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Ocean wave necklace

Repetition of circular shapes adds harmony to a necklace that’s all about contrast

The vivid blues of ocean waves crashing into the Hawaiian shore inspired my Kai Nalu (ocean wave) necklace. The earthy texture and color of the wood components contrast with the brightness and sparkle of the crystals, adding balance to a striking juxtaposition.


Necklace 29 in. (74 cm)

  • 12 20 mm links
  • 12 18 mm CRYSTALLIZED™ sew- on twists, to match or complement color C
    • 720 4 mm bicone crystals, color A
    • 480 4 mm bicone crystals, color B
    • 480 3 mm bicone crystals, color C
    • 768 2 mm round crystals, color C
    • 240 2 mm round crystals, color D
  • Fireline 6–8 lb. test. 
  • beading needles, #12 or #13


Ocean wave necklace Figure 1
Figure 1
Ocean wave necklace Figure 2
Figure 2
Ocean wave necklace Figure 3
Figure 3
Ocean wave necklace Figure 4
Figure 4
Ocean wave necklace Figure 5
Figure 5

1. Attach a needle to each end of a 3-yd. (2.7 m) length of Fireline. Center a color C 3 mm bicone crystal, a color D 2 mm round crystal, and a 3 mm on the thread. Pick up one loop of a 20 mm link, and cross the other thread through it (FIGURE 1, a–b and g–h). 

2. Using crossweave technique, pick up a 3 mm with each needle and cross the threads through a D 2 mm nine times (b–c and h–i). Pick up a 3 mm with each needle, and cross the threads through the remaining loop of the link, making sure the beadwork isn’t twisted (c–d and i–j).

3. Continue in crossweave technique for eight stitches (d–e and j–k). Pick up a 3 mm with each needle, cross the threads through the first D 2 mm, and continue through the first 3 mm on each side (e–f and k–l).

4. Working one side at a time, complete a round of right-angle weave as follows: Pick up a color A 4 mm bicone crystal, a color B 4 mm bicone crystal, and an A 4 mm. Sew through the 3 mm your thread exited, and the first A 4 mm (FIGURE 2). Continue working in right-angle weave, following the established color pattern, with B 4 mms parallel to the 3 mms. For the last stitch of the round, you will only pick up one B 4 mm and sew through the A 4 mm in the first stitch. Repeat on the opposite side of the ring with the other thread.

5. Exit a B 4 mm on one edge of the ring. Pick up a color C 2 mm round crystal, and sew through the next B 4 mm (FIGURE 3). Repeat around the ring, and exit a B 4 mm. Repeat on the opposite edge.

6. With one needle, pick up an A 4 mm, and cross the other thread through it. Sew through the next B 4 mm on each edge (FIGURE 4). Repeat around the ring. 

7. With one needle, exit the A 4 mm on the outer edge that is aligned with the loop of the link. Pick up 12 C 2 mms and one loop of an 18 mm CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski sew-on twist, and sew through the A 4 mm again (FIGURE 5). Retrace the thread path several times, and end the thread

8. Using the remaining thread, sew through the beadwork to exit the A 4 mm directly opposite the A 4 mm your thread exited in step 7. Repeat step 7 to add a loop and twist to the other end of the unit. 

9. Repeat steps 1–8 11 times, but in step 8, pick up the remaining hole of a twist on a previous unit instead of adding a new one. Repeat steps 1–8 once more for a 12th unit, but sew through the remaining holes of the twists on each end to join them.

COLOR NOTE: Why do the blues and browns of Elizabeth’s necklace make such a striking combination? It’s the result of contrasting the intense cool blues of the crystals with a warm neutral (brown). Using a neutral color keeps the contrast pleasing instead of jarring, and balances the tones of the necklace. 

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