Friday, September 19, 2008

The Versatile Russian Spiral Stitch

All done with Russian Spiral
I have a great friend that I gave a bracelet to while I was in Las Vegas. She does not have much time right now but she sure would like to learn the Russian Spiral stitch and how to make similar bracelets. I tried to find a tutorial for her and found one with a combination of 11/0 and bugle beads. I did not find one with the pattern that I know with 11/0and 15/0 beads. I guess I am going to have to try to make a pattern that a novice could learn.

I can do so much with the Russian Spiral pattern and have varied the projects I have done in several ways. The obvious is just by using different colors of beads. I love the combination possibilities. Sometimes I use the same colors in different size bead. Sometimes I use contrasting colors. Sometimes I use colors I did not even think would go together. Sometimes I stopped after about 3 rounds and ripped quick before anyone could see the mess! The great part is that the variations are endless and only limited by your imagination.

I have also used a variety of sizes of beads. I have used all size 11/0 beads just making sure that the colors are different enough to see where to insert the needle. I have also used all size 15/0 beads. Again it is essential that the colors contrast enough to locate the bead that much be stitched through. I have not used many different sizes of beads as I do not own many sizes. However I know that you can do the pattern with any variety of sizes as long as they are not too many size differences. An 8 and a 11 would work but I would not try a 6 or 8 with a 15. I would try an 8 and 6 together though as I am certain they would work well. However, I did do a practice piece that was larger beads with small and I added another of the small ( 3 instead of 2). For all I know that could be another pattern. Remember I am a Newbie at this with less than a year of beading.

Above is an example picture in which I used shiny and matte black beads of the same size (11/0) and also the same matte beads with a shiny bugle. I have not worked with bugles and the ones I used I acquired in a "mess"of beads and I have no idea what size they are or even how they are sized.
Another way of varying the Russian Spiral pattern is by enlarging a portion of the bracelet. This is accomplished by doubling the number of beads in a round. Instead of 1 larger and 2 smaller three times around, you do 6 of the combinations. After doing the double for 4 or so rounds you skip every other and are back at the original 3 combinations per round. I was told that you can continue to add combinations to form flowers but I have not tried that. I am not sure how often one would increase the combinations.
One of these days I will try and design something with that in mind...


abeadlady said...

Don't you love the Russian Spiral. It is my favorite. I have a plum colored necklace that I made with plum 8's and gold 15's. You just get a hint of gold. Love it! How do you finish your ends? I've started doing several round of peyote from the initial circle of 15's and then making a flap of peyote wide enough to go through a jump ring and attaching it to the other side. Makes a nice finished end and you don't have to look for endcaps. If you email me, Rairie, I'll send you a pic of the end.

Carol said...

The Russian Spiral is one of my favorite stitches. You are right about it being versitile. Love your pieces.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I just learned the Russian Spiral stitch and I'm hooked. The instructions I have don't say how to finish it off or add thread. I improvised on adding thread and could on finishing the ends also, but thought I would learn the right way first. I happened on your blog while searching for instructions.