Beginner Project: Peyote Stackable Rings

Feb 21, 2008
 

On Wednesday, Jean Campbell talked about not wearing her beaded rings until she was inspired by artist Frida Kahlo who apparently lived by the jewelry motto "more is better"! I confess do not wear my beaded rings either. (I'm sensing the start of a support group here . . . Beaders Without Rings.) Instead, I keep my rings in a little paper box by my office phone because they are fun to play with during those dreaded telemarketer calls. I don't know why I don't wear them. What I do know is that they are fun to make. Even if you decide later that you don't want to wear your rings either (or you just want to join the Beaders Without Rings support group and eat my homemade brownies), you still might want to try one for fun.

A Great Beginner Project

For me, a great beginner project is not just one that is easy in terms of actual steps, but also one that can be completed in a relatively short period of time. I think an hour or two at most is perfect, which is why I never understood the push in knitting to make scarves beginner projects!

Each peyote stitch band is composed of two rows. By wearing more than one ring on your finger, you give the illusion of wearing a ring with a wider band. You also have the option of switching the order of the rings any time you please, giving you a whole new look with minimal effort. The instructions show you how to make a two color band like the rings shown here. However, once you get the basic technique, you'll be able to create your own unique variations.

Free Project: Peyote Stackable Rings by Cathi Tessier

 

A Word about FireLine

This ring project uses FireLine, which is a thermally produced fishing line that is popular with beaders. 

 

FireLine one of those things you'll either love or hate. (I happen to love it, myself.) One of the benefits of using FireLine is that it's easy to hold onto and so stiff that you may be able to use it without a needle for some projects. This is one of the features I especially like since I tend to drop my needles into the sofa cushions!

I asked Leslie Rogalski, editor of Step by Step Beads, for a few hints about using FireLine. Leslie notes that it is "suitable for almost anything" and comes in different weights. For projects that don't need to bear weight (like earrings), Leslie uses 4 lb. For projects needing power to hold beads together as in bracelets or bails, she uses 8 lb, which she also uses in her rings.

Here's what else you need to know about FireLine:

  • It has virtually no stretch.
  • It works well for stiffer beadwork or designs with crystals. (Leslie recommends using it doubled and in projects where the FireLine exits the bead holes straight, so that the edges of the crystals do not have a chance of abrading the thread.)
  • It does dull scissor blades, so designate a pair of scissors to use for cutting.
  • It may leave black marks on your fingers, but those wash off easily.

Next Wednesday Jean Campbell will have some additional tips about using FireLine and similar products like PowerPro and Dandy Line. In the meantime, feel free to post your comments and questions on the website. Do you love FireLine? Hate it? Never used it? 


 

Glass Bead Design Challenge

Have you submitted your challenge entry yet? Design a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings with any type of glass beads (including lampwork, Czech pressed glass, or crystals) and you could win a cool new beading book or this beautiful starfish lampwork pendant by Stephanie Sersich. Deadline is Sunday, March 2, 2008. Enter the Glass Bead Challenge.

NEW Free Peyote Stitch Pattern eBook: Our first free beadweaving pattern e-book features 5 peyote stitch projects, plus two full pages of step-by-step illustrated instructions on even- and odd-count peyote, and a sheet of peyote stitch graph paper for creating original jewelry designs. Download Peyote Stitch Projects with BeadingDaily: 5 Free Peyote Stitch Patterns


Michelle Mach shares free beading projects and tips every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle (including suggestions for future free projects), please share them on the website. Thanks!



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Comments

LindaP@117 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 11:45 AM
I love Fireline and found out there's pink Fireline. But alas, only available in Australia. Since my husband is regularly in Australia, this is on my regular wishlist. Expensive though, 125-yds is the same price as we pay here for 300 yds. But oh how I love my pink Fireline.
Mary AnnC@14 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 12:01 PM
I love using Fireline. I run the strand through a paper towel a few times to prevent my fingers from getting black.
CaroleO@3 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 12:11 PM
I love Fireline. A tip about scissors: We found the best scissors to use are Kid Fiskars. They are inexpensive and for some reason, last a long time with Fireline. They don't get ruined as fast as more expensive scissors do.
AlvinaJ wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 12:26 PM
I prefer the spider wire. I have had a hard time getting use to fishing line. It is best to cut it at an angle before threading. I also use flatnose pliers to flatten the end of the line to thread it.
on Feb 22, 2008 12:31 PM
I enjoyed very much to receive the emails from Beadingdaily (Michelle Mach and Jean Campbell). I feel identification with them and a smile came to my face reading about the "not-wearing our own beaded rings" ;) ....Thank you and a big huge to all of you.
on Feb 22, 2008 12:33 PM
Sorry, I forgot to post my doubt: I have never use fireline...do you know the translation in spanish? or a brand? Thank you and best regards, Alejandra.
JeffreyA wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 12:37 PM
I use Fireline almost exclusively now. Don't have stretching, don't have to worry as much about knotting or breaking. I have a pair of Fiscars dedicated to Fireline as noted above.
ryanscott wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 1:06 PM
who makes fireline and where do you buy it in the US?
Carol DeanS wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 1:13 PM
I'm an absolute convert to FireLine for all of my beadweaving. Once I used it, I never wanted to go back. For just about everything, including my rings and my cuffs, I use 4lbs. My work isn't heavy and so I'm quite comfortable with that weight.

