Do the Twist with This Free Seed Bead Bracelet

Jun 4, 2009

A Little Variation, Please

Last weekend I added some cinnamon to the flour when making a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I have a tendency to do that—swap out the vanilla for orange extract, throw in some chopped pralines, chop up a dark chocolate bar to use instead of semisweet chocolate chips.  It really bothers the chocolate chip purists (though they still eat the cookies!), but I can't help it.  I like chocolate chip cookies, but there are times I want something just a little different, but not so different that I end up making oatmeal raisin cookies or carrot cake.

That's why when I read the introduction to today's free square stitch bracelet project from Beadwork, I thought I had found a kindred spirit in Marji Brohammer:  "These beads need to do something different . . . the usual way just isn't getting it!"  After you've been beading for awhile, you might feel the same way about experimenting with variations for your usual seed bead stitches.  

Square Stitch Variations

Marji's project uses a variation for increasing and decreasing square stitch.  This variation is a way to create edges that are gently curved rather than the normal boxy increase/decrease.  As Marji notes, "This alternative arises from viewing the usual four-bead unit for shaping as subdivided vertically into smaller units of two beads." 

Notice that Marji's project also works square stitch on the diagonal.  I love this!  Up until this point, my own square stitch projects have been quite . . . square.  (Just look at my June/July 2009 Beadwork challenge project as proof!)  It's amazing to me how such a small change can make a big difference and I can't wait to do some experimenting with these technique variations. Get your copy of the June/July 2009 issue of Beadwork magazine or subscribe here.

What do you think about stitch variations?  Are you a purist or willing to experiment?  Share your thoughts on the website.

New Free Project
Square-Stitched Twisty Strap
Marji Brohammer

This tight-fitting bracelet from the Winter 2000 issue of Beadwork magazine is made by working a strip of square-stitch on the diagonal.  Instructions include step-by-step illustrations on how to create an alternative increase/descrease in square stitch that creates gently curved edges.  This intermediate/advanced square stitch bracelet project will be free for a limited time. 

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Iris3085 wrote
on Jun 5, 2009 10:38 AM
By "nature" I am highly structured and very uncomfortable straying from the rules (great traights to have in my accounting field). But outside of my field, I've spent many years trying to break out of these habits. Not an easy thing to do but I keep at it. Not everything has to be so ridgid. lol. I am gratefull for the artists who are not afraid to "break the rules" and give us new techniques! I love this new techique and can't wait to try it!
RoxanneT@5 wrote
on Jun 5, 2009 4:30 PM
I love to experiment with stitches. Some of the best things I've designed happened because something did not work the way I originally planned. It's fun to try new things.
AlyceM2 wrote
on Jun 5, 2009 5:50 PM
tried to print out this lovely pattern and it was in a foriegn language?
LisaD@81 wrote
on Jun 6, 2009 6:05 AM
Not only is it in a foreign language, try doing this pattern!! I think the second row is messed up!! I will give it another go today, but ready to give up!
blessyheart wrote
on Jun 7, 2009 6:50 AM
am fairly new to square stitch and would like to know what pt stands for in the directions given for this twist seed bead bracelet. thank you
JanetB@72 wrote
on Jun 7, 2009 9:33 AM
pt=pass through
fiberlass wrote
on Jun 7, 2009 11:04 AM
As a friend of Marji's I find this very fitting that this should appear in the Beading Daily. It is a wonderful pattern, as were all of Marji's works. I don't know if any of you are aware of this or not, but Marji Brohammer passed away on April 22, 2009. She fought a valient battle with cancer and had returned home to Kansas to be with her family, leaving North Carolina and all of her friends in our fiber guild. Her spirit, talent and joy of fibers and beading will continue through our guild and all of us who bead and remember her many talents. Pam P.
LisaD@81 wrote
on Jun 7, 2009 5:53 PM
I think I figured it out, but it doesn't tell you where to use 2 colours, so I find it hard to do, if anyone has any help let me know!!
LisaD@81 wrote
on Jun 7, 2009 5:59 PM
I am sorry to hear she has passed away, but her creativity will live on thru her patterns.
on Jun 8, 2009 7:09 AM
I am SUCH an experimenter! I have a box labeled "samplers" filled with snippets of variations. I encourage people to be fearless--stitch, undo, stitch, cut apart. Don't worry about using up a handful of beads that doesn't become a finished piece. Try anything! Leslie, editor in chief, Step by Step Beads, Creative Jewelry and Bead Star
Gyspy Mary wrote
on Jun 10, 2009 10:03 PM
Ok,I tried it,xxxxx an tried again. my beads, are old and apparently can't learn the Twist! (it must be the beads:)tomorrow,I am going out an buy real new beads, a better quality, all unform, an maybe that will help. I never give up! I will make bead soup and start again, again again, maryb.(i can do this)
Sherry@100 wrote
on Jun 20, 2009 4:11 AM
Directions are definetly not clear. I too am an experienced bearder and am having difficulty.