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A taste of honey bracelet

Be busy as a bee when you combine three stitches—square stitch, peyote stitch, and brick stitch—to create this sweet bracelet

Bees play a pivotal role in pollination, carrying pollen from one plant to the next. In recent years, these wonderful workers have begun to disappear due to colony collapse disorder. I made this bracelet as a tribute to bees.

SUPPLIES

Bracelet 8 in. (20 cm)

  • 21 g 4 x 4 mm cube beads
  • 16-in. (41 cm) strand
  • 3–4 mm citrine chips
  • 15/0 seed beads
    • 4–6 g color A (black)
    • 1–2 g color B (gold or yellow)
    • 1–2 g color C (white)
  • 3-strand slide clasp
  • nylon beading thread in a color to match beads, or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • thread conditioner (optional)
  • beading needles, #12

INSTRUCTIONS

A taste of honey bracelet Figure 1
Figure 1
A taste of honey bracelet Figure 2
Figure 2

Condition thread if desired.

Bracelet base

1. Attach a stop bead on a comfortable length of thread or Fireline, leaving a 12-in. (30 cm) tail. Pick up four 4 x 4 mm cube beads for the first row. To begin the next row, pick up a cube, and work a square stitch by sewing through the cube your thread just exited in the previous row and the new cube again. Work three more square stitches to complete the row. Continue working in square stitch to the desired bracelet length, ending and adding thread as needed.

2. Remove the stop bead, and thread a needle on the tail. With your thread exiting an end cube, pick up four color B 15/0 seed beads, a loop of the clasp, and four Bs, and sew back through the cube your thread exited (FIGURE 1, a–b). Pick up four Bs, the middle loop of the clasp, and four Bs, and sew through the next two cubes (b–c). Pick up four Bs, the middle loop of the clasp, and four Bs, and sew through the next cube (c–d). Pick up four Bs, the remaining loop of the clasp, and four Bs, and sew back through the cube your thread exited (d–e). End the thread.

3. Repeat step 2 with the working thread on the other end, but do not end the thread.

4. Sew through the beadwork to exit an end cube. Pick up three to five citrine chips, skip two cubes, and sew down through the next cube and up through the previous cube (FIGURE 2). Repeat across the length of the bracelet and along the opposite edge. End the thread.

A taste of honey bracelet Figure 3
Figure 3
A taste of honey bracelet Figure 4
Figure 4
A taste of honey bracelet Figure 5
Figure 5

Bee

Body

1. On 1 1⁄2 yd. (1.4 m) of thread or Fireline, pick up six color A 15/0 seed beads, and tie them into a ring with a square knot, leaving a little slack and an 8-in. (20 cm) tail. Sew through the next A. Pick up an A, and sew through the next A (FIGURE 3, a–b). Repeat around the ring, and step up through the first A (b–c). Work five more rounds of tubular peyote, and step up. 

2. Work an increase round in tubular peyote, picking up two Bs per stitch, and step up through the first B added (FIGURE 4, a–b). Work a round of tubular peyote with Bs, adding a B between each pair of Bs and between the stitches in the previous round, and step up (b–c).

3. Work a round with As, and step up (c–d). 

4. Work a decrease round with As, picking up an A and sewing through two As for each stitch, and step up (d–e).

5. Work two rounds with Bs, three rounds with As, three rounds with Bs, and three rounds with As. 

6. Work a decrease round with As as in step 4, and work another regular round. Sew through the three As added in the previous round to pull them together. 

7. To make the stinger, work a ladder stitch with an A, and ladder stitch another A to the previous A. 

8. Thread a needle on the tail, and work a round with three stitches (FIGURE 5). Sew through the three As just added, and pull them together.

9. To add eyes, sew through the beadwork to exit an A near the first increase round, pick up a color C 15/0 seed bead, and sew through the next A. Sew through the next two As, pick up a C, and sew through the next A (PHOTO A). End the thread.

A taste of honey bracelet Photo a
Photo A
A taste of honey bracelet Photo b
Photo B
A taste of honey bracelet Figure 6
Figure 6
A taste of honey bracelet Photo c
Photo C

Wings

1. With the working thread, sew through the beadwork to exit an A near the center of the body. Pick up two Cs, and sew through the next A (PHOTO B). Sew up through the first A your thread exited and the first C added. 

2. Pick up two Cs, and sew down through the next C and up through the previous C (FIGURE 6, a–b). 

3. Working in brick stitch following figure 6, increase and decrease as follows:

Row 3: Work an increase row: Work the first stitch with two Cs and the second stitch with a C, sewing under the same thread bridge as the first stitch (b–c).

Row 4: Increase by one bead to work a row that has four Cs (c–d).

Row 5: Work a row with four Cs (d–e).

Row 6: Work a decrease row with three Cs (e–f).

4. With your thread exiting an edge C, pick up three Cs, and sew through the other edge C and the remaining edge Cs (f–g).

5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make a second wing. Sew through the beadwork to exit an A near the center of the body on the underside. 

6. Repeat “Bee: Body” and steps 1–5 of “Bee: Wings” to make as many bees as desired.

Assembly

1. With your thread exiting the underside of a bee’s body, pick up two As, and sew through two center cubes in the bracelet base. Pick up two As, and sew through an A on the underside of the body (PHOTO C). 

2. Sew through the beadwork to exit a B on the underside of the body. Repeat step 1, using As to attach the bee to the bracelet base, and end the thread.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, evenly spacing your bees across the bracelet.

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