Friday, 19 October 2012

Stash Buster 'Bubble and Squeak' Beaded Bracelet - Free Beading Pattern

It's stash busting time. Here are three bracelets I made over the weekend. They are great for getting rid of spare beads you have lying around, you can chuck anything in...pearls, crystals, glass beads, firepolished beads...it's up to you. For that reason, I have called this bracelet Bubble and Squeak.


TOOLS
Needle
Nymo Thread (in matching colour)
Approx 3 grams of Miyuki or Matsuno size 8 beads - (I used a range of colours within the same colour spectrum).
40 (maybe 42 if your bracelet is a bit longer) mixed beads sized 2-4mm - This is a great bracelet to get rid of left over beads (yay!) - I used a range of swarvoski crystals, freshwater pearls, czech glass spheres, czech firepolished and whatever else I could find lying around.
1 x 10-12mm matching bead for clasp.
2 x size 11 beads in matching colour for ends
Bees Wax or thread conditioner

STEP 1: Stitch one row of Right Angle Weave - 3x3 units. This is just a very simple variation of the very basic 1×1 unit Right Angle Weave stitch. If you’re new to Right Angle Weave then you might like to read my Right Angle Weave tutorial for an overview on the stitch first.

Thread needle with about 1.5 m (60″) of conditioned thread. Tie on a stop bead leaving about an 20 cm (8″) tail. Pick up 12  x size 8 beads and pass back through the first 9 beads that you just picked up. 

IMPORTANT: Throughout this stitch make sure to thread through three beads at a time so that each unit can form a square shape. *Pick up another nine size 8 beads and pass your thread back through the last three beads from your previous unit, and the first six beads you added in this stitch (three beads at at a time). Repeat * till the bracelet reaches about two thirds of the way around your wrist (I find 20-21 units to be a good length). Remember your thread should be moving from clockwise to anti-clockwise with each new unit (by the way a unit is the 12 beads that forms the square. For example diagram 1…is six units).
Diagram 1



STEP 2: Make a second row following the 3×3 unit pattern as above. If you have trouble with the turn please see the basic right angle weave article. If you’re confident that’s great…cause it’s usually around this point that I begin to lose it, but here is a detailed description in case you need it:

In the first unit of the second row you will need to pick up nine size 8 beads. Now, pass the needle back through the eastern three beads of the last unit you just came from (in the original row) and pass through the first three beads that you just picked up. NB: You may have to pass through all nine beads you just added - depending on which way your thread is trailing. Just make sure your thread is heading in the same direction as the units in the original row.

To complete this row you will need to alternate between these two steps:
1. Add six size 8 beads. Pass your thread through the eastern three beads from the original row, the last three beads from the previous unit, and the six beads that you have just added .

2. Pass your thread through the next three eastern beads of the original row, add six size 8 beads, then pass through the three beads from the previous unit (on the same row that your on now) and again through the three eastern beads from the original row, and through the first three beads that you have just added.
Remember you should be moving clockwise to anti-clockwise

If you're  having troubles just remember to keep working your stitches in alternating circles. Don’t forget to always thread your beads three at a time to maintain the square shape of each unit. Basically, your pattern should look something like Diagram 1.

STEP 3: Now for the fun bit…Begin to weave your thread back through your work picking up random beads as you go.
Weave your thread to begin at the first unit of a row. Pass the thread through the first three beads, pick up one of your 2-4mm sized beads then weave your thread through the top three beads of the unit, crossing at a diagonal (See Diagram 2). Once again, pick up a 2-4mm bead and weave your thread through the top three beads, crossing at a diagonal. Continue picking up beads (try and pick them up randomly - just close your eyes and pick one up - no cheating now) and complete the row. You may notice that your work will begin to lose its shape. With each new centre bead that you add, your work will begin to scrunch and distort but go with it. This is what makes the bracelet look so great. See Diagram 2 for the turning into the second row.


Diagram 2

TO FINISH OFF ONE END: Bring your thread through to the adjoining middle three beads of the last two units. Add nine size 8 beads and one large bead for the clasp (I’ve used Tom’s handmade lampwork beads for my bracelets. Now add another size 8 bead and a smaller size 11 bead (you could instead add three beads and do a picot finish here if you like, I prefered the small single bead as I thought it looked just that little more dainty). Okay, now pass back through three beads - the size 8 one, the large one, and another size 8. Pick up three size 8 beads and pass back through the fifth bead you thread on in the very beginning of this step. Pick up another three size 8 beads and pass back through the first bead you thread on in the very beginning of this step. Weave in your thread, tie knot (I usually tie a couple of extra knots for added security) and dab knots with a dash of clear nail polish. Trim.


NOW FOR THE OTHER END: Weave in thread (add new thread by weaving into work and tying a couple knots) and bring your thread through to the adjoining middle three beads of the last two units. Add twenty five size 8 beads and pass back through the fifth one. You should now have a nice big loop to fit over your clasp bead. (If it doesn’t fit then add some extra beads or take them away as necessary). Now add three more size 8 beads and pass back through the very first bead you added in the beginning of this step. Weave in your thread, tie knots, dab knots with a dash of clear nail polish and trim. Weave in any loose ends, knot, and trim.



And that's it. Finished. I know that the instructions are very long, as I have written very detailed instructions for those who are beginners at beading, but don't let it deter you in trying this pattern, as it's really very easy and the results are great. I sold all three of my bracelets. I'd love to see what you all come up with. Please share your pictures with me!
 

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