Sorry I haven't been around much, but I have definitely been keeping busy beading! I do have some questions, though.
1. What is the best needle to get (especially for the small size 11 seed beads?
2. What color fireline to use: white, smoke, black?
3. What is the best way to hide your knot/end of the string?
Not sure if this is where I post these questions, so please advise.
Hi, oilnwine...I'll start this with (tongue in cheek): Good lord, woman! What kind of beading are you doing without using 11/0 beads???
Seriously, though, a size 12 needle is perfect for just about anything you do. You could be safe and use a size 13, which will pretty much go through anything except the smallest 15s or charlottes. Anything smaller, and you sacrifice sturdiness. Fireline doesn't come in "black"...I use smoke for just about anything because I think it blends better. As far as hiding the knot goes, I do it a few ways, depending on what I'm doing and the stitch I'm using. I usually pull it into another bead (if I don't have to do multiple pass-throughs; sometimes I will cut close to the knot, then burn it the rest of the way down. Crystal Fireline will burn clear and the smoke Fireline will leave a black "ball"...
I also don't know if this is where you should be asking these questions!! I'm pretty new to these forums. Just happened to be here. Hope I helped. My answers are, of course, based strictly on my own experiences.
Well, as you may have gathered, I am pretty new to the sizes, etc. My sister gave me a bunch of beads and I am only guessing what size they are! All I know is that the needles I have do not pass easily through some of the beads. The eye part is too wide and I end up breaking them. So now i'm wondering if those are the tiny seeds you were talking about. Is there any way to measure a beads in mm to see what size they really are?
Thanks for the prompt reply!
can't help with everything, but since some month i got now special beading needles too, which you mainly get in beadshops, in my experience only they sell the ones with very thin heads ... i use the John James needles in size 10 and 12. the size 10 i like most because it goes through the very tiny seed beads more than once, size 15/0 as well. If you get some beading needles make sure you get a lot, because they don't last very long, especially if you are like me a bit clumsy in the beginning, i broke a lot allready but they last longer the more i get the hang of working with it. When they bend it does not matter, they are still fine to work with until they break, apart from embroidery there is a straight needle the best/needed.
And for the fireline you got to watch out for the size also, if i only have the colors white and smoke, i just use the white for the light bead colors and the smoke for dark colors, if i use both dark and light beads i look which ones are the majority and choose the thread which is less visible then.
With knots i don't have experience which would be helpful, somehow i allways get it right and make sure they last long, usually i do knots on different places in my jewellery to be sure it stays in once piece. As bellepate says it depends on the object you are doing.
whew to find out the size of the little seeds by measuring sounds annoying to me :), how about to get a sample of some different seedbeads, then you allways know the right size. Or you look in a onlineshop that sells seed beads, they have usually the sizename like 11/0 and the Millimeters in their description of the beads, so you could measure yours if they the same...
May the beads be with you!
You can figure 11/0 beads are 2mm and 15/0 beads are 1mm...however, not all beads are created equal! I find Czech beads to be all over the place and the Japanese beads are more uniform in size. It also sounds like you may not have needles made for beading. Like I said, even a size 12 needle should work for most 15/0 beads. Good luck and have fun!
I also use smoke for most of my weave work, however I also use crystal for the lighter colored beads. However that said there are times that neither one works well, and when that happens, I use the crystal and dye it with permanent colored markers. You can get many different colors in a arts, or craft store. The first time I did it, I was working with rose colored Swarvoski crystals and the smoke was too dark and the crystal showed up like a sore thumb and made the crystals look drab. So I went to the art store and bought a marker the same color as the crystals, and it worked like a charm. That was about 4 years ago and the bracelet still looks great.
On the knots, depending on the stitch, I do different things. On a peyote, I just weave back through my work making small "o" in several different beads, several different times. In all other stitches I will follow my thread path backwards making several small half hitch knots between beads. I will make several knots in this fashion.
When adding new thread I first put my thread through the the bead I need to continue my stitching from. I'll explain, First I put my needle on the end of the thread that I cut from the spool. (This is the end that would twist and knot if you were to bead from this end of the thread.) I will first go through the last bead I stitched through, leaving all but a short piece of the thread as a tail there. Now I will go through my already existing beads making small half hitch knots as I go or in peyote my little circles. I do this till I can pull on the tail I just added, till the tail doesn't follow my pulling. Next I remove the needle from the short end of the thread, and add it to the long tail I just added, and now I am ready to continue beading. Cut or burn off the end of the short end of the thread that you just tied on with. I hope I have made my rambling understandable.
Everyone has already given you great information on needles, so I won't comment on that part of your question.
Hope this may help you,
Thanks so much, Sue! I like the idea of dying the thread. That's exactly what happened to me with a bracelet I worked on. The white was just too white and make the pink beads look drab.
Maddy, just another person with 2 cents worth to add in........... Even if you know what size beads your sister gave you, it won't matter as far as thread and needle size because if they are size 11 seed beads and happen to be cheaper beads (like made in India or China some time ago) they will have smaller and inconsistent holes. Both of those countries are doing much better now, but if the store she bought them from didn't know better, they may have bought them by price and that is really wrong when we are trying to do nice work. Even to practice on, they are frustrating because of the way the work, or actually DON'T work.
Try buying some Matsuno seed beads if you just want to experiment, they are a Japanese bead, not as doughnut shaped, closer to cylinder shaped but plumpish. I buy them from Fire Mountain and they are not expensive for the size box you get. I have had to cull very few of them also. As you go higher in quality and price, Miyuki beads, both seed and delica have had to have the least amount of culling. Toho next in line and Toho's seed beads are some of my favorites for colors. Donna
Thanks for the reply. I think that might just be what happened. She got some beads that were on sale and they are not all uniform. I just bought some "Miyuki" beads and I like them already!
Thanks! That really helps a lot!
Its a bit late, but i'd like to say i told there some nonsense, i had confused the needle sizes, 12 is of course the thiner one.... boooo and nobody is telling me :))), well i found out myself when i did buy some for myself again. But i hope you didn't got confused like me Maddy ;).
Anyway is there any even thiner needles? that is something i am searching at the moment.
Yes, there are thinner needles. There is size 13, which will go through almost all beads. Then there is size 15 (which I only use when my bead is so filled with thread that a bigger needle won't fit) but they are very thin and fragile.
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Beadiecat, thank you very much for the hint and i found some, just some days after you wrote that my favorite onlineshop got them news! Hooray, i see the possibilty coming to fix a necklace with the very thin ones where i thought i have to start a again....*ribbit* ;)