Stitches: Spiral Rope


Spiral ropes are so cool, you can do so many
things with them, you can make them really small and streamlined and very precise. Or
you can make them really loopy and lush and very dramatic. So I think that spiral ropes
are one of the great underserved beading tools that you can use I had just done a book on
ropes. And spiral ropes was actually the first section in that book because I think that
most ropes grow from the very basic spiral rope. So that’s what we’re going to look at
today and I wanted to show you some variations of spiral rope, what we’re going to talk about
is the very basic spiral rope, but I wanted to show you what you’ll be able to do with
the concept. So let’s take a look, this is one, a bracelet that I created using freshwater
pearls, this is one that I kind of used larger loops on so that it’s a little more full and
fluffy and dramatic. This is a version of the piece that I’m actually wearing today
and this is a small spiral rope that I’ve done with 3mm crystals and a small center
section and what I did with it is I made it a very long necklace so that I can either
wear it long just by itself, I tend to knot it because I like that look a lot, and then
I actually made it long enough that I can double it over and wear it as a doubled necklace
too. But I will also show you in this piece how we’re going to take those ends and bring
those ends together instead of adding a clasp, how you would just join those 2 pieces together,
that’s going to be a part of this piece, this video that we’re doing. You do not have to
do spiral rope for your entire necklace, you can just do a section of spiral rope and it
looks great and then this is actually a piece that was in my book, and it’s where I varied
the spiral rope, I took it from a narrow to a more thick piece, I embedded some focal
beads here and then added one little section down at the bottom and all of this is just
variations on spiral rope. So that’s what we’re going to learn how to do right now.
All spiral ropes start out the same way and what you need are some larger size beads for
what I call the spine, and in this case I’m just going to pick up 4 beads, these are size
8’s that I’m working with here, other beads that I like to use for the spine are Delicas
because Delicas have very large holes, you do end up going through these beads a whole
bunch of times and that’s why your hole size is a factor in a spiral rope, so that’s going
to be the spine that goes straight down the center, you’re only going to see this peeking
out a little bit. Then you have to pick up your beads for your loop, in this case what
I’ve got sitting here are some size 11 seed beads, I’ve got a crystal cause I thought
I’d go ahead and add a little accent in this loop. So what I’m picking up are 3 size 11’s,
a crystal and 3 size 11’s, and there’s no magic to this particular set of beads, you
can pick up anything you want for a loop. You could pick up all seed beads, you could
pick up 2 seed beads, a crystal and 2 seed beads, there’s just no magic to it. What you’re
going to do is come from the bottom end and go back up through all 4 of those spine beads.
and this is going to be the first time that you’re going to get a chance to take a look
at what that loop is going to look like here, and so if that’s not full enough for you or
if you wanted it closer to the spine, this would be your point to make that adjustment.
So now, that’s just for your first piece that you picked up, the 4 size 8 seed beads, you’re
next, and for your next loop and all the others we’ll only pick up 1 spine bead. Cause we’re
going to grow this down the center by 1 spine bead every time. So 1 spine bead and then
the beads for the loop again. 3 11’s (in this case) a crystal, and 3 11’s, you’ll have to
bring that new spine bead down so that it’s sitting right next to all the other spine
beads, and you’re only going to pass through the top 4 beads, so because you’re adding
a bead, it’s going to be that new that you just added and the 3 below it, so you’ll always
be dropping one off the bottom and using your brand new one (when you add that loop) Here’s
the other thing, you don’t want your loops to, have some of them end up on this side
and some of them end up on this side, what you want to do is every time you add a loop
push it off to the same side. Because I’m a right handed person, I tend to push them
off to the right, if you’re a leftie and you want to push them off to the left, if that
feels more comfortable to you that’s fine, just pick a side and go with it and stay with
it for the rest of your life. So we’ll keep adding, so another spine bead, 3 loop beads,
a crystal, and 3 loops, bring it down to your remainder, and I’m only passing through the
first 4, or the top 4 of your spine beads. And you’re just going to keep adding and keep
adding this way, and add loops and grow it as long as you want it to and that is basically
how you’re going to do a spiral rope. If you want to work on it for a little bit then come
back and we’re going to talk about how you’re going to add and end thread, cause you will
need to do that. So once you get going with your spiral rope you’re going to find out
that spiral rope takes an awful lot of thread. It’s cause you’re going and doing these loops
and going through that center spine so many times, so you’re definitely going to have
to add thread and end thread and there is a little bit of a trick to that, at least
to make it so that your center spine beads have, you don’t want to tie knots in those
center spine beads because you need to be able to get your thread up through there again.
