our imagination, and my patience. And thanks to you for listening to my ramblings. Now, treat yourself to some beautiful work by the others who participated:
Bobbie Rafferty (you are here!)