Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Progress

The initial beading is done. I'm referring to the forehead band of the headpiece.

The first strand was easy. I did a pattern, after starting and ending with two pinch beads, of three pearls - small, large,small - three pinch beads, three pearls, and on, until the right length was reached. I want it to extend to just past my ears. Both ends were finished off with the thread protector looped on a jump ring that's a closed double spiral. Picture a key ring where you split it and feed the key around the circle until it's no longer between two pieces of the ring. They make jump rings like that. It's safer than the cut ones which bend apart and back with two needlenose pliers, might not close perfectly and some day might gap, and bye-bye strand of whatever you were wearing. When you connect to this kind of jump ring while in the process of threading everything through and before crimping, your connection is stable and safe.

The first strand was the center strand, and meant to run straight through the center of the other two, which were to wind around it. They needed to be longer, so I cut my soft-flex about 12" longer to give plenty of working room. Yes, it meant some was wasted, but it also meant I could start with all strands secured in place around the same jump ring.

I spent about an hour, subtracting extra time for interruptions, duplicating the first strand's bead pattern, then tried winding both strands around the first. There was just no way they didn't squirm out of the pattern and start winding at irregular intervals around whatever. So, five minutes to unbead, meaning now the beads were all mixed up and I had to look for the right next bead rather than just dip into the cup each kind was in.

The only cure for the winding around all over the place was to make loops with "x"s, by stringing both strings at the same time and at intervals putting both pieces of soft flex through the same bead. The same color pattern wouldn't work, so after again starting with two pinch beads, I did four pearls, 5 pinch beads, four pearls, and on. The pearls were small, large, large, small, and the central of the five pinch beads was the one double-strung. I now had loops, and the straight center string could weave back and forward through each loop. I thought I could make the loops extra long and have wide loops, but what I got instead was droopy loops hanging off a straight top string.


After removing about 5" of looped beads, the lengths matched once the straight string was woven through. I knew it was too late to think straight about the final finish, so let it sit overnight. This morning I figured out that if I taped each loop with masking tape down on the kitchen table so nothing twisted, I could keep it all straight for the finishing linking through the jump ring. The looped strands ends needed to be on opposites sides of the center strand, with the back end of the ring clear for the elastic to go through. As long as I did it right, and thereafter kept the elastic straight, the bead pattern would also be straight. A bit of a touch here and there in the mirror to even out the loops just before heading down the aisle will be all it then needs.

Of course I still need to add the ruffles and a side centerpiece, but not today. Today I remove more stuff from the bedroom Steve is moving into. The good news is it looks very rich as it is. I'm not adding roses onto the beads. They'd just mess it up. The rest of the beads are in a ziploc awaiting further use.

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