So here’s how we’re going to do it, let’s take a look. I have got, here, a very short
little thread left, this is about as short as you want to go when you need to finish
off a thread, now the nice thing about spiral rope is that you don’t have to play the game
of well where does my thread need to be coming out when I start a new one, the answer is,
it’s just going to be coming out the top of that spine bead so you don’t have to add your
new one first and then your old one off, you can actually go ahead and end this right off
the bat. So what I like to do instead of, the easiest way to do this would be to go
straight down the spine, tie a couple of knots right there in that spine area, and then cut
it off. But, like I said, I need to be able to get back through those spine beads a bunch
of times and I have messed myself up more times than I care to admit by doing that and
then having trouble getting that needle through. So what we’re going to do instead is tie knots
in these outside loops, and you can actually just pass through the very first loop that’s
right there, it’s going to be the very last one that you did, and I bring, I don’t like
to tie knots next to crystals ever because crystals are nasty little thread cutters,
and so that’s a bad spot to have a knot, but what you can do is, here at the base of this
loop, I’m just going to catch that thread that’s sitting right there and tie my knot
there, pop it through, make sure that it all tightens right down there, now I can go up
a couple of beads, I only go up one or two, and then I’m going to find the loop that’s
coming out of that bead, that center spine bead that I’m coming out of, so here’s the
loop that’s coming out of that, and I’m going to pass through that loop (like so) and get
to the bottom of that loop, I’ll tie another knot right there
and then at this point I can just, cause I’m
done tying knots I can just pass down through a couple of the spine beads, tighten it on
up, and now I can cut that thread off. Ok, so to add a thread, the only thing that’s
a little bit different about adding thread is that you do want to make sure that you
end up coming out of that center spine bead, so what you need to do is make sure that when
you start it down here and let’s say, I’m just going to randomly pick a spot, go up
a couple beads, have to kind of hold on to that tail thread to start out with, there’s
the loop that’s coming out of this guy, so I’m going to pass through that, so all of
this is familiar (manipulate it to get down to that loop) there we go, through these last
3 beads of the loop, and catch the thread, you know there’s a lot of stuff, a lot of
loops and thread and all sorts of stuff going on here and the thing that I see people do
most to themselves when they’re adding and ending thread that gets them into trouble
is not taking their time. If you’re trying to rush this, because you don’t like it or
whatever, that’s what’s going to get you in trouble, so as long as you take your time,
stop, get the threads, you know like that little tail thread, get it out of the way
so it’s not going to accidentally get pulled in there, go ahead and take the time to pry
these loops apart so that you can see that center spine, then you’re going to have a
much better experience with adding and ending thread. So we’re going to pretend that I went
through more than one loop here, just so that I can get you to the point that I need to
show you which is when you go to do your last loop, what you want to do is you want to tie
your last knot on the loop before the last one, because what you want to be able to do
is come through this loop and then come back through all 4 of these seed beads, come out
the top of the spine bead and then you’ll be ready to go again so you just want to be
very aware that you want to be coming through this center spine bead straight, you don’t
want to come up this loop and then try to, because if you came out this last loop, out
of the top of this last loop, I’ve seen people do this, and then start adding their spine
bead there, well right there you’re not going to be centered, and so you’re actually going
to have a little jog in your piece. So that’s how you’re going to do your adding and ending
a thread. And then, when we come back, the other really important thing to know is how
to attach a clasp and I’m going to give you 2 different ways to do a clasp, either adding
a premade clasp, or how you can join the 2 ends together to create one continuous rope. Ok, so let’s get a clasp added to this, I tend to use toggle clasps, you could also
use the little fish hook ones, or really any kind of clasp can be attached to a spiral
rope, and it’s really easy so let me show you what’s going on here. With your thread
coming out the very last bead on the end, all I’m going to do is pick up a loop of seed
beads, and I’m using the size 11 seed beads here, you could choose to use the size 15’s
if you wanted, doesn’t really make a huge difference, I just happen to be picking up
6, I’m going to kind of see how that works out, this clasp that I picked up is going
to be absolutely perfect for it, and in this particular clasp, the loop is on the back,
oftentimes you’ll see the loop on the side, but in this case it actually has kind of a
hidden loop. So we’re just going to take your needle and thread through there, and then
you’ll have to go back down the center spine and this is where you’re going to want to
go down farther than just 4 because you don’t want to come out that top loop again, remember,
you want to come out the seed bead, cause we’re going to have to reinforce this piece.
