Monday, November 07, 2011

Monday Morning Eye Candy and Book

Another practice bracelet of Right Angle Weave made with Gossamer floss, crystal 6mm firepolished rondelles from Rings n Things and silverlined "E" beads. I like the single row of RAW because it makes up quickly and by changing the beads, you can make one to match your wardrobe!

I've got another book from Kalmach that I'm smitten with. It's Jewelry for the New Romantic. Here's an interview with the book's author Nealay Patel. 

Projects look yummy don't they?  I haven't done any stringing with Soft Flex wire in quite awhile. Patel puts a new spin on it and I can't wait to dive in.  Are there any techniques you haven't tried in awhile?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

On My Bookshelf: Stitch Workshop: Right Angle Weave

Drum roll please.......


These are my practice bracelets in Right Angle Weave. I made these using the very first pattern from  Stitch Workshop: Right Angle Weave. 

As I said yesterday, I'm not a rank beginner with off loom but have never done right angle weave. The projects in the book are arranged from easy to advanced. 

Let me say now that I've never been able to teach myself an off loom technique by using a book. Usually I try and then go take a class so I can see how to do it. I wanted to use beads from my stash and I didn't have any 6mm rounds to use so I substituted with size 6 and size 8 seed beads. So it was a little harder to see the beads and pattern.

The beginning of the book includes the basics of right angle weave with colored illustrations and arrows to show where to weave your needle and thread (or stringing material. These illustrations came in very handy when I got confused with the project directions. The illustrations are followed by "Tips and Tricks for Right Angle Weave by David Chatt." It's a list of tips for the more experienced right angle beadweaver. Page 8 is "Beading Technique Basics" and it covers topics like adding thread, ending thread surgeion's knot, other beadweaving stitches, wire techniques and opening jump rings to name just a few. Tools and materials are covered in the next section. I'm very familiar with these materials so I skipped over this section and went straight to the first pattern by Pam O'Connor, "The Cuff Crystallized."

It took me a couple of tries to get the pattern and stitch right. When I got to the right length, again it took me a couple of tries to join the bracelet properly. Adding the next row was also trial and error. I'd read the directions and look at the pictures given on page five rather than the pictures in the pattern. The similar colors in the pattern pictures confused me. The colors were too similar to be clear. I alleviated the confusion with the pictures on page five. It took me several tries flipping between the pages and pulling out the beads but I eventually got the second row going. Since it was nothing like the first row, it took me awhile to get into the rhythm.

Despite the learning curve, I was able to teach myself how to beadweave in flat, right angle weave using a single needle.  The first project states you can make the bracelet in a couple of hours. It took me approximately 5 hours over two days. Not bad for a beginner.

I've got my sights on the third project called "Wiggle Room." It's by Julie Glasser and it's made with various sizes of seed beads to create the wiggle.

Wiggle Room photo courtesy of Judy Glasser.

I have a big stash of size 6, 8 and 11 seed beads in all colors just perfect for this project.  I may try the bracelet project after called Crossing Paths by Lisa Twede or skip right to another favorite, Cosmic Crystals by Deborah Staehle.  Another luscious project I'm smitten with is April Bradley's Spring Snowflakes.

And those are just the beginner- intermediate projects! There are lovely advanced projects Where you can learn advanced and dimensional right angle weave such as Chain of Rings by Cindy Thomas Pankopf and Victorian Sparkle by Julie Walker. If you're looking for a book on right angle weave with a variety of projects, this is a bargain for under $20.