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Catch a wave ladder stitch bracelet

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The challenge I set for myself in this design was to make parts of the bracelet flat and other parts curvy, similar to a mathematical shape called a saddle. I love using different shapes in beadwork, and finding ways to make those shapes. Straight rows of ladder stitch anchor alternating motifs of flat and wavy Ndebele herringbone in the final piece. 

SUPPLIES

Bracelet 6 1⁄2 in. (16.5 cm)

  • Swarovski sequins (Joyce Trimmings, ejoyce.com)
  • 6 mm square Corona sequin
  • 6 5 mm round Lochrosen sequins
  • 12 3 mm bicone crystals
  • size 11/0 seed beads
    • 10 g color A
    • 12 g color B
  • size 15/0 seed beads, 1 g each of 2 colors: A, B
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading thread
  • beading needles, #12

INSTRUCTIONS

1

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread, pick up four color A 11/0 seed beads. Leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, sew through them again in the same direction to form two side-by-side stacks. Pick up two As, sew through the second stack, and back through the two As just picked up. Continue working in ladder stitch to make a two-bead-high, 86-stack ladder. These will be rows 1 and 2.

2. To work row 3, begin with the thread exiting an end A, and pick up two color B 110 seed beads. Sew through the next A on the ladder. Sew up through the third A on the ladder, pick up two As, and sew down through the fourth A. Referring to the pattern in FIGURE 1, work in flat Ndebele herringbone across the ladder to complete the row. Begin with part 1, repeat the pattern in part 2 five times, and finish with part 3. At the end of the row, make a turn without adding an edge bead. 

Rows 4 and 5: Work two rows following the pattern.

2

Row 6: Work the row to the increase symbol (x), and with the thread exiting this bead, pick up two Bs and sew back through the same B (FIGURE 2, a–b). Sew through the next B (b–c). Work two stitches (c–d). Sew through the next B (d–e) marked with an increase symbol. Pick up two Bs and sew back through the same B (e–f). Continue to the end of the row, increasing in the marked stitches as shown in the pattern for each repeated section.

Rows 7 and 8: Work two rows following the pattern.

Row 9: Work across the row, increasing in the marked stitches and working three herringbone stitches between the increase stitches.

Rows 10 and 11: Work two rows following the pattern. Secure the working thread and tail with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

3. Repeat step 2 to complete the other half of the bracelet working from the other edge of the ladder.

3

4. Secure 1 yd. (.9 m) of Fireline in the beadwork, exiting from an end edge B. Pick up a color B 15/0 seed bead and sew through the next two Bs (FIGURE 3, a–b). Repeat but do not add a B before the pair of As. Sew through the As (b–c). Pick up two color A 15/0s, a 3 mm bicone crystal, and two A 15/0s, and sew back through the two As and the next two B 11/0s (c–d). Repeat across the edge. Sew through the end row and embellish the other edge of the band.

5. Sew through the beadwork, exiting in the center of the end A 11/0 motif. Pick up a 5 mm Lochrosen sequin with the flat side up, a 6 mm Corona sequin with the flat side down, and an A 15/0. Skip the 15/0 and sew back through the sequins.

6. Sew through the beadwork to the center of the next A 11/0 motif. Pick up a 5 mm sequin and an A 15/0. Skip the 15/0 and sew back through the sequin. Repeat, adding sequins to the center of each A 110 motif.

7. Sew through the beadwork and exit the sixth B 11/0 from the edge. Pick up enough A 15/0s to go around the 6 mm sequin (approximately 16). Sew into the sixth B 11/0 from the other edge. Retrace the thread path through the loop. Secure the thread with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

Tip!
The color-matching options of Swarovski Lochrosen and Corona sequins are limited. To expand your options, try using a Swarovski 6 or 8 mm Margarita flower bead for the button clasp. These are also available from Joyce Trimmings at ejoyce.com.

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