This necklace is one of my favorite designs. Like the Red Gothic Princess Necklace, it starts with a base necklace made with cross-needle weave (CNW for short in this tutorial). Then the scrollwork is added with a second strand of beading wire. I recommend using 0.014" SoftFlex for the base and 0.010" SoftTouch for the scrollwork. The resulting necklace is flexible and drapes well, and the stiffness of the wire helps the loops keep their shape.
This method - cross-needle weave base plus interwoven strand - lends itself to all sorts of variations, so don't feel confined to the pattern I've outlined here. The catch to this is that because of the way the necklace is worked, it is difficult to adjust the size once the main pattern is woven. A pattern that looks good on paper may be too long or too short when it's worked up.
And here's our illustration of this concept: The example shown in the picture above was my first attempt at the design, and measures 17.5" without the clasp. The design that actually fits me (J) measures 15". I've included a materials list for both lengths, and alternate diagrams or directions for the shorter necklace are provided in steps 6, 14, and 21. Otherwise, the steps are the same for either length.
|size 11 seed beads (sb)
4mm fire-polished (FP) beads in contrasting color
3mm FP beads in same or other contrasting color
11x5.5mm Swarovski crystal drop #6000 or similar focal drop
0.014" SoftFlex or other beading wire
A. Base necklace:
1. Cut the specified lengths of SoftFlex and SoftTouch. String a closed jump ring or split ring onto the middle of the SoftFlex.
2. Put both ends of the (now doubled) SoftFlex through a seed bead (sb) and then through a crimp tube. Push the tube and the sb down to the jump ring, leaving a small amount of "wiggle space" near the ring. The two wire ends should be even. Don't crimp the tube yet.
3. Thread the very end of the SoftTouch through both the tube and the sb, going toward the ring. Stop when you can just see the tip of the wire coming out of the sb. That should give you three long "tails" of wire (two SoftFlex and one SoftTouch) coming out of the crimp tube, with the ring on the other side.
Through the magic of Photoshop, here's a picture of what it should look like so far. The blue lines are SoftFlex, and the red line is the SoftTouch.
4. Crimp the tube around the three wires. You may wish to use some sort of clamp to hold the wires in place, since the SoftTouch may try to slip out of the tube. I find office-type binder clips useful for this.
5. String another seed bead onto all three tails. Now you'll start the cross-needle weave with the two strands of SoftFlex. String 5 sb on each SoftFlex tail, and then cross the tails through a 4mm FP. Just let the SoftTouch hang out on its own.
6. Work CNW following the appropriate picture below. To make each loop, cross the tails through either a 3mm or 4mm FP. For extra clarity, I've put purple dots over the 3mm FP beads. The green beads you can still see are 4mm FP. The white numbers represent how many sb need to be strung in that part of the sequence (or you can look really close and count J).
7. The next part of the weave will be done slightly differently. After stringing 5 sb on each tail, put both tails through a 4mm FP in the same direction (not opposite as in regular CNW).
8. Continue the following CNW pattern:
9. This step is worked the same way as step 7. After stringing 5 sb on each tail, string both tails together through the five beads shown (4mm, 3mm, sb, 3mm, 4mm).
10. Continue CNW. Note that these two loops have 3mm FP on only one side.
11. The next loop will be the centerpiece of the necklace. Because of the asymmetrical stringing pattern, the "cross-through" FP beads will be located at roughly 10 and 2 o'clock on the loop.
Here's the (slightly fuzzy) entirety of what we've done so far:
12. The rest of the base necklace is a symmetrical reproduction of steps 6-10, working essentially backwards. If it seems confusing to backtrack, there's an outline of the whole second half of the necklace here.
Stop when you get to the last big loop, after crossing through the 4mm FP. You'll need to add the scrollwork before doing the final crimp. It's probably a good idea to secure the SoftFlex tails with a clip, so the work doesn't come undone.
13. Before you start stringing beads onto the SoftTouch, you'll need to get it to the right starting place. Lay the necklace in front of you so that the center point is coming toward you (as in the picture at the top of the page), and the SoftTouch strand is on the lefthand end. Spread the ends out horizontally, so that the necklace is in an almost-straight line. Check the areas woven in steps 7 and 9 (and the corresponding areas on the other side) - the necklace can twist where both strands of SoftFlex are going through beads together, and you need to make sure it's not twisted before you go on.
The SoftTouch needs to be coming out of the 3mm FP on the bottom of the first big loop. Use the path in the picture below to thread the wire through the beads:
* I prefer not to use a needle with the SoftTouch in this project, so it must be pushed through the beads carefully. Since the beads are already partly filled with the thicker SoftFlex, the added thickness of a needle can cause problems. A needle can be helpful to coax the wire out of a tight spot, especially where you want it to come out of a bead instead of continuing along the bead path.
* As much as possible, try to thread the wire in long fluid movements before pulling the length through, rather than through only a few beads at a time. The wire can kink slightly when it is pulled through a tight spot, and you want the scrollwork to stay as smooth as possible.
14. * This step is only for the 17.5" necklace; skip to step 15 for the shorter length. *
String 24 sb and then pass the wire through the bottom 3mm FP of the next big loop.
15. Continue adding scrollwork according to the picture below. String the designated number of sb, and then pass the wire through the indicated FP bead.
16. String 22 sb and then pass through the sb in the center of the five beads worked in step 9.
17. String 26 sb, a 4mm FP, and 5 more sb. Then pass the wire down through the 4mm FP on the left side of the center loop.
18. String 16 sb, a 3mm FP, the focal drop, another 3mm FP, and 16 more sb. Then pass the wire up through the 4mm FP on the right side of the center loop.
19. String 5 sb, and then pass up through the 4mm FP strung in step 17.
20. String 26 sb and pass through the sb in the center of the righthand FP group (the mirror of step 16).
21. Add the remaining scrollwork according to the picture below. Note that the last string of 24 sb is only for the 17.5" necklace.
22. Pass the SoftTouch through the rest of the beads in the base necklace until it comes out of the last 4mm FP along with the SoftFlex tails.
23. String 5 sb onto the lone SoftFlex tail, and another 5 sb onto the other SoftFlex tail and SoftTouch tail together.
24. String all three tails together in the same direction through a sb, a crimp tube, and another sb.
25. Before the final crimping, add the second closed jump ring or split ring using only one of the SoftFlex tails. (The other two tails will be trimmed close to the last bead after crimping.) String the ring onto one tail of SoftFlex, and then pass the tail back through the sb-crimp tube-sb from step 24. Leave the other two tails where they are.
25. Holding all three tails taut to avoid gaps in the work, and leaving a bit of "wiggle space" around the ring, crimp the tube.
26. Trim the three wire tails as close as you can to the beads.
27. Use open jump rings to connect the clasp to the closed rings.
* A GSP/Dynema line such as Fireline or Spiderline can also work in place of the SoftTouch, but it will drape slightly differently. These threads cannot be crimped, so the ends must be finished accordingly.
* 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