Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #32: African Helix

I don't think I have ever done African Helix stitch before, but after my first few rows it seemed familiar and comfortable. It is a another stitch like Brick Stitch where the support comes from the thread not the beads. I made several samples and a bracelet for this week. I enjoyed learning this stitch, but don't think it will replace my go-to's for ropes. 


I noticed that the beads used for this stitch vary the look of it. For my samples I tried 11's and even did a little section with bugles. I really liked the way that this stitch looks with Czech glass seeds (the kind that come on hanks). The blue and tri colored pieces are made with these seeds. I wish I had started my bracelet with them, but I am happy with how much sparkle and texture the bracelet has!

While it wasn't difficult to do, understanding the instructions was the hardest part of this stitch. I learned that the direction that the thread is looped makes a huge difference in the way the beads lay and not all tutorials teach the same path. I am not sure which is the "traditional" way to do the stitch, but looping over made a better rope when I did it. It is also important to start this stitch with support in the middle. To make my samples I used a wooden barbecue skewer and made my rope with three sides instead of the four that the tutorials suggest.  Fusion Beads has a picture tutorial on how to, but the pictures aren't clear that the thread goes OVER the next thread not up and under. Karla Kam from Auntie's beads has a video on YouTube that shows the thread path that I found works that best. I did construct all of my pieces on my skewer, though I found that after 10 or so rows it wasn't necessary.

Next week I am covering the "Carolina Spiral" another stitch that makes a spiral rope. It is one that I accidentally made while trying to make a Russian spiral. 

I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet 😀

Coming weeks: 

October 19th: Carolina Spiral

October 26th: Tubular Herringbone with 2 Holed beads

November 2nd: Warped Peyote Squares

Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

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