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Friday, February 25, 2011

Keeping your 'picture fringe' in order

Not too long ago, I shared a picture of the 'picture fringe' I completed on the Lotus SLN. Now I would like to explain how I completed this to keep the 'design/pattern' in order.

Here is the picture of what I shared. You will notice that the fringe is holding the graphed design, very well. You can actually make out the design I graphed. Not often, does the fringe work out in that way, especially with a graphed picture.

To keep the fringe 'picture' in order, I ran a thread through each of the fringes, after completing the over all picture. It didn't matter where I ran the tread, just that it held each of the fringes together. Notice the red lines, in the picture below. This is the direction I ran a new black thread, picking up a few on one fringe then going to the fringe next to it and picking up a few more beads, then back again. I completed this trail throughout the entire fringed area.

Holding the fringe spread apart with my fingers, you can see the thread holding each strand together. However, it is not noticeable in the first picture, after I complete sewing each strand together. This will now hold my design and still resemble a fringed picture!

Not every fringe needs this extra attention, but it is nice to do when you want to create a picture or extend a picture from your looming, into the fringe.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My thoughts on a Twisted Fringe

I just completed the entire width, of the Lotus SLN, with a 'twisted fringe' and opal glass dagger drops. This was my first attempt to make such a fringe. Going on line, to look at all the tips offered to complete this type of fringe, I realized much of what I read didn't pertain to how I was able to finish these. I'll share my exact methods.

Each strand was loaded with beads, not counted, but measured. I threaded a four inch portion of beads, then added my drops. The second half of the fringe was also loaded with beads, but measured against the first half's length, (still appx. 4 inches). The tricky part comes now. I found the best way to make the perfect twist was to use 'rubber finger tips', similar to what can be purchased in an office supply store. Holding the thread, closest to the last bead added, and pushing taut to make the beads set very close together, I began my twist in one direction. As I twisted, I made sure my efforts were twisting more towards the beads and not allowing both halves of the thread (thread length on each side of my finger hold), was also twisting. At the same time, I was turning the 'dagger' or focal at the bottom of the fringe. I did not count the number of twists, as is suggested in many online directions, but continued to twist the thread (still taut against the last bead) until the entire length of beads were twisted around.

To secure the twist and keep it into place, I used a 'spring bead stop' to hold my twist and not allow it to unravel. My needle was then thread into two beads, of the row I was adding the fringe, and passed through two additional beads, for the next fringe to begin. I pulled the thread through the four beads, still holding the original twist in the same position. Once all the thread was pulled, I made a 'half hitch' knot onto the end warp, between the two last beads I just passed through.

The best advice I can give, is to measure the length you want to twist, hold the twist taut against the last bead and keep that same twist from unraveling until you are able to make the half hitch, somewhere, to secure.

I love how this finish drapes. It has such a great feel and will add more dimension to my SLN then if I completed a 'one strand' fringe accent.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hand Weaving some accents

There is still more looming to be completed, on the Lotus SLN. But in the meantime, I am creating some accents and trim, using a few hand weaving techniques.

The fringe is layered, completing multi-levels. The longest layer is completed using the 'twisted fringe' technique in an opaque green and a luster green, 11/0 Japanese seed beads. Using the luster, gives the twist more definition. They are still in the same color hue, but the finish makes them stand out differently. These are finished with sterling silver caps and glass opal daggers.

The Lotus itself, needed a stem. The stem will hang front and center, completed in a tubular herringbone stitch. I was not sure how to 'cap' the end the of stem, at first. It is capped with a sterling silver cone and a cut opal gem. These are threaded on a sterling custom made head pin. The beaded herringbone rises from the cone, perfectly.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Graphed Fringe Design

My usual mode is to loom or bead more then one idea at a time. There are two reasons I like to work in this manner. I don't get frustrated continuing on one piece for a long period of time, I can swap out ideas between the two pieces learning double as I go and I can think about the next step for one while working on the other.

Other then the Laurel & Hardy Cuff, you have been seeing posted, I am also looming a large piece on my Mirrix. This loom is perfect, for so many reasons. However, not versed for the 'quick warped-loomed piece'. It is wonderful for carrying out the most creative looming ideas. Here is a picture of how I am fringing a 'layer' of my Lotus SLN. The Mirrix is allowing me the option to loosen the warp tension for ease of fringing, then tighten the warps back for looming.

I am using the Duracoat Delica line, Metallic Silver 11/0, for the design nestled in with the matte black Delicas. The design was graphed, not unlike any other loomed pattern, only having to keep track of how the beads will lay. Each bead is shaped more of a rectangle so when loomed, they are on their side, laying longer. When they are graphed for a fringe design, they lay straight up, thinner on the sides. Keeping this thought in mind allows the pattern perspective to stay correct.

Continuing a design or creating a separate design, in the fringe, adds much more to the bead art and can even widen your size of the 'beading canvas'.