Thursday, October 19, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #33: Carolina Spiral

Once upon a beading time I was sitting with my beads attempting to make a Russian spiral. I had these cute little 2.8mm Miyuki drops I really wanted to showcase... I looked away for a moment and had missed the bead I was supposed to go thru. I kept going out of what was either creative genius or laziness. I ended up with was the "Carolina Spiral" a stitch that was named by my friend Stephany. She said it was invented here in NC and it should be named as such- or something like that.

Stephany blogged about the Carolina Spiral back in 2010 after she made several bracelets from my description of what I had created. Click on over and check out her blog, there are pictures of her spirals as well as a bunch of other beady goodies!

Here's the "how to":
For this example you will need:
  • 2.8mm (mini/small/tiny) drop beads in two colors 
  • Delicas size 11 (the common/standard ones) in two colors
  • 15's in two colors
I don't usually make this with two colors, but it is easier to see the how to!
Start by laying out the beads you will use. I picked blue and purple since they were different enough for demonstration.

Pick up six beads; one of each in order (15, Delica, Drop)x2

Connect them together into a circle passing through a couple of times for support (you can tie a knot if you prefer) My thread is exiting the blue drop.

Pick up three beads (15, Delica, Drop) and pass through the matching color drop (purple in my example) from the first round. Pull tight.

Pick up three beads of the opposite color (15, Delica, Drop) and pass through the matching color drop (blue in my example) from the previous round.

Repeat picking up three beads alternating color and passing through the drops, tightening the tension as you go. There is no "step up" in this stitch, each round is added directly thru the drop from the last round.


After every few rows, depending on how tight the tension is, I grab the last drop I added (in the picture it is a blue one) with my fingers, and tug the working thread to tighten up the last few rows. This evens up the tension and makes any drops that try to curl inward behave! In the beginning I do this every five added drops or so, then less often as the rope progresses.

I also made a section of this in black and white thinking that it might be easier to see than my original color choice, I am not sure if it is, but I figured I would include them anyway!



I made a pretty good sized sample in black and white :)

I also tried this stitch with the larger drops and size 11's. It seemed to work out the same way but made a larger diameter rope. Without the variation in bead size the spiral seemed a little more subtle with the larger size drops, but still worked out!

To make a bracelet with this stitch it would take about 10 grams of drops and about a quarter sized pile of each of the seed beads. I estimate three times that for a necklace. I didn't keep track when I made my necklaces so I am estimating from my samples :) 

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 26th: Tubular Herringbone with 2 Holed beads

November 2nd: Warped Peyote Squares

November 9th: More warped squares with a bow!

Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

1 comment:

  1. This is a pretty spiral Beth, I love spirals! I have masses of those pretty little drops; Thank you for showing us this spiral, I can’t wait to try it!