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Ginkgo blend necklace

Combine an eye-catching focal with a necklace of multiple stitches and bead shapes

Herringbone stitch worked with triangle beads and spiral ropes of seed beads and drops create interesting textures to complement the surface of this raku focal bead. Choose an organic palette to really play up the ginkgo leaf.


necklace 21 12 in. (54.6 cm)

  •  2 1⁄2 x 1 3⁄4-in. (6.4 x 4.4 cm) raku fired matte ginkgo pendant (or a similar pendant of your choice)
  • 4 11.5 mm TierraCast antique copper hammertone large-hole bead caps
  • 8 4.5 x 6.5 mm TierraCast medium copper-plated pewter cube spacer Eurobeads
  • 1 g 3 mm drop beads (Toho 703, matte mauve mocha)
  • 8–10 g 5/0 sharp triangle beads (Miyuki STR5-2006, dark bronze matte metallic)
  • 1 g 8/0 seed beads (Miyuki 460, metallic dark raspberry)
  • 11/0 seed beads
    • 4–6 g color A (Miyuki 2005, matte metallic copper iris)
    • 2–3 g color B (Miyuki 460, metallic plum)
    • 1–2 g color C (Miyuki 2030, matte metallic steel blue)
  • 8 11/0 triangle beads (Toho 702, olive brown matte metallic)
  • 2 g 15/0 seed beads in each of 2 colors:
    • D (Miyuki 460, metallic raspberry)
    • E (Miyuki 2005, matte metallic copper)
  • clasp
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #11



Our focal pendant was purchased from Odd Designs in Wagram, North Carolina. She may not have this exact piece available but check with your local bead shop for something similar, or change up the design with your own special treasure. 




Flat herringbone strips


Figure 1
Figure 2

1. On 3 yd. (2.7 m) of Fireline, pick up two 5/0 sharp triangles, leaving a 12-in. (30 cm) tail. Sew through both beads again, and position them side by side (FIGURE 1, a–b). Working in ladder stitch, make a six-bead ladder using 5/0 triangles (b–c). Zigzag back through the ladder to line up the beads evenly. Your thread should be exiting the first bead, opposite the tail (c–d). This forms the first row.

2. Working in flat herringbone stitch, pick up two 5/0s, sew down through the next bead in the previous row (FIGURE 2, a–b), and sew up through the following bead (b–c). Repeat this stitch once (c–d), and then pick up two 5/0s, and sew down through the last bead in the previous row. To make the turn and get into position to start the next row: Sew up through the adjacent bead in the previous row (d–e), and continue through the last bead picked up in the new row (e–f).  

Figure 3
Figure 4

3.Repeat step 2 until the beadwork measures 3 in. (7.6 cm) long. To stabilize the end of the strip, sew through the last two rows of beads following a ladder stitch thread path. Sew through the beads to exit the third bead in the last row. With the tail, sew through the beads to exit the third bead in the first row. Do not end the working thread or tail. 

4. Make another 3-in. (7.6 cm) strip of flat herringbone.

Spiral ropes

1. On a comfortable length of Fireline, pick up four color A 11/0 seed beads and four color D 15/0 seed beads, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Sew through the As again, forming a loop of Ds around the As. Move the loop to the left of the As (FIGURE 3).

2. Working in spiral rope, pick up an A and four Ds, and sew through the previous three As and the new A added in this stitch (FIGURE 4). Move the loop to the left; each new loop will rest on top of the previous loop. Repeat this step four more times.

3. Ending and adding thread as needed, continue in spiral rope as follows, always sewing through the top three As from the previous stitch and the new A:

  • Work five stitches with an A, two Ds, a color B 11/0 seed bead, and two Ds.
  • Work five stitches with an A, two Ds, a color C 11/0 seed bead, and two Ds.
  • Work seven stitches with an A, a B, a color E 15/0 seed bead, an 8/0 seed bead, an E, and a B.
  • Work eight stitches with an A, a B, two Es, a 3 mm drop, two Es, and a B.
  • Work eight stitches with an A, two Es, a C, an 8/0, a C, and two Es.
  • Work six stitches with an A, two Ds, a C, a 3 mm drop, a C, and two Ds.

4. Work the stitches in step 3 in reverse order to make a mirror image on the other end of the rope, and end the rope with five stitches using an A and four Ds. Do not end the working thread or tail.


5. Make another spiral rope.

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