When I inherited my mom's jewelry after she passed away, a necklace in her collection caught my eye. It was obviously very old (Mom loved vintage jewelry, just like me!) and made from some sort of plastic, either Lucite or Bakelite. A short length of transparent plastic chain, it had several oval-shaped baubles hanging from it that were textured with bright coral "bubbles". I immediately knew that I wanted to re-create the necklace using (what else?) those gorgeous coral-colored Swarovski crystal pearls, and I knew that to achieve a similar texture to the original baubles, I had to use double-needle right-angle weave.
Using double-needle right-angle weave has several advantages for a project like this. Because I wrapped my base row around a wood bead, it was easier to get a perfect fit. I also used tiny size 15o beads for accents between the Swarovski pearls, so having less thread filling those up meant I didn't have to worry so much about breaking any beads (or needles!). Starting a project using double-needle right-angle weave really isn't as hard as it sounds, if you follow a couple of easy steps:
Start by threading a needle on either end of a comfortable length of thread. Pick up four seed beads and push them into the middle of the thread.
And here are a few tips for working in double-needle right-angle weave:
- Check yourself as you stitch the first row of units. You want to make sure that you don't end up with a row of beads that looks like peyote stitch instead of right-angle weave.
- To prevent your thread from tangling, stash the unused needle in your beading surface (like a velvet pad or cloth work surface), or use adhesive tape to stick your needle down on the table.
- You can keep your tension even by snugging up your beads every few units. At first, don't worry if your stitching is too loose or too tight - in time, with practice, you'll be stitching like a pro!
Using double-needle right-angle weave was the perfect solution for this beady adventure. My necklace came out almost exactly as I had pictured it, and I found myself making right-angle weave beaded beads with all my favorite round gemstone beads!
Want more great advanced beadweaving techniques and projects? Check out the August/September issue of Beadwork magazine for great projects from Sherry Serafini, Carole Ohl and Kelly Wiese, and a special look at the winners of Beadwork's Beaded Earth competition. Even better - renew your subscription so you don't miss out on a single issue!
Filed under: Gemstones, Peyote stitch, Pearls, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads