Tag Archives: necklace

My Very Own Wire Link Necklace

Wire_Chain_NecklaceMy roommate and her mother and I took a couple days and went to the coast. Their stated purpose was to make some beaded necklaces to sell. I don’t sell them, and beyond some jewelry mending, I had no jewelry planned out.

I remembered an antique wire necklace belonging to my mother. It’s bright antique green beads on silver wire. I had neither silver wire nor antique green beads, but I had a light copper colored wire and boxes and boxes of beads.

I used pink cultured pearls, light green faceted beads (with a bit of AB finish) and some dark pink glass beads I fished out of a bead mix. The wire was some 22 gauge wire ( I think) I bought for some other project. The wire bends a bit, whenever I tried to take the necklace off, so I will use something more sturdy next time.

At first I made the necklace of just the long links about 3/4 the length of my first finger. The end of each length of wire I made a wrapped loop. I connected them with homemade jump rings.  I turned each loop to face the same direction. I have no idea if this would have made a difference, but it made me feel better. The loops were wrapped similar to this tutorial, except I didn’t have the bent-nose pliers and had to wrap my wire by hand (my fingers were very sore afterwards).

The jump rings were made by wrapping the wire around a q-tip, (after I realized  I would never be able to get it off, I cut off the fluffy bit) and generally made them like these jump rings,  Though I was not concerned at the time (though I perhaps should have been) about making the ends of the wire flush.

It turned out a bit a short and stiff (most of it is made of lengths of wire). I added another, shorter link (the pink bead link, about the length of my fingernail) and it became a claspless necklace I can loop twice over my head.

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Netted Bead Necklace, Part 2

I finally found the book that I got the stitches for this necklace:

Blue Netted Necklace

Blue Netted Necklace

The book is The Pattern Companion: Beading, by Ann Benson, Gay Bowles, Valerie Campbell-Harding, Jane Davis, Elizabeth Gourley, Ellen Talbott, and Carol Wilcox Wells. I think it’s a compliation of many different works, hence the many authors.

Basically, this necklace is composed of a pair of chevron chains. To attach them, they share a line of beads on a bottom and a top. Online instructions for a basic chevron chain can be found at Bead It, Babe!, on this page.

A Closer look at the necklace:

Blue Net Detail

Blue Net Detail

Variations can be made on the chain to yield different looks. I used two rows of chevron chain, stacked. The top row has four shared beads in a column, with two in between. The bottom row shares three beads, two on the top (one of light and dark blue, of you look closely), with two to separate and a picot on the bottom row of beads. Once you master the basic chain, making alterations to the pattern is very easy. Actually talking about it, and conceiving it is much harder than actually doing it.

The rows share a base, except where I split them.  It didn’t hang like i wanted so I stitched between them with the blue and ill-considered gold beads. You can see those columns in the upper portion of the picture. along the top of the top chain I added another row of beads to squinch in the inner row and make the necklace curve. Those aren’t part of the chevron chain, but a later edition. I added the glass blue drops and “gold” beaded daisies as a last touch.

Here is a simpler bead collar I did with a similar technique:

Pink Net

Pink Net

Unfortunately the stop – bead technique that worked so well with the silk thread in the blue necklace didn’t hold as well with the thinner Superlon thread. You can see the decay if you look near the clasp.

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Netted Bead Necklace, Part 1

About a year ago, I needed an outfit to attend two weddings. Failing to find a suitable dress, I decided to make my outfit. I made a 1950’s inspired pink shantung dress  with a blue sash and a blue necklace to go with it. I was never too pleased with the dress’s fit, but the necklace I liked:

Blue Netted Necklace

Blue Netted Necklace

You will notice that there are some brownish beads at the points, in the vertical section and below the large blue drops.

These used to be bright gold.

What I didn’t know when I made the necklace was that not all beads are made equal. These came in a canister and they were cheap — turned out they were not a such a bargain after all.

Apparently galvanized finishes wear off (or chip off in this case) very easily, especially when you wear the necklace in Maine in the summer (and sweat!)

When I tried to use these beads in other projects, I barely got past the first few rows before the color was coming off. Sometimes I think wear adds to the look of the piece, but in this case, the blues need the bright gold. And with these beads the gold is still coming off. I try to make things that will last awhile (a sort of rebellion against disposable culture, I guess) out of real materials. When the necklace was new, it looked like an homage to Queen Nefertiti, but now, it’s kind of sad looking. Not that I’ll stop wearing it. I considered making it over – but since I have so much else to do, It will have to fall apart before I’m motivated to go back to it.

Here you can see the unfortunate beads a little better:

Showing the "Gold" Beads.

Showing the "Gold" Beads

So lesson learned: buy the more expensive materials when you can.

Incidentally, this is the same necklace that my cat is wearing in the header.

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