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
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.