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Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes

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The cover of Beautiful Beaded Ropes

The cover of Beautiful Beaded Ropes

Photo by Chris Franchetti Michaels
Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches is full of beautiful, luxurious, and drapey tubular beading designs. As part of the Beadweaving Master Class series, it's intended for beaders who already have some experience with beadweving.

First Impressions

Like other books in the series, this is rugged hardcover with lots of beautiful photographs as well as diagrams. It measures a little over ten inches tall, just under nine inches wide, and about 5/8 inch thick.

There are seven chapters. One covers supplies and basic techniques, five are devoted to specific beadweaving stitches, and one chapter covers some additional stitches. Here's a complete chapter list:

Chapter 1: Supplies and Techniques

Chapter 2: Spiral Ropes (4 projects)

Chapter 3: Peyote Ropes (4 projects)

Chapter 4: Netted Ropes (4 projects)

Chapter 5: Herringbone Ropes (4 projects)

Chapter 6: RAW (Right-Angle Weave) Ropes (4 projects)

Chapter 7: Other Stitches (3 projects)

The Supplies and Techniques chapter provides a succinct review, with diagrams, of each stitch featured in Chapters 2 through 6. These instructions are more tailored for readers who have at least some prior beadweaving experience.

Organization and Projects

The ring project

The ring project

Photo by Chris Franchetti Michaels

As is typical with this series, most of the projects in the book are relatively complex. You should only try them after becoming comfortable with the basic stitch type being used and with following beading pattern directions generally. Although there are quite a few diagrams, you will not find a big diagram showing part of every step; many actions are described in the written steps, and you need to visualize and implement them yourself.

But if you do already have some beading experience, you'll definitely find inspiration here -- and you're bound to learn some embellishment techniques and stitch variations. Interestingly, even though this a book about beaded ropes, not all of the projects are necklaces and bracelets. For example, there's a big cocktail ring that uses herringbone stitch, and several pairs of unique earrings using various stitches.

Most of the projects will be time consuming. However, the author has removed the usual guesswork by providing hints and tips along the way, which -- I'm guessing -- she discovered through many hours of experimentation.

Interesting Techniques

Two beading techniques in particular caught my attention, and you'll see them repeated here and there throughout the book. One is the use of "stitch in the ditch," which is an approach to embellishment. You begin with a base of beadwork using one of the basic beadweaving stitches. You then weave through the rows again, picking up and stitching between, and often partly on top of, beads in the base. The author shares lots of interesting ways to use this method, with really eye-catching results.

The second technique is the use of a beaded rope inside of an outer beaded rope to keep that rope from collapsing. This isn't something I normally do because of its time commitment (see how I use silk cording in some of my ropes instead), but Jill Wiseman achieves beautiful results with it. In the more open designs, such as netting, you can see the underlying base rope, which also adds dimension and visual interest.

Bottom Line

Peyote stitch with a magnetic clasp

Peyote stitch with a magnetic clasp

Photo by Chris Franchetti Michaels

Overall this is a great book for experienced beaders interested in learning more beaded rope techniques. The projects are well-designed and sophisticated, and I'm sure they'll inspire you to come up with some of your own fabulous designs, too.

About the author: Jill Wiseman is a seasoned beader who teaches classes and workshops nationwide. You can purchase kits for many of her projects, including some from this book, online at Tapestry Beads.

About the series: This book is the ninth in the Beadweaving Masters Class series, which features projects by some of the most experienced beading instructors in the world. See some of our previous reviews of books in the series:

Rachel Nelson-Smith's Bead Riffs

Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery

Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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