I learned a valuable lesson on when NOT to use FireLine just this week, however: http://sandfibers.blogspot.com/2008/02/i-will-stop-crying-sometime-today.html

Carol Dean Sharpe
Sand Fibers
KristinP@11 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 1:15 PM
Does it need to be Fireline brand, or will any fishing type line do? It costs a lot more than some others. Just wondering. Thank you!
MarshaD@8 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 1:18 PM
if you flatten the end of the fireline with a pair of chain nose pliers, it will go thru the eye of a needle very easily.

Always use it double and wax it well - this way the tail doesn't tie itself into knots around the sewing thread.
MelodeeD wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 1:27 PM
Since I have discovered FireLine about 1 1/2 years ago I threw out all my other threads. I use it exclusively on everything from earrings to tapestries. I find it doesn't tangle or knot as easily as other threads I have used. I use 4 lb., 6 lb. and 8 lb. My only problem is that I live in Florida and alot of the stores do not carry it. Wal-Mart and Sports Authority use to carry it, but they only carry heavier test pound because fishing here is for BIG fish. I did go on the internet and found a couple of sites that carry it, so I order online.

I think it's GREAT!!!!
LauraP@47 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 1:30 PM
Our teacher advises against Fireline because she says it is biodegradable and will give way the mfg several times, but they ignore my question. Am anxious to hear. I am a very loose beader and need it for some things.Laura P
on Feb 22, 2008 1:51 PM
I absolutely love Fireline, particularly for jewelry. I work a lot with translucent and opalescent beads, so I find Crystal Fireline extremely useful. It virtually disappears within the bead.
Anonymous wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 2:01 PM
I am wondering about knotting. I bought some very thin fishing line that said it was knotable and wouldn't stretch, but the knots didn't stay in well.
on Feb 22, 2008 2:03 PM
I love Fireline. I've been using the 0.008" 6 lb. for bracelets. Although difficult to find, the spool must be marked 'Braided Bead Thread' as there is also Fireline fishing line. Do you know what the .08 is used for which I've also seen?
Jo EllenL wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 2:10 PM
Fireline can be hard to thread onto a needle. Do not use your teeth to flatten the end of the Fireline. It will wear a groove into your tooth, which may lead to a cracked tooth or worse. Use needle nose pliers or a needle holder (like a hemostat but with no teeth) to flatten the end before threading your needle.
on Feb 22, 2008 2:13 PM
Sandy L - Fireline is made by Berkley and distributed by the Beadsmith. Fire Mountain Gems has recently started carrying a full selection online.
NancyS@136 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 2:37 PM
I LOVE Fireline...I only use this and don't use Nymo anymore if I can help it. I buy 6# 300 yd spools in gray/smoke and crystal...at Bass Pro Shops.
SharmanM wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 2:57 PM
I also love the braided Fireline sold for beading. In my experience it doesn't split or tangle like Nymo even without using beeswax or Thread Heaven. Also, I find I get better weaving tension when I use it. (I tend to bead too tight.) I just wish it came in more colours!! That is the only reason why I hang onto my Nymo spools. Sometimes a project calls out for a close thread match. Sharman
on Feb 22, 2008 3:25 PM
I LOVE fishingline for beading. For me it means NO more crimp beads and pieces falling apart because the crimps cut into the wire or threads. At times if I see that I made a mistake and need to go back into the piece I can actually undo the knot and repair things without having to start over (of course this is at a point where I haven't glued or cut yet). I also love the form it gives and how versatile it is. Thanks for letting me share. Sheila from Arizona
AllegraC2 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 3:47 PM
I don't understand why people use coloured fishing line. I always use transparent fishing line, and it goes with everything! I find 6lb to be a nice compromise between strength and fitting into small beads multiple times. I buy my fishing line from Canadian Tire, 750 Yards for $4.00. I would never buy it from a bead store because I know they will way overcharge. So what is the advantage of Fireline? I have never had a problem with gold old fashioned clear fishing line from the hardware store!
on Feb 22, 2008 3:49 PM
Almost all my projects are threaded with Fireline. I have found it very good with only one necklace coming apart. Since it was made from some rather sharp gemstone chips, I don't think it would have mattered what type of thread was used, it still would have broken. I am continuing to use Fireline as it doesn't curl up or fluff like some of the nylon threads.
WendyB@17 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 4:18 PM
I use Fireline and Powerpro almost exclusively in my beadwork. I have found, though, that swarovski crystal will cut Fireline and so for projects with crystals I use only Powerpro. I have also had the 4lb test fireline break on me more than once, so I now use nothing lighter than the 6lb test. Don't be fooled by spools sold as "beading thread" Fireline. It is exactly the same as that sold in fishing supply stores; you are just paying more for less quantity.
BarbaraO@17 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 6:41 PM
I love fireline and do not like to use anything else. A hint I read somewhere and makes cutting fireline easy as pie. Buy a pair of Fiscar childrens sissors. I think I paid .99cents. They really work. Won't cut other threads but work great on fireline.
Barb
Laughing Dolphin Jewelry
bodhikt wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 7:57 PM
"I love Fireline and found out there's pink Fireline. But alas, only available in Australia."

