Snippets from a bead artist.


February's Beading Prompt

Happy February, all.  I apologize for the lack of a New Year's/January prompt, but hopefully the rest of 2018 will be cooperative and we will have prompts each month on the first.    I did put out in the FB group that you could use bead embroidery as a prompt for January but there was no actual prompt or post.

This month I thought we would work with a stitch that is fairly under-used, but really gorgeous.  St.  Petersburg chain is slightly daunting to learn at first, but quickly becomes easier with repetition, and results in a beautiful, almost braided, look.  It can be worked in single rows, with a wonderfully jagged sort of look, or in double rows for more of a chevron feel.

Because there are so many steps to the initial stitches, it looks more complex than it is to weave once you get going.  I STILL refer to diagrams or my own instructions when I start one, my brain just won't retain the first few steps - but once it's started, it gains a rhythm that can be quite addictive.

You can make the single chain, a double chain, or hook more and more doubled chains together and come up with very different results.

This necklace I did awhile back has straps made from the single row - they look like diagonal peyote or little teeth, to me.

Then there is the doubled chain, which was worked in the traditional manner for this necklace which was designed by Hatsumi Oshitani for Bead & Button magazine (in 2009, I think). (Beadwork by me.)

I designed In Bloom with St Petersburg chain, but I joined the two strands together differently, so that each of the single chains are made separately and THEN joined. 

There is a free tutorial located on The Spruce that I found, if you haven't ever tried this stitch before, and the link for that is HERE.  There are various other free ones around, too, if you Google - many YouTube videos as well, if you're more of a video leaning learner.  If you'd like to support your small business designer, Valorie Clifton has a very reasonably priced St Petersburg workshop tutorial (photo below) on Etsy HERE.

When I searched through Etsy I didn't see very many, but I did find three that I thought were absolutely excellent - Twyla Harbick has this GORGEOUS lariat tutorial using stunning etched dagger beads as accents:

and you can find that HERE.  Simple Bead Patterns has these lovely Pheonix earrings HERE, as well as a pretty chevron looking bracelet tutorial that shows how to add more and more chains together.

My In Bloom tutorial is available HERE if you'd like to try it.  :)  I hope you enjoy this month's prompt and do try it out - I really like this stitch and would love to see more versions in the group.  Happy beading until next month!