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Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Chook Cuff" , weaving stages

I am weaving daily working on some great new ideas. This is the right time to share some steps I have taken to complete the last cuff I posted, "Woven Cubes".

When I decided to try weaving cubes, the hunt was on. Not only did I want something smaller, but also the size that offered a good color way selection. The 1.8 mm size fit the bill.

After completing my pattern to the length arranged for a 7.5 inch wrist, I began my edging process. This cuff, in particular, was going to be a four step process. My thoughts on edging vary, but mostly I feel it is this 'detail' and the 'detail of finishing' to include the edging, that makes a beading sparkle. I have never been a fan of being able to see 'threads' or 'the inside of beads' when I deem a weaving 'complete'. There are different thoughts on this, but for me, I find it boosts a piece to become 'jewelry'.

My first layer of edging was using a 3mm Bordeaux Swarovski Pearl as a 'turn bead' shown in the picture above. I sometimes create this same effect when I am edging, again to hide thread, but here I really wanted to add this dotted line of pearls in a complimentary color.

You can see in the picture below, the second step 'brick stitching' 11/0 Delicas along the outside edge. This also shows why I had to complete the 'dotted line of pearls' first. I always take the time to plan ahead, every step.

When I am not adding a turn bead to my weave, I'll opt to always weave a line of beads, brick stitched, so I can add the rest of my edging without relying on a turn of the thread into the woven design.

Below is a montage of the three steps to completed a 'swirl' type edging, using the brick stitched beads I just added. Notice in the picture below, how I used various sized beads and at an uneven count in line on the thread. This is what gave me the bead 'scallop' of my stitch.

A view from above shows how the three stages of my edging process is unfolding so far. The cubes are shining perfect in this picture too!

You can see in the photo below, the cuff is now cut, from the loom, for this fourth and final stage of edging. I always suggest to keep the piece on the loom, for any detailing. It holds your work steady and allows a faster completion because the weaving is not flopping around while you are arranging the details. I also find it best to use a loom with some type of 'tension adjustment'. For some reason, I have been noticing that working the weave, on a loom without a tension adjustment, the beading almost 'shrinks' while detailing or edging. They could be because of all the thread or the multiple pulls of the thread, tightening each draw of thread. When I can adjust the tension, slightly, it relaxes the bead weaving and my detailing feels more fluid. A few small looms offer such an option, search the web. Such an option is perfect for the slightest release of tension, not to make the weaving 'loop', but to relax the warps a bit. I'll add links to these type of looms as soon as possible.

Because I am adding large cubes to the edge, I wanted to be sure I was spacing them in a way that would allow for the bend. This is the reason I cut the weaving, from the loom. I ended up having to set two cubes close together, then skip a 'brick stitched' bead to continue another. This slight spacing gave the perfect bend of a large cube edge.

Finally, I got creative with a new idea to make a clasp using glass cabochons and pictures I down loaded off of the internet. The details in creating these clasps are set for another write up!

While weaving the cubes, I felt a sense of 'French Country'. Therefore, I thought chickens, chooks, cockerels, etc. were the best choice to add in the photos.

I did bead bezel each and added some scrolling and a bead tube to help level each cab for the bend, or arc, of the cuff when worn. You can see these details in a final picture, either below or my prior blog post. The backing of the cabs are 'scrap book' page paper. It is stiff enough, rugged enough and offers a wonderful color way to match any beads being woven. I always keep a large selection of color and styles on hand.

If you enlarge the photo below, you can see all of the details I just expressed above. I am surely not through with weaving cubes. They feel awesome and give off a look no other bead offers. I love when the beads speak to me!


  1. Impresionante.....un trabajo fascinante......

  2. Erin, your work is OUTSTANDING to say the least! I love seeing each of your current projects and I also look back at older posts just to admire your past work. I'm a bead embroidery person and would love to learn to bead with a loom. I don't think you have a book out yet, correct! So what would you recommend for someone to teach themselves?? Thanks so much!!

  3. Hello Robbie! You have me over a barrel with your 'bead embroidery'. I have never tried that technique of beading, but I guess I can say the closest I ever got was how I add details to my looming!

    Everyday I am working on looming and photographing for a book. There should be a good number of projects to choose, so I am hoping to include various methods I do to finish each looming pattern.

    As for a book to suggest, that is hard. You see, I am offering a means of finishing that is presently not in print. There are really nice books available that offer great looming patterns and some wonderful pictures of finished pieces. Any offered for sale will fit this criteria. When my book is complete, I will post on this blog or on my website. I'll make sure you get a copy!

  4. Thanks for comment reply! I've read some of your older posts and I'm very intrigued by your finishing edge technique. It appears adding that element really finishes the piece! Guess I'll make a virtual trip to the library and check out some books on beading on a loom. I just love adding beads to my art quilts and designing a beaded piece onto a quilted background. The beading loom is next on my 'to do' list this year! You have inspired me!!! I'll keep you posted!!