Not so-- I got a roll of it at Sports Authority in San Diego. I think the Cabellas catalog (online, too) also has it.
bodhikt wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 7:59 PM
"I have never use fireline...do you know the translation in spanish? or a brand? ".....
Fireline is the brand name. PowerPro and Spiderwire are other brands, of similar gel-spun polyester fishing lines.
bodhikt wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 8:02 PM
"Does it need to be Fireline brand, or will any fishing type line do?"

Look for the term(s) gel spun polyester, braided, fused, and/or "super line". It's going to be about twice the cost of monofilament lines. Other brands are available, but some, like Spiderline/Spiderwire also makes monofilament, so you need to read the box carefully.
bodhikt wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 8:05 PM
"I have found, though, that swarovski crystal will cut Fireline and so for projects with crystals I use only Powerpro. I have also had the 4lb test fireline break on me more than once, so I now use nothing lighter than the 6lb test."

I've never had Fireline nor Spiderwire break on me, but have had a problem with Power pro "snapping". Usually the thinnest I can get locally is 10# test (occasionally 8#).
bodhikt wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 8:13 PM
"I always use transparent fishing line, and it goes with everything! I find 6lb to be a nice compromise between strength and fitting into small beads multiple times. ... So what is the advantage of Fireline? "

Fireline and other GSP lines 1) do not stretch over time; monofilament can stretch up to 10%. 2)have a thinner diameter for a given # test rating-- easier to thread needles and can make more passes through beads. 3) they are multi-multi strands braided and/or fused together into a single line; this gives them more strength and better drape... sort of like with beading wires-- the 49 strand coated wires (Softflex, et al) are much nicer jewelry wires than regular 7-strand tigertail.
roseallen wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 9:42 PM
I make beaded ring patterns and kits - I use 49 strand .014 Accuflex from Fire Mountain. I wear my rings daily (for years) and have never had one fall apart. I use lots of Swarovski crystals and they have never cut the wire. Yes, this wire costs lots more, but it's been fantastic to work with. I know it won't stretch or break down over time. Those are the concerns I have with any line that is also used for fishing.

