RAW Lace Necklace

by Theresa Olin

This delicate necklace uses two-needle right angle weave (RAW) to create a panel of "lace" for a light, feminine look. I originally called it the "White Lace" necklace, but as you can see from the picture above, it can be made with any color.


white opaque matte size 11 seed beads (or any color opaque matte or transparent matte)
PowerPro (white) or other Dynema/GSP line in matching color
button or large bead (7mm+) for closure
G-S Hypo Cement or other glue


1. Cut a length of line about 4 times as long as the finished necklace.

2. Attach the closure button or bead to the middle of the line, so that you have two even tails. For the necklace shown above, I used a 7mm clear round bead. First string a seed bead and position it at the center of the thread. Then put both thread ends through the big bead and place it snugly against the seed bead.

For the white necklace on the index page, I tied a lark's head knot (how-to here) around the shank of a button. Make a few passes around the shank and fortify the knot with glue for strength.

3. Now you'll start the RAW, but the first cross will be done slightly differently from the standard method. First, string both thread ends through a seed bead. Then string one seed bead on each end, and pass through a fourth seed bead in opposite directions as in standard RAW.

Here's a loose diagram of what it should look like so far:

4. Work RAW for another 29 crosses, for a total of 30 crosses.

5. Now you'll work the center "lace" panel. Take one tail at a time. String on 4 beads and go through the first one again in the same direction, to make a loop. Push the loop down so it's snug against the previously-done work.

6. Repeat step 5 with the other tail.

7. Cross the needles through one more bead, as if you were doing regular RAW. Keep your tension tight so the loops stay in position.

8. Do a cross of regular RAW.

9. Repeat steps 5-8 for the remainder of the front panel.

* If you're feeling mathematically adept, calculate how many inches the front panel will have to be: The single-row RAW on each side is about 4", for a total of 8". The closure will be around half an inch, so the front panel should be the finished length minus 8 1/2".

* You can also repeat steps 5-8 until the necklace is half the finished length, and then count how many pairs of loops you've added. To make the necklace symmetrical, repeat that number of loop pairs to complete the center section.

* The gray example necklace uses 18 loop pairs (4 3/4") and is a total of 12 3/4" long.

10. Do another 30 crosses of regular RAW.

11. When you get to the end, make a loop of seed beads that will go over the closure button/bead. String some seed beads onto one thread end and pass through the end RAW bead. Test putting the button or bead through the loop to make sure it's the right size - not too loose, not too tight.

12. Test the loop size again. Trust me, this is important. J Once you're sure, thread the other end (red in the picture above) through the loop of beads in the other direction. Make another pass around the loop if you'd like to strengthen it even more. Then tie the ends together with a surgeon's knot. Weave both ends back through the work a bit and tie another knot. Glue all the knots and trim the excess thread.


* I discovered after making the first necklace with Nymo D (the white necklace on the index page) that a Dynema/GSP line such as PowerPro or Fireline works much better than Nymo for this design. It's much easier to maintain the tension necessary to keep the work even with the stiffer Dynema line. PowerPro is the only Dynema line I know of that comes in white (hence the gray necklace using Fireline). You can use Nymo, but be warned that it'll take longer and you'll have to work much harder to keep the beadwork tight.

* You’re welcome to give away or sell non-mass-produced quantities of pieces made with these instructions, but please give me credit for the how-to. It will make me happy and bring you good karma. J

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Theresa Olin, 2004-2009