Lacy Duo Droplets Earrings

 

 

 

Lacy Duo Droplets Earrings

New Pattern!
Lacy Duo Droplets Earrings


You’ll be surprised how quick and easy it is to make these fun and fanciful earrings. Beginners will find this a good way to become familiar with working with SuperDuo beads. More experienced beaders will appreciate this as a great way to experiment with color and finish combinations, as well as to use up leftover SuperDuo beads.


Tribal Techniques Necklace
Featured Pattern!
Tribal Techniques Necklace
Infinitely variable, this necklace can be adapted to any season by color choice. Aquas and sandy tones to go with the breezy sundress? Bright and bold with jeans?

This clever combination of Ndebele and Brick (also known as Comanche) Stitches gives you endless possibilities.



Free Pattern!
Rainbow River Bracelet

A
n explosion of color, the Rainbow River is a simple and basic project offering infinite color and finish combinations. And, in addition to the weaving, you'll get to make your own clasp!

This project would also look great in monochromatic tones, faded from dark to light, or try blending two complimentary colors. You'll love how working this bracelet will help you see color combinations in different ways.

There is a 50 cent administrative download fee.
 

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Totally cool! New Product!



Items of Interest

A new feature of our newsletters, "Items of Interest" is a place we can ponder creative ideas, news about products, and answers to your questions. Please feel free to email us at joan@beadculture.com with your musings and inquiries.

In recent musings, we’ve been discussing threads and waxes. Now, a recent question from beader Sara Jane prompted contemplation of the many types of beading needles.

As with thread types, when we write our patterns, we try to offer the widest variety of suggested materials, as each beader develops her own preferences. In certain circumstances, a particular thread or needle is recommended to ensure the best results in your completed project. Otherwise, there is no right or wrong, as long as you’re having fun and successfully completing your projects!

Generally, for most off-loom bead weaving projects, beading needles are preferred, and this is what we recommend in most instances. Unlike sewing needles, beading needles are very thin and flexible, and their eyes are the same width as the rest of the needle, thus passing more easily through seed and other small beads.

All needles are sized by number, in reference to the diameter of the needle (as opposed to its length) - the smaller the needle, the larger the number. We typically recommend using size 10 or 12 beading needles for most off-loom techniques, such as peyote and netting. Size 10 is a bit larger, and thus a bit easier to thread (for those of us with vision challenges) and usually will pass through seed beads as small as 15º. In techniques with multiple passes, such as spiral ropes and right angle weave (especially when incorporating size 15º beads), a size 12 may prove more suitable, as it is thinner.

We recommend using the short “sharps” length of beading needle for bead embroidery, as it is stiffer, permitting it to be passed through fabric more easily. In addition, because sharps’ shorter length makes them less flexible than the longer beading needles, they are easier to maneuver through fabric.

As to brands, needles made in England have typically been very high quality: their smooth finish means they do not snag when you thread them and work with them, and they are quite durable. (We have heard that certain “English” needles are now being produced in China, resulting in poorer quality. Our jury is still out on this one …)

English beading needles are slightly more pliable than their Japanese counterparts, and therefore bend more easily. However, true English needles are also less brittle, and so slightly less prone to breaking. Japanese needles are of high quality, as well – equally smooth. However, Japanese needles are a bit stiffer; thus somewhat more prone to breaking in projects requiring multiple thread passes or tricky turns. But they are of similar good quality, smooth and sturdy. Their stiffness can be an advantage in certain applications, such as loom work.

Big-eye needles are exactly as it sounds – the ends of the needle are attached, and the rest of the needle is the eye. For situations with thicker thread or cord, or for those with challenges, these are often found to be satisfactory.

Another larger-eyed alternative are twisted needles with loops for eyes. These are especially helpful for threading ribbon or leather; the ribbon is passed through the loop, then the loop is flattened with pliers, and passed through the bead.

Ultimately, as with many things, generally speaking, cheaper needles are of much poorer quality, prone to snapping under pressure and snagging because of poor finishes. For the relatively minimally higher price, we recommend purchasing quality needles to avoid these frustrations.

P.S. Our “secret” for successful needle threading? Don’t thread the needle – needle the thread! That is, hold the thread between your thumb and finger, with only about 1/8 to 1/4 inch showing, then slide the eye of the needle onto the thread (see photos below). Some people like to keep chain-nose pliers on hand to grab the end of the thread. Voila!

Needle the Thread 1
Needle the Thread 2
We hope you found this informative and helpful. Keep those questions coming – to joan@beadculture.com 

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