Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review: Bead Weaving Made Easy

Hi all,

Today I'm reviewing a book I received from Leisure Arts:  Bead Weaving Made Easy.  These projects are made using square stitch and peyote stitch. Now, if you've seen my work, most of it is made using stringing, wire work and mixed media usually with larger beads, so this was quite a change for me.  It was truly a challenge!  But, I've long wanted to overcome my fear of these teeny beads, so I bravely charged onward!

To begin, I needed to learn peyote stitch.  I started out following the instructions with 11/0 beads.  After struggling, I decided to use some larger beads until I got the hang of the stitch.  I recommend this if you have never worked with the stitch or size 11/0 beads.  I switched to 6/0 beads, which are larger, and was able to get into the rhythm of the peyote stitch.  Here's my first attempt below:

So, switching back to the smaller beads, I followed the instructions to construct a bead for the Tower Pendant featured in the book.  This project looked like a good place to start - small in size and I liked the look of it combined with the other beads.
Tower Pendant from Bead Weaving Made Easy

Since the instructions said 12 rows, that is what I did.  So far, so good.  Here's my work. 

I connected the ends into a tube and noticed that my bead was squishy and wanted to go flat - not like the bead in the photo. Hmmm...I looked at the photo and counted the rows.  Six rows!  No wonder I had a floppy bead.  So, there is a small mistake in the written instructions. 

But, I was too proud of my first real attempt at making a beaded bead to let it go to waste!  So, when making the pendant, I inserted a small round bead into the center of the tube to give it some sturdiness and it worked fine.

Here's my pendant:
My Tower Pendant

There are a few things I learned while stitching this project that might be of help to you:

Getting started with the base row is the hardest part.  Once you have the first two rows, it's an easy stitch.

Keep your thread tight and keep working with the piece to tighten it if it loosens up.  Tighten your work after each row to keep the beads in line.

To keep the work tight, hold it in your non-dominant hand while stitching.

If you use larger beads, you need heavier thread.

Not content with my first attempt, I decided to make two more beads (the right size this time!) and use them for a pair of earrings.  Here are my beads.  They are only about 1/2" long.
I combined these with faceted blue glass, crazy lace rondelles, turquoise howlite rondelles and indicolite crystals to create long dangles:

Now, that I've got the hang of peyote stitch, I'm excited about learning more and trying more of the projects from this book, Bead Weaving Made Easy.  And, even with just this one bead design, there are so many ways to use it.  I'm happy to finally have this stitch in my beading repertoire!
Happy Beading!

PS  I received a copy of this book free from Leisure Arts as part of their blogger review program.  All opinions are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment