Samples Part I
Beadwork October/November 2001
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Barbara Grainger has been a beading pal for years. She is currently making beadwork samplers that we are donating to the Bead Museum in Arizona. Barb continues to support me with ideas as I work through various techniques for the beadwork samplers. When I asked if she would collaborate with me for the herringbone samples in my Sampler Department, she immediately said yes. Barb contributed the herringbone sample illustrations and the instructions that accompany the illustrations. She brain stormed and came up with a counterclockwise 4 bead stitch to begin each herringbone sample and is sharing this technique. This 4 bead stitch, which she calls a cluster, makes it easier to begin the first row or round and then continue with traditional herringbone. She was so excited about her new 4 bead start and the samples that she then created a how-to project, Ruby Starburst Choker which are on the pages following my Sampler Department in the Beadwork's Oct/Nov 2001 issue. The samples are rectangular and fan shape, her gorgeous necklace is a circular flat herringbone shape. Thanks so much Barb!
Beaders have been using the herringbone stitch for several years. However, in the last few years this stitch has become one of the hot beading techniques for contemporary design. In 1998 a variety of how-to projects cropped up in bead magazines. Bead & Button, June 1998 issue, Ndebele Herringbone Weave necklace designed by Cathy Collison was quite stunning. Beadwork, Winter 1998 issue, Beaded Quilt in herringbone stitch designed by Jean Campbell was a leap into new ideas with this stitch making a unique miniature beaded quilt. Jewelry Crafts, Sep/Oct 1998 issue, Herringbone Made Easy designed by Emily Snow Hackbarth was a very attractive amulet purse as the project. The Bead Society of Great Britain published two how-to projects designed by Stephney Hornblowaing , one explaining how to work herringbone stitch and the other a herringbone bracelet and closure. Along with the project was a photograph of a bracelet using those techniques. Since then, herringbone projects continue to surface in beading magazine and books. Today ropes, broaches, headpieces and other jewelry pieces are worked with the herringbone stitch. Bead artists today combine herringbone with various beading stitches to create beaded sculptures and wall art. Traditional motif beading with herringbone stitch continues today along side the contemporary designs. The herringbone stitch is continually evolving along with the many other ancient beading stitches, to create a new look for today. Making theses samples will enable you to learn the techniques and enable you to work any herringbone project. Barb's 4 bead cluster start will make all herringbone projects fun and easier to accomplish.
If you are using Czech beads, use beads that are squared off at each end instead of the more rounded beads. Rocailles, silver lined or cut beads work best. For Japanese beads, Delicas show the pattern clearly. Use single thread and stitch in thread ends following the thread path. Tension is extremely important and makes the difference on sample appearance when finished. Look at the illustrations while following instructions to make sure you are adding the beads in the right sequence. Both samples use the same illustrations to begin the first 4 bead cluster row. The number of clusters required for both the rectangular and fan shape samples are provided. It is very easy to get thread wrapped around a bead or through a bead from the wrong direction from a previous row. Check each row as you finish it to make sure there are no errors.
The rectangular sample begins with ten 4-bead clusters, 21 rows long counting the 4-bead cluster as the beginning two rows. The beginning clusters will be worked in Color 1, followed by color 2 as the next row, alternating with color 2 and 1 for each row and ending with color 2 for the last row.
The fan sample begins with seven 4-bead clusters for rows 1 and 2 using Color 1. Row 3 is made of Color 2. Then as the fan shape begins, each increase section will be color 1 and the standard herringbone between the increases will be color 2.
Once you have made the basic samples, make rectangular samples with different bead color combinations to form unique patterns within the samples. Make several little fan shapes and work them into floral pieces or try making a second increase and a longer or taller fan.
Fitzgerald, Diane, Zulu Beaded Chain Techniques, Beautiful Beads Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1997. Ref page 36, Zulu Square Tube.
Bead Society of Great Britain, Newsletters, Ref, Herringbone projects, issue #49, page 4 and issue #48, page 3
Blakelock, by Virginia L., Those Bad, Bad Beads, Wilsonville, OR, 1988. Ref page 70, Ndebele Herringbone Weave, worked out from African Artifact, first published illustration I know of in USA.
Elbe, Barbara E., Back to Beadin, B.E.E. Publishing, Redding, CA, 1996. Ref, pages 19-20, 58-60, Herringbone Weave, stitch and project.
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