|Coreopsis' Pearl Choker|
This year I have noticed that many celebrity necks are boasting necklaces made of masses of pearls, intricately twisted. It's a look I love, and I really wanted a necklace like that. During a fall trip to New York City, I saw just such a necklace advertised--it was of freshwater pearls and the price tag was $800. That's just a bit beyond my budget.
I came up with the necklace shown in the attached picture. Freshwater pearls are very available right now at reasonable prices. But how would I achieve that massive look with the fewest pearls? Spiral Rope Chain provided the perfect answer. Instead of seed beads, I wove the chain of 5 mm mother of pearl round beads, 2 mm garnets, and assorted freshwater pearls. The mother of pearl beads make up a uniform interior foundation. The outer spirals are formed of a garnet and three pearls in each group. Once I had that worked out, weaving the chain was a simple matter of following Anne's excellent instructions, and I had my necklace in a few hours. It is finished with silver bullion wire and a sterling clasp with inset garnet.
If anyone wants to make a similar necklace, here are a few hints I gleaned: (1) Select a round bead for the interior foundation. Mother of pearl blends right in and doesn't show. But you could use some other gemstone bead. (2) Use Nymo D in a light color, well conditioned with wax or Thread Heaven. I tried carded silk, but I had to make too many passes through the beads. (3) Begin new threads by tying new and old thread together with a square knot. Secure with a bit of glue, let dry, and proceed. Go back and weave the ends in later. (4) The 2 mm round beads at the beginning of each group make for a smoother spiral with no thread showing. (5) It took about 18" of mother of pearl, 20" of garnets, and 60" of freshwater pearls to make this necklace.
That's about it! I hope everybody enjoys it.