Monday, November 3, 2008

Russian Spiral Pattern

There are more hits on my blog entitled The Versatile Russian Spiral than any other I have done. Based on that I have been trying to decide what if anything I should do to address that. I did not do a tutorial on the Russian Spiral in the other blog but I think it is time to add a location for those who are trying to learn and have stopped by.

The pdf file below is wonderful for learning the pattern.

There are a few suggestions that I have learned by trial and error. The first is that I do three added loops of beads before I tighten my thread to allow the beads to come together in a stack. I roll the beads back and worth as I put even tension on the thread. How you hold the beads and thread seems to be a struggle at first and then you fall into a pattern that is easiest for you. I find that it helps to wrap the thread around my left little finger to keep the thread tense while I add the next three beads. If you are right handed you will be working in a counterclockwise direction. If you are left handed just do the pattern in a clockwise direction. I do find that if I pinch the beads together that the bead that the thread will enter...the one directly after the larger bead seems to pop up a little allowing the needle to enter it easier. I also find that if helps to make sure that you always have only 3 large beads at the top of the spiral or bead stack. (no more and no less). I think it helps if you use say a larger size of beads when learning than you may wish to use later on. Size 6 for larger and 8 for smaller. I prefer the smaller 11 for large and 15 for small. I have also done the same size bead but with distinctly different colors so it is still possible to tell which bead the needle enters. Same color and same size beads are not a recommendation for this pattern. I am sure there are those who do this, but it is not me. Make it easy on your self when you learn. If you need a few inches to learn and then tear out that is okay. I have many false starts when learning a new stitch. I just cut and start over I do not tear out I save it for latter often. I also use a long enough thread so I do not need to add thread on a bracelet. That is about 3 yards. I leave a tail on the start side of 8 to 12 inches. That will be the one side of a clasp.

A little bit about adding thread...knots. Any good bead magazine will tell how to tie knots and the different kind to use. I use a a variety of these and still sometimes get a mess. What you ask is a mess...a knot that will not pull through so I have a loop. Where the heck did that come from?
Also I have pulled a knot tight only to have my thread (strong as it is) break at the knot. Now before I mentioned that I usually use thread long enough for the whole project when it is a bracelet. Imagine now where that darn knot must be. You got it. The bracelet is complete and I am finishing off at the clasp. The only thing I do here is curse and undo the bracelet back far enough to tie on a thread and then finish again and hope I have no more knot problems.
Adding on a thread can be tricky also...again we are doing a know or series of knots. I find that if I put the two ends of the thread together and make a loop near my work and then pass both ends through and then start knotting and snugging all three free ends. I can secure a tight knot with very little size that will hide within a bead. I leave a long enough tail on the ends so I can weave them through my work later and tie at least 2 more knots within the finished work. I try to have 3 knots total for every end. No wonder I get into knot dilemmas.

When I finish off a bracelet I use French wire and a toggle on many of my bracelets. When I am very ambitious I make the loop and toggle. That is another blog. If I buy the toggle and ring, I buy the best I can afford. When you use the best beads, the best thread, and the best findings you feel like it was worth all the time to make. Do not make a cheap material bracelet and invest your valuable time.

Back to the French wire and how I use it. I cut 2, 1/4 inch length of the wire. When I reach about 6 to 6 1/2 inches of lengh I stop and end the bracelet. I add a large and small bead twice and then the French wire which is hollow and threads well. I then add the clasp end and take the needle back through the last small bead. If you are working in larger beads you will need to substitute a 15/0 bead for the last small one so the French wire does not go within the last bead and you can snug it up into a protective loop over the thread that is around the clasp. The clasp will not wear on the thread then. That is the real purpose of the French wire. There are other findings for this purpose. I do not know how to use them. I have only used French wire. Remember I am a novice at this, too.

Good luck and comment and leave an email if you have another question.


Carol said...

Hi, You know I love this stitch. I am going to have to check out french wire. I too am a novice and love to hear tips and tricks other beaders use.

Hope you are having a sunny Florida day. 70 degrees in Northern Indiana until Friday when it will be 40 and rain mixed with snow. 4 whole days of Indiana summer!

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back to beading. You two look great in your "tagged" picture. Florida definitely brings out the best in you. I do believe there is a place for moose in your home. Your written word sounds so much like your spoken word; I love reading your blog. Miss you, Amy

My other Little World said...

Hope I'm not too late for help (",)

This russian spiral thingy is giving me knots in my hair! lol

I am attempting my first one with guidance from the website you suggested.... but... do I double my thread?

Golly, but I feel so stupid!

em said...

Very (times infinity) good tutorial. I googled Russian knots when I became frustrated with the one I bought but which didn't make sense to me. I read through it for about 5 minutes, and tried it. The result I got was amazing. I must confess you're a wonderful teacher. Thank you.

BellaOsa said...

I see that the original post was in 2008 but it still very useful. IM glad to see that real beaders r out there! I've done this stitch resently n it's beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial ;-)

Anonymous said...

Two tips
One: You can get large spools of fireline from fishing tackle/outdoor shops ie "Bass pro" or "Sports Authority" 8lb/3.6kg is the size. it comes in 300yd spools for approx $20 - $30 available in crystal & smoke.

Two: Inside the packaging is a leaflet describing how to tie two lengths of line together, they call it a UNI to UNI knot, I know it better as a blood knot. Because the two lines do not cross each other they do not "cut" each other the knot is rated at about 90% line strength where as one that crosses is as little as 40%

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Anonymous said...

Im having trouble.....which bead do you go thru....the main or accent? i add the large bead then 2 small beads but then i go thru the 1st large bead to form the circle and it doesnt add up...HELP!!!!

BellaOsa said...

To "Im having trouble"

hope this helps... you go thru the first small seedbead after the large bead.

Extra note something i learned... make sure you keep your stitching taunt so it wont come out flimsy.

Happy Beading

Anonymous said...

I get so lost Been trying this all afternoon and by the 3rd round I have lost it and cannot find my way. I have tried to keep my work taut, but the next large bead is lost.
Oh woe is me!!!

Anonymous said...

I have treid this stitch about six times. I am having issues "stepping up" to the next row after the base row and the first row. This may seem like a dumb question but do you always skip two beads, no matter if they are the smaller bead or the larger bead? Thank you in advance. Irene

Anonymous said...

I think these Russian spiral instructions are the best I've seen. Easy to follow. Thanks for sharing! Susan

Tanto Qué Hacer y Tan Poco Tiempo said...

Hi, sorry, my English is not very good, but, I would like to know which size "French Wire" is used in this kind of jewelry making? I will like to know this because I will buy on eBay. Thank you to anyone that will answer! Adelia

My e-mail is