So frustrated with my inability to weave anything!

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Posts 16
on Mar 8, 2013 11:06 AM

Hi everyone – I’m a beading newbie but have jumped into the deep end of the pool, have my own etsy store, am building my inventory to start selling at shows by this fall, the whole 9 yards. I LOVE beading on wire and do it every day.

 

My problem is this: threaded off-loom bead weaving is not my friend! I DESPERATELY want to learn how to weave my beautiful seed beads but I’ve been a miserable failure! First of all, it takes an hour just to thread a beading needle (half the time my husband has to do it for me) and second of all my hands refuse to learn how to do even the simplest of stitches! I took a class on doing a pair of outside brick stitch earrings and it was pretty sad. It was a 2 hour class and I only managed to get thru 2/3 of the way through with just one earring. I brought the instructions home and tried and tried to make the 2nd earring but gave up in disgust because my hands wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do.

 

I’ve tried following  dozens of how-to videos, studied “simple step-by-step peyote stitch for beginners” and I find it impossible to determine where to begin the 2nd row –  I’ve not gotten past my 5th bead on a peyote stitch after having tried 6 times (once the beads aren’t in a straight line, how do I know which bead to re-thread? I can’t determine which row is which!). Then I figured ok I’ll try a brick stitch but I couldn’t even figure out how to do the ladder stitch (how do I make the beads sit on top of each other??) I will sit in front of a how-to video, pausing every few seconds to follow the instructions, but what I do looks nothing like what the person in the video is doing – not even at the very beginning!

 

I’m so frustrated at myself! I’m 45 and have never worked with my hands and I’m thinking I’m an old dog trying to learn a new trick and it just can’t be done. *sigh*

 

Can anyone offer me some advice, encouragement, or at least a kick in the pants?

 

Thanks in advance!

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SCB1 wrote
on Mar 8, 2013 11:49 AM

Redclover,

First off welcome to the group. 

As with everything, there is a learning curve and a few tricks to learn. One thing that helped me as a beginner, I learned that the right bead is half the battle. If you are trying to do a peyote I suggest you learn using size 8/0 cylinder beads. Doesn't mater if they are Delicas or Treasures. just as long as they have flat sides and not donut shaped. Next, after you have strung the number of beads that you need,,,,,, take an extra needle and go through every other bead starting with the first bead. Leave the needle in place for at least 3 or 4 rows. With the needle in place it will pop up the beads you need to go through.... In other words on the first row you do you will need to go through the beads that do not have the needle in it, and it is important to keep a snug tension.  After a couple of rows the correct bead will stand up and you will know which bead to go through, so at this point you can remove the extra needle. Oh yes, it is also easier, in my opinion to learn the even count peyote first, and then once you have that mastered that one it will be easier to learn the odd count. 

At some point the light bulb will light up and you will get the concept of peyote. It hit me one morning about 2 am. That is usually the light bulk lights up, when I am not thinking a pressing myself about it. 

Have fun, it will come.

Hope this helps. 

Happy Beading!!

Sue,

Small-town USA. 

Michigan.

 

 

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shanks wrote
on Mar 8, 2013 12:07 PM

As for threading a needle, flatten the thread end with either your plies or teeth. The thread can be cut at a 45 degree angle before mashing as well if you still have trouble.  I have even resorted to putting a little bit of  super glue on the end, mashing it, and cutting the thread at 45 degrees. The holes in the needle should be looked at and the thread pushed through the same direction that the hole in the needle is made.

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D.M.Z wrote
on Mar 8, 2013 1:46 PM

redclover.......... well, I may be encouraging to you. I did my first beading class after retiring from the biz world. I taught myself square stitch which is just looping threads through beads and it ends up looking like a flat piece of fabric or a loomed piece. Then I took a class in Right Angle Weave. Then one on peyote. Peyote is an "easy" stitch but for me (I have stiff hands, not nimble at all) I could never hold the tension enough to know where I was at.........sounds like your problem also. As it turned out, peyote done properly was the LAST stitch I mastered!!! It is a pain to start until you have started many pieces. My instructor made me a "cheater strip" so that I could start my peyote projects with ease, once I got the stitch down, I learned how to start my own. I like brick much better as it is sturdier. I'd take another class or two, make sure they are not advanced or that the instructor knows you are a beginning student, that should get you a bit more attention and help. There is a lot of difference in instructors also, some shouldn't be attempting to teach at all.

Let's address your "tools"......... Sue suggests a 8/o cylinder bead, if you are not vision impaired, I'd also say you could try a 10/o cylinder as the tension is easier to hold. If you are using either an 8 or a 10, you should be using a size 10 beading needle. This is not the same as a sewing needle at all, but push come to shove with these bigger beads, a sewing needle will do. Just be aware that if you progress,  you will need to use beading needles. For thread, I'd start with Fireline 6# or Nymo D. Nymo needs a gentle stretch before you start, but either of these lines will thread easily through a size 10 needle.

