|Spiral Rope Chain|
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The Spiral Rope Chain is one of the easiest and most versatile stitches we have. It can be used on it's own, as a bag strap, or as the basis for a necklace, bracelet or anklet. Once you get the basic start down, it work up in no time, and you can do it while watching TV. It is a simple, two bead, same size piece, so no having to chase different sized beads around.
Here's what you need to do to get your own Spiral Rope Chain started:
Size 11/0 seed beads - approx. 5 grams, in two different colors. Use high contrast colors for your first Spiral, it makes it easier to see what you are doing.
Nymo Thread - Size "D" in a color to match the core beads on the Spiral.
Size 12 Beading Needle
French Coil (aka bullion or gimp) - 2 pieces, 8 mm long, each piece.
Clasp and ring for finishing.
1. Cut a 3 foot piece of Nymo, stretch and condition with beeswax or Thread Heaven. Thread your beading needle.
2. Place 4 beads in your core color (white in the pictures) and 3 beads in the outside spiral color onto your thread.
3. Tie the beads into a circle. leaving about a 6" tail. Pass the needle through the 4 core beads, and come out at the top.
4. Add 1 bead in the core color (white) and 3 beads in the spiral color (blue). Let the beads drop down to the work.
5. Pass the needle through 3 of the first four 4 core beads (white) and the 1 core bead you just added. You should pass through a total of 4 core beads. Do not pass through the very first core bead on the thread.
6. Pull the thread up through the 4 core beads, then use your thumb to push the 3 blue beads over to the side so that they sit next to the first set of 3 Spiral beads.
7. Repeat from Step 4 until your Spiral Rope reaches the length you want. Keep pushing the top beads over as you go and remember to only pass the needle through 4 of the core beads.
8. Finish your bracelet (or necklace or anklet) by adding the gimp to the tail thread, passing it through the fining, and stitching it back into the spiral. Make sure to tie a very secure knot, and finish with a drop of clear nail polish. Repeat on the other side.
Using different size beads, you can accomplish lots of great things with this stitch. it looks great done with size 6/0 beads, and makes a very fine piece with 13/0 or 15/0 beads. So experiment, and if you come up with something really cool, send me a picture for the Beadwork Gallery!