1. Gather Your Materials
For this pattern you can use any colors of size 8/0, 11/0, and 15/0 round seed beads. I used the following Miyuki seed beads to make one average-size bracelet band:
- About 126 size 8/0 beads in opaque dark brown; I.D. number 8-0409 (A)
- About 322 size 8/0 beads in black; 8-0401 (B)
- About 150 size 11/0 beads in crystal color-lined beige (C)
- About 126 size 15/0 beads in opaque luster light cream; 14-9902 (D)
The bolded capital letters above are the bead key numbers, which are referenced throughout this tutorial.
I also used the following beading supplies:
- 0.008-inch, six-pound FireLine beading thread in black
- Xacto hobby knife (for cutting the FireLine)
- A size 10 English beading needle
- Ceramic bead dish
- Two gunmetal-finish jump rings and a matching lobster clasp
- Two pairs of chain nose pliers (for attaching the jump rings and clasp)
(Please remember that you can click on any image in this tutorial for a full-size view.)
2. Prepare Your Needle and Thread
Prepare your needle and thread as usual. Remember to use an Xacto knife, razor blade, or children's craft scissors to cut the FireLine; not your regular beading scissors.
3. String the Initial Base Ring
4. Review Some Basic Rules
At this point it's helpful to review some of the basic "rules" of hexagon stitch. (You may recall that we also did this in Step 5 of the previous tutorial.)
- The beadwork is stitched in units, similar to right-angle weave.
- You always use a figure-eight thread path to stitch pairs of units.
- For the initial round (where you stitch units onto the base ring), you always stitch the first loop in a figure eight in a counter-clockwise direction, and the second loop in a clockwise direction.
5. Stitch the First Pair of Units
The first pair of units consists of the first and second "loop" of one figure eight.
For the first unit:
- Pick up 1C and 6A, and slide them down against the base ring.
- Pass through the 1C again.
- Cinch up the thread tension so that this unit rests right up against the base ring.
For the second unit:
- Pick up 1A, 1B, and 1A.
- Pass up through the next two beads in the base ring, and pull the thread taut.
Note: The brown beads are colored purple in the diagrams to make it easier to see the thread paths, which are shown in orange.
6. Stitch the Second Pair of Units
Begin the next unit by picking up 1C and 6B. You will always pick up this arrangement of beads for the first loop in each figure eight (one size 11/0 bead and six size 8/0 beads). Complete the unit by wrapping the loop around counterclockwise, and passing through the first B again.
Stitch the second loop in the figure eight by picking up 1C, passing down through two beads in the previous unit (as shown in the diagrams on the left), and then passing up through the next two beads in the base ring.
7. Stitch the Next Three Pairs of Units
Use the same technique to stitch the next three unit pairs. Notice that you're still stitching the first loop in each figure eight counterclockwise, and each second loop clockwise.
8. Stitch the Final Units in the Initial Round
To complete the initial round of hexagon stitch, pick up 5B (rather than the usual six), pass through the existing B from the first unit pair (marked with a white star in the diagram), and then through the first B again.
Pick up 1C and weave up into the beadwork, as shown. Exit through the two lower beads in the left-most unit.
9. Stitch the Next Pair of Units
From this point forward, you no longer need to stitch the first unit counterclockwise and the second unit clockwise. Instead, focus on stitching the units you need, where you need them, to elongate the bracelet band.
In the example, I stitched the next unit (of 1C and 6A) clockwise, and (accordingly) stitched the second unit counterclockwise.
10. Stitch the Next Unit Pair Upward
Now stitch another pair of units, stacking this one on top of the previous one. In the example, I stitched the first unit counterclockwise, so that I'd be in the correct position to stitch the second unit downward and into the previous unit.