If you are right handed, pinch the very tip of the thread between you thumb and forefinger, with the needle in your right hand, hold the eye of the needle just over where the thread will be and squeeze the thread out by slightly rolling your fingers apart at the tips..........the thread should emerge right through the eye of the needle. Now some days I am just not perfect at this, but it sure beats any other method of threading I've tried. 

Video instructions leave me cold, I need print instructions and a ruler to hold my place in them. The best way to learn is with a personal class..........

Also, I have friends who easily do stitches that I find difficult or almost impossible with my hands (African Helix comes to mind) and on the other hand I do things that others find difficult. Everyone is different in their abilities. Within our group of beaders, we have some who string pretty exclusively and others who do off loom beadweaving, and I primarily do loomwork although I did take the time to learn all the other stitched just because. We trade secrets and learn from each other. Donna

 

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Posts 16
on Mar 8, 2013 3:26 PM

Donna thank you so much for your encouragement - I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my lack of manual dexterity! Smile

I've been using sz 6 seed beads when attempting to weave so that I can more easily see what I'm doing. I'm using Fireline #6 and/or Silamide Sz A, and a size 10 english needle. Shouldn't those sizes work together?

I definitely need to take live classes because, while videos are good, I haven't been able to find one yet where the online teacher will stop me when I've made a mistake and show me how to do it right.

THanks again!

 

D.M.Z:

As it turned out, peyote done properly was the LAST stitch I mastered!!!

...Let's address your "tools"......... Sue suggests a 8/o cylinder bead, if you are not vision impaired, I'd also say you could try a 10/o cylinder as the tension is easier to hold. If you are using either an 8 or a 10, you should be using a size 10 beading needle. This is not the same as a sewing needle at all, but push come to shove with these bigger beads, a sewing needle will do. Just be aware that if you progress,  you will need to use beading needles. For thread, I'd start with Fireline 6# or Nymo D. Nymo needs a gentle stretch before you start, but either of these lines will thread easily through a size 10 needle.  

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D.M.Z wrote
on Mar 8, 2013 6:03 PM

redclover, I don't know anything about Silamide.......zero, zip, nada. But are you saying John James beading needles size 10? If so, that is what I use along with Tulip size 11's. So for sure that should work with the fireline. 

If your 6/o beads are round, it might help to go to a cylinder bead to learn on. I love Czech seed beads, but have been totally spoiled after using cylinders, mostly because they sit together much much better. Like your ladder stitch, with cylinders, they will line up like little soldiers, with seed beads they will almost never be uniform unless you go through them multiple times, which is ok too. I use Miyuki delica 11/o cylinders almost exclusively, but Toho makes the greatest colors in the larger sizes and I have plenty of 8/o and 6/o Tohos. 

Are  you in an area where you can take classes easily? If so just continue with them and it will suddenly just gel for you.  You'll know when  you have it, you will stop having to look closely at each bead (I just point my needle and it goes into the bead on my bead mat......amazes me all the time) and a lot of the stitches will not require close attention because you will FEEL that the needle and bead are doing the right thing. Donna

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tcwhit wrote
on Mar 8, 2013 7:31 PM

oh Redclover, I can certainly feel your frustration. I'm a mess with peyote also, but I keep trying it. Sooner or later, I know I'll master it (big ego?) Like others here have pointed out, the even count is the easiest (if any can be called easy at first). Also, D is correct in that you might want to get two colors of delicas to start with. Finally I got it by stringing two different colors, so I could see where I was. If your piece it to be 10 beads, try black/white, black/white etc, until you have 10 of each color on your string. or what ever colors you choose. When it's time to turn, you're actually starting the 3rd row. Use only white beads now, and stitch into the blacks, then when you get to the end and turn, for your 4th row, you'll just use black beads, and stitch into each white bead, then the 5th row use all white and stitch into the blacks. Keep switching your color each time you start a new row. You should be able to see a pattern emerging at this point.

What also helped was what I call a cheater bead. Before stringing any of your beads, string a big off color bead and knot it. That helps two things: #1. your tension. #2. so you aren't twisting your piece around as you come back with your third row.

Make sure you leave a few inches for your tail so you can weave it back through the piece to tie it off!

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JillLinn wrote
on Mar 8, 2013 10:53 PM

Also, try the big eye needles. They are great, no squinting to try and thread your needle.

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Beadiecat wrote
on Mar 10, 2013 8:17 AM

You could also try using these Quick Start Peyote Cards.  They're a new product and I haven't used them, but I've heard good reports about them.

