This simple little tube bead makes a big impact when strung on cable necklace chain. It works up fast and is a great exercise for learning twisted tubular herringbone stitch. Before you begin, it's a good idea to review the technique for straight tubular herringbone stitch.
1. Gather Your Materials
The beads and supplies listed below are enough to make one tube bead pendant necklace.
- 0.25 gram of size 15/0 Miyuku round seed beads in opaque luster dark blue; 15-9929 (A)
- 0.25 gram of size 15/0 Miyuki round seed beads in opaque luster rainbow medium blue; 15-9925 (B)
- 0.25 gram of size 15/0 Miyuki round seed beads in opaque luster baby blue; 15-9924 (C)
- A size 10 or size 12 beading needle
- Size D beading thread (I used C-Lon in blue morning)
- Beading scissors
- Optional beading supplies of your choice, such as a thread burner, thread conditioner, and bead dishes
- Fine cable chain in the length of your choice (I used 2mm by 1.5mm gold-filled chain)
- About 7 inches of 20-gauge craft wire (such as copper wire)
- Two jump rings and your choice of matching clasp, such as a lobster clasp
- Two pair of chain nose or flat nose pliers for attaching the jump rings and clasp
2. Get Familiar With the Pattern
Click on the pattern chart on the left for a larger view. We'll begin reading it at the bottom with a six-bead round of ladder stitch.
Tip: Notice that the pattern columns are straight, whereas the completed beaded tube has spiraled columns. That's because the spiral gradually forms on its own as you stitch each round, beginning with Steps 7 and 8.
3. Create a Ladder Stitch Base Ring
After threading your needle onto an arm-span length of thread, stitch a ladder row of 1A, 1B, 1C, 1A, 1B, and 1C. Then bring the first and last beads in the ladder together, pass the needle down through the first bead (1A), and then up through the last bead (1C).
Pull the thread taut to form a ring that serves as the first round of tubular herringbone stitch.
4. Begin Stitching Tubular Herringbone Stitch
Use regular (straight) tubular herringbone stitch to stitch the second round of beads. Following the thread path shown here, pick up and stitch two beads at a time. Be sure to stack beads of the same color to create the stripes shown in the pattern chart.
5. Step-Up to Stitch the Next Round of Tubular Herringbone Stitch
After you have stitched the first three pairs of beads, you're ready to step-up and begin the next round. Do this by passing up through the next two beads (rather than the usual one bead), before stitching the next pair. That pair becomes the first pair of the next round.
6. Complete the First Four Rounds of the Tube
Continue stitching tubular herringbone stitch, stepping-up to begin to each new round, until you have a total of four rounds completed, including the initial ladder stitch ring.
7. Begin Making the Twist
Begin the next (fifth) round by passing up through three beads, rather than two. From this point on, you need to add this extra bead to the step-up at the beginning of each new round.
The image on the left shows the three step-up beads passed through, plus the first pair of beads for the sixth round.
8. Continue the Twist
After you stitch the first pair of beads in the fifth row, bring the needle up through the next herringbone spine by passing through two beads, instead of one. From this point on, do this with every stitch — with the exception of the very first stitch in each round, where you step-up through three beads (see Step 7).
9. Complete the Twisted Herringbone Stitch Tube
Continue stitching twisted tubular herringbone stitch until you have a total of 34 rounds, including the initial ladder row. (Alternatively, you can stop stitching rounds when your tube is about 1.5 inches long.)
Reinforce the very last round (shown on the left) by passing through each bead again, using a ladder-stitch thread path. This tightens up the beads at the end of the tube, and gives the last round a similar appearance to the first round.
10. Prepare to Thread the Chain Through the Herringbone Stitch Tube
Begin by folding the 20-gauge wire in half over the chain. Then use your fingers to gently twist the two halves of the wire together, as shown here.