My rule of thumb on a clasp is that I want at least 3 passes of thread through there,
so what we just did when we added it was the first pass, so now we’re going to have to
do 2 more passes. So to turn around and come back up here we’re going to utilize these
loops, so my thread’s coming out right here, the loop attached to it is right next to it,
and so we’re going to come up that loop, now I can pop up those last 2 spine beads, reinforce
that little loop of beads around the clasp, and all I’m doing here is passing through
the beads, and I’m not adding anything. and then I would do that same thing again, and
ideally you’re going to do it in a slightly different spot, I like to do it in a different
spot every time, right now (oops) just have myself a little poke, a little DNA sample
for my piece, that’s called your DNA signature when you do that on your beaded piece. Ideally
I try to do it in a different spot every time, and the other thing is as I was coming back
through the spine beads, I was noticing (and the reason that I poked myself) is that I’m
starting to get a lot of resistance there, so just be prepared that that happened, I
happen to be using a size 10 needle and I certainly could go down to a size 12 needle
and that would make a big huge difference in getting my needle back through there. So
then to navigate back up I need to find, so my thread’s coming out here, here’s the loop
that comes out of there but, that’s going to be that very last one that comes off the
tip so really, I need to go for at least one more spine bead down. Now, when I turn around
and come through this loop (go back up here) Now I have one spine bead right there in the
center to go through so that I’m coming out the center. Like so, watching carefully for
hooking on anything, cause that’s something that’s very very easy to do, so then I would
just reinforce this again, and then bring it back down and end your thread off, the
way you normally would. Ok, so that’s your number 1 option for attaching a clasp, now
your second option for a clasp, is not use a clasp at all. And if you’re making a long
piece, that can fit over your head, what you can do is actually join the 2 ends together,
and just create one continuous circle. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, in that, what
people’s reactions are is “ok, all I have to do is here, my thread’s coming out of this
spine bead here, I’m going to go in the spine bead on the other side go back and forth to
reinforce a couple times, and I’m done” Technically you could do that, but, what is going to happen
is you’re actually going to be missing 2 loops of these crystals, if you do it that way,
so there’s actually 2 loops that you have to add when you’re joining. And I say 2 loops
so that’s 2 loops only because my spine on this particular piece was only 3 Delicas,
and so one of those will already have a loop attached to them, but the other 2 we have
to attach loops. If say, you had 5 Delicas in your spine then you’d have 4 loops that
you had to add. Ok, so I’m coming out of the center Delica here, and what I’m going to
do is on the opposite edge I’m going to go through the center Delica there, and just
one, I’m just going to attach it with one. Then I want to line it up so that, you want
to make sure that your previous loops are off to the side here, so right here you can
see where my previous loop from underneath was right under there, and now I’m coming
out 1 spine bead above where that previous loop was, so here I’m going to add a loop,
so in this case my loop happens to be a size 15, a crystal, and a size 15. So now, I’m
just going to add these as if it were normal and as if I had picked up that spine bead
instead of just grabbing it from the other end. And again, this time I’m only going through
3 because that was the spine on this particular piece, so now I’ve got that one, and then
I need to pick up one more spine bead, I’ll go forward by 1, and this will be my very
last loop that I have to add so one 15, and a crystal, and a 15, and then I’m just going
through the last 3 spine beads like I normally would, so this has a double benefit, it finishes
off your loop pattern but it also just reinforced that join area and now, you cannot tell at
all, where that join happened. At this point then I could just end off this thread and
then this is one continuous piece. Now this particular piece happens to be too short to
go over my head so I will actually undo this and make it longer and then do it again, but
that is how you create a single continuous loop, and that’s also a really good thing
to know how to do, especially these days when the designs tend to be for longer necklaces.
So I hope you had a really good time making spiral ropes and I hope you’ll experiment
a lot and that’s what I’m really hoping to encourage you to do is play with your loop
size, play with colors, play with placement, and then please be sure to share with me what
you’ve done, you can find me on Facebook (there’s a link) and you can find me here, obviously,
you can leave comments here. You can like this video and subscribe, there’s buttons
for that, I know I’ve got buttons for everything right? And I really hope that you have a really
good time with it, thanks so much!