Cat

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Sharon Mc wrote
on Mar 10, 2013 6:39 PM

Surprised Redclover? We all relate to what you are going thru in one way or another. My nemesis was bead crochet rope. I had to teach my self as no one I knew personally could do it. This was last summer and for some reason no matter how hard I tried I just could not get that dang rope started consistently and the project I was working on called for 50 separate rings of rope!!!! For me, if I am having problems with a stitch or project I find that if I just put the work down, walk away for one day, and stop obsessing about it I can start it up the next day and 99% of the time I can solve whatever problems I was having. It worked with the crochet rope and I can now start up a bead crochet rope with no problem.

threading a needle - I always snip off the thread at an angle so I have "fresh" thread. If I'm not successful after a few attempts I snip again to keep the end of the thread fresh, that always helps.

Years ago I tried to learn bead weaving by taking the same brick stitch earring class and also found it difficult so I gave up. 20 years later I picked up beads again and find I can teach myself almost anything. So, maybe brick stitch earrings aren't your thing at the moment. My inspiration was peyote, it came easy to me and I loved making all the different shapes. But for you, it could be something like a netted stitch, which is very simple to start out with and beautiful.

if you do decide to stick with peyote, there is a device called a peyote starter card that some of the bead stores online carry. It helps you to to keep the second and third rows of peyote lined up and easier to stitch. I think it could help you out.

Don't give up, hang in there!

Sharon Mc

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Posts 158
on Mar 10, 2013 7:54 PM

I'm the same way when it comes to threading a needle. It used to take me 15mins to thread the thing on and by the time I've threaded it, I can't be bothered starting the project! I've since changed over to Big Eye needles. I have short and long Big Eyes and its the bomb! Cool

And as some ppl have said, its ok to use size 8 or bigger beads. I do, as my eyesight isn't good for long hours of Delicas. I even loom with big beads!

You can try these ladies' youtube channels. They are my fave teachers as they show the entire project, from start to end, and include materials.

http://www.youtube.com/user/offthebeadedpath

http://www.youtube.com/user/beadifulnights

http://www.youtube.com/user/Beadaholique

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Posts 16
on Mar 11, 2013 7:56 AM

SCB1:

 take an extra needle and go through every other bead starting with the first bead. Leave the needle in place for at least 3 or 4 rows. With the needle in place it will pop up the beads you need to go through.... In other words on the first row you do you will need to go through the beads that do not have the needle in it, and it is important to keep a snug tension.  After a couple of rows the correct bead will stand up and you will know which bead to go through, so at this point you can remove the extra needle. Oh yes, it

What a genius idea! That is exactly what I will do starting tonight and I will let you know how it goes - thank you!

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Posts 16
on Mar 11, 2013 8:03 AM

D.M.Z:

redclover, I don't know anything about Silamide.......zero, zip, nada. But are you saying John James beading needles size 10? If so, that is what I use along with Tulip size 11's. So for sure that should work with the fireline. 

Silamide is a pre-conditioned thread that comes on a card (no need for beeswax). Yes, the old fashioned John James size 10. I think the fireline I'm using is too thick - I'll go back and check.

D.M.Z:

If your 6/o beads are round, it might help to go to a cylinder bead to learn on. I love Czech seed beads, but have been totally spoiled after using cylinders, mostly because they sit together much much better. Like your ladder stitch, with cylinders, they will line up like little soldiers, with seed beads they will almost never be uniform unless you go through them multiple times, which is ok too.

Actually I was using seed beads - I do have some toho square beads (I don't remember what they are called) so I will try using those instead.

D.M.Z:

Are  you in an area where you can take classes easily?

Actually there is a great bead store with classes not too far from me (that's where I took the brick stitch class) but unfortunately the majority of their classes are during my work hours - I'll have to make a point to carve out some time to take more classes with them.

Thank you for your help - I will try the square beads tonight and let you know how it goes! Smile

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Posts 16
on Mar 11, 2013 8:07 AM

tcwhit:

Finally I got it by stringing two different colors, so I could see where I was. If your piece it to be 10 beads, try black/white, black/white etc,

What also helped was what I call a cheater bead. Before stringing any of your beads, string a big off color bead and knot it.

Yes I did use two colors, which made it even more obvious how wrong I was stitchingi them! Tongue Tied 

By cheater bead, do you mean the tension bead?

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Posts 16
on Mar 11, 2013 8:10 AM

Sharon Mc:

Surprised Redclover? We all relate to what you are going thru in one way or another.

Thank you so much!  Reading the other forums here made me feel like I'm the only clueless one here - I AM, however, DETERMINED to learn how to do this and I will definitely start with even count peyote and I'll definitely get the starter card!

 

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