I can't remember where I first learned this diamond chain stitch, but I love it! It's so easy and so versatile that you can work it up with pretty much any beads you happen to have around. It's fast, too – it only took me about an hour to whip up this bracelet using some fire polished beads. The best part is that you don't even need to have a clasp handy – just work an extra unit at the end and stitch up your own toggle bar using a few extra beads.
To make a 7 inch bracelet, you will need the following beads and supplies:
- 60 oval fire polished beads, 4mm (A)
- 1 gram each size 11 seed beads in two colors (B and C)
- Your favorite beading thread
- Size 12 beading needle
- Scissors or thread cutter
|On a comfortable length of beading thread, pick up 1 A, 1 B, 1 C, 1 B. Repeat three times for a total of four sets of beads. Pass through the first A again and pull snugly to form a ring.|
|Pick up 1 C and skip the next set of B, C, B beads. Pass through the next A and pull snugly so that the C just added lies in the center below the B, C, B beads. Repeat around, adding 1 C beneath each set of B, C, B. You may have to nudge the beads into place with your fingers. After adding each C in this round, make sure that your tension is moderately tight – if your tension is too loose, your diamond won't hold its shape.|
|Work around so that you are exiting a C bead.|
|To add the next unit, pick up 1 B, *1 A, 1 B, 1 C, 1 B. Repeat from * until you have a total of 4 A. End with 1 B.
Pass through the C you exited after finishing the first unit and pull snugly. Add 1 C around the inside of the diamond unit as you did before, pulling snugly and adjusting the shape and location of the beads with your fingers as necessary.
Continue to add units in this manner until your Diamond Chain is the desired length.
|You can use the last link in the bracelet as the clasp. After your bracelet is the desired length, add one more unit. This will be the "loop" in the closure. On the other end of the bracelet, work your thread so that you are exiting the middle C bead on the outside of the last unit. Pick up 4 B, 1 A, 1 B, 1 A, 2 B. Skip the last B added and pass back through until you are exiting the fourth B picked up. Pick up 1 A, 1 B, 1 A and 2 B. Skip the last B added and pass back through all the beads added in this step. Reinforce by passing through the second set of beads, and then back down through the first 3 B added and into the bracelet. Tie off your thread and trim close to the beadwork.|
You can work a variation on this chain by adding units of right-angle weave done with just seed beads between each unit done with fire polished beads.
Stay tuned for a beautiful Renaissance-style collar made with this technique!