I think my confidence in this wire helps me enjoy my creations and wear my rings on a daily basis.
Rose
www.capitolviewconsulting.com/creations.html
AllegraC2 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 10:31 PM
Oh thanks for answering our questions, Kaytee! So basically Fireline is like caviar and monofilament fishing line is like Burger King. Oh well, I'm young and I Burger King has been good enough for me. Besides, I have 1500 Yards of Burger King in my beading kit and I'll probably want to get through that before my taste becomes more refined (which probably won't be till I'm middle aged!)
ryebread2 wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 1:59 AM
I love using Fireline. A tip I picked up from one of my beading teachers is that crystal Fireline can be colored with permanent Sharpie markers. Hold the Fireline under the tip of the Sharpie on a thick piece of paper and pull the thread under the marker, much like waxing the thread. I've done this with a green Sharpie for some green and turquoise colored glass beads and the Fireline really does disappear!
GemmaJ wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 6:13 AM
I gave up on fireline as I just can't get it through the eye of the needle.
Any tips???
Gemma uk
Carolyn910 wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 8:56 AM
Gemma, use your flat needle nose pliers to flatten the end of the Fireline. I'm a rightie, so I hold the pliers in my right hand and the Fireline in my left. Put the end 1/4" (4mm) in the pliers, turn them 90 degrees so the Fireline forms an "L" shape and pull. It takes much longer to describe than it does to actually do it. With this method I can get Fireline into a size 15 John James needle so I'm confident it will work for you.
on Feb 23, 2008 9:33 AM
FireLine is wonderful. The Pink and Green are avaiable if you live near a Cabela's. To clarify the law, yes fishing line is required to biodegrable.....within 10 years in direct weather elements. No jewelry should be subjected to constant sunlight and submerged in water.
TheresaA@6 wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 5:40 PM
I was stubborn and despite everyone praising Fireline I stuck with thread. I finally broke down and bought some for a class and well I now use my thread to work on proto-type projects then re-thread with Fireline.
JudyD@53 wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 7:43 PM
Hints for using Fireline: It comes in 2 colors, smoke and crystal. Use smoke for dark colored beads & crystal for light ones. It's easier to use if you wax it with microcrystalline wax. Use a seed bead at each end of a crystal to protect the thread from the sharp edges of the crystal. Pull the thread straight through the crystal instead of at an angle. Flatten the very end of the Fireline between your front teeth to make it easier to thread on your needle.
DeeS@23 wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 8:42 PM
I haven't used FireLine yet, but I found it at WalMart today. I also found a link to this rebate from the Bass Pro Shops website. It doesn't specify a retailer, which is great:
http://image.basspro.com/images/images2/free-offers/08berkley_fireline_$8rebate.jpg
So, just to clarify - should I use the gel monofilament or the braided? Thanks! I love getting Beading Daily emails. :)
Jmiya211 wrote
on Feb 23, 2008 8:53 PM
I don't like Fireline. My favorite for all off-loom weaving is Spiderwire #10. It is extremely strong and flexible and fits as many as 4 times through most beads even 15's.
Bjmack1213 wrote
on Feb 24, 2008 1:19 PM
Fireline is a product made by Berkley. I use 4lb. test for 15's, and 6lb or 8lb for everything else, and yes I can make 4 or more passed through a bead. If you go to www.basspro.com you can find it not only in the different weights but in 3 colors. Smoke is the gray and you can wipe it through a paper towel to get the residue off before you use it. Flame green is a neon yellow-green on the spool but is not that bright when you use it on light color beads, it blends well. Best of all is Crystal which looks white on the spool but is actually clear. Fireline is a braided silk that is coated with a polymer to protect it. This is why it doesn't fray like nymo or regular silk thread. It also knots easily but can be unknotted if you get a snag without fraying. However, I rarely get snags like you can with thread. You can "unbead" if you make a mistake and "rebead" with the same thread, again no fraying or damage. If you buy from Bass Pro you can get larger spools for less money. It comes in 125 yds., 300 yds., and 1100 yd. spools. It DOES NOT deteriorate over time, in fact this is an advertised feature. Beacause it is silk based it doesn't crack or breakdown over time like monofilament or nylon can. The Bass Pro rebate offer is a coupon they send with your purchase which you then mail in. As you can tell I love this stuff. I can't remember the last time I used anything else. Oh, and thanks for the tip on finding the pink at Cabella's. For those of you not in the U.S., these are both huge sporting goods stores that have websites.
DorisM@14 wrote
on Feb 24, 2008 10:29 PM
Fireline is great, I have used several sizes and like them all.
Doris
EllenaA wrote
on Feb 25, 2008 10:43 AM
Hi, all! I too am a fireline/powerpro convert from Nymo, after that fine product fell apart on me several times after hours of work. My work varies from not-too-fine but small, to kind of heavy, so I've found that 10-lb. test covers most things. I found a good outlet at www.fishusa.com. They have crystal, yellow and lime but not the pink, which I'm anxious to find.
NancyB@5597 wrote
on Feb 25, 2008 9:16 PM
Love Fireline and have used it in many sizes.
At first, I had trouble with cutting it but came up with a solution which may not suit everyone, but does really work.
I use a very small cutting board(or other such surfacr) and a single edged razor blade. Cut. It may be ready for threading right away. But, if not, I use needlenose pliers on the Fireline to flatten it for an inch or so, and then go back with the razor so that I can make it a perfect pointed cut.
on Feb 26, 2008 8:52 PM
I have a question about the pattern itself. I am a beginner and have done loom beading and flowers but never jewlry. On step 4 do I start with step 1 or do I add 1 bead at a time? Many thanks and going to give Fireline a try. :)
Jessica
BonnieH@26 wrote
on Mar 3, 2008 12:44 PM
I liked reading about using Fireline. Thanks, I'll give it a try. I also like very much when you give a full website name.
BonnieH@26 wrote
on Mar 3, 2008 12:44 PM
I liked reading about using Fireline. Thanks, I'll give it a try. I also like very much when you give a full website name.
on Oct 3, 2013 12:24 PM

Yes I agree about the easy of fireline. I love the look of the peyote stitch but after making several bracelets with nemo I found that the pieces broke after regular wear and tear. That was years ago but when I heard about fireline I decided to give it another chance and found it to be the best of any thread I've used. Making rings now and ready to go onto larger pieces.