Well, you’ve made it halfway! Hasn’t the time flown? Keep enjoying this because it will all be over before you know it!
If you need to look back on the previous days’ instructions, you can find everything here.
Today we’re going to start making the petals for your flower. So, you will learn a new technique called the ‘four-row crossover’. This is still twisting your wire.
I am borrowing some photos from the strawberry leaf to illustrate the technique. So, focus on how I’m holding the wire and the beads. Don’t worry about the fact that the beads are the wrong colour and the bead counts may be different!
Take the wire with your flower beads. You are going to work with your wire attached to the reel. So, don’t try to cut off a length – the cutting comes later!
The end of the wire next to your ‘knot’ is going to become your flower’s stem. So, start by deciding how long you want the stem to be. Remember, you can cut the wire to make the stem shorter if you wish. But you cannot lengthen the stem. So, think carefully!
I recommend a stem of about 4-6” (10-15cm) as this is only a small flower.
Having decided on your stem length, use the finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand to hold the wire at this point.
Now, slide 20 beads along so they sit up close to your finger and thumb.
Place the finger and thumb of your other hand at the other end of the beads. So the beads should now be trapped between your two hands.
Carefully move your two hands together, so you bring the beads into a loop.
Now, take care and carefully change your hold. You want to end up with your non-dominant hand holding the wires immediately below your beaded loop. Your other hand should be free to do the next step.
Make sure the fingers holding the wire are pushing your loop upwards, so all the beads are tight against one another. You don’t want any gaps between beads.
At the same time, use your free hand to take hold of the loop of beads. Now twist it. Each twist will cause the loop to turn from front to back – a half turn. So, make 2-3 twists.
Now take away your other hand. Your loop should be held in place. Note – you shouldn’t have much twisting below your loop – just enough to hold the beads in place.
Finally, this is the critical step to getting a good four-row crossover… shape the loop, so the gap in its centre is about the width of two rows of beads.
If you want to get technical, this loop forms rows 1 and 2 of the four-row crossover.
You are now going to add rows 3 and 4.
Slide 7 beads along your wire to butt up to the bottom of your loop.
Carefully place these beads up the left-hand side of the gap in your loop.
Pinch the wire over the top of your loop.
Now slide another 7 beads along and place them so they sit down the back of the loop, filling the gap on the right-hand side.
Again, take your non-dominant hand and use it to hold the wires below the loop, keeping your beads in place.
Use your other hand to twist the loop 3-4 times. Try to keep the twists up close to the bottom of the loop. You don’t want to end up with a long area of twisted wire.
Bravo! You’ve just made your first four-row crossover. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect – you’re just learning and you will get better!
While you’re on a roll, let’s carry on…
You want to make another 4 of these four-row crossovers. So, you end up with a line of them.
The big trick here is to get the spacing right.
Every time you start a new crossover, you want to leave about 0.5cm (1/4”) of wire between the base of the twists on your previous petal and the base of your new petal. This will allow you room to twist the wire.
It is going to take a bit of practice for you to judge the right spacing for you. So, don’t worry if you end up getting it a bit ‘off’ at first. This is simply something that comes with experience… And your centre will hide a lot of ‘not-so-good’ bits!
So, you are aiming for a set of five petals, like the photo.
When you’ve done that, you’re all done for today. Tomorrow we’re going to put the flower together!
Just keep remembering the Golden Rule and if you’re getting stuck, leave a comment!
Well, I hope you’ve come back to join me today!
You’re going to simply perfect that wrapping technique you started to learn yesterday.
So, just to re-cap. Each round of the strawberry is made up from five ‘rows’. The spoke with the knot on the end marks that start/finish of each round.
If you get confused about where you are, just count the number of beads in the layer below and that will tell you which round you are on.
You want to add three more rounds now. Each of these rounds has six beads in every row. So, count carefully!
This completes the increasing part of the strawberry. So, before you continue, make sure you pull everything into shape.
This is where it matters that you have been wrapping, not twisting. If you have wrapped, then you will find you can slide your beads up and down each spoke. So, you want to push them downwards to encourage the rows to sit as close together as possible.
If you have been twisting, then you won’t be able to move the beads. So, if your rows have gaps, you’re stuck with them!
If you realise this error now, don’t worry… It’s simply a good lesson learned. Carry on with the strawberry and know that you will do better with your next attempt! In my experience, your first attempt is probably a lot better looking than you think it is.
So, don’t despair! This is a really tricky technique and I wouldn’t expect you to get it right first time…
You now need to add two more rounds that will decrease.
So, for these two, you need to ease the spokes inwards. Again, don’t worry too much about the overall look – just focus on getting the beads in place in each row, then adjust everything later on.
The bead counts are: Round 7: 5 beads in every row, Round 8: 4 beads in every row.
Now, let’s leave everything there. So, we can come back to it afresh tomorrow. That way, you can get rid of any frustrations overnight and start with a clear outlook.
Tomorrow, you get to finish your strawberry!
Well, I left you in suspense yesterday. So, did you guess what comes next for today?
It’s your last section of spiral stitch. So, off we go…
Revert to using just your (A) and (B) beads for the final section of spiral stitch. So, in each stitch, you are going to pick up 1(A), 3(B) and pass up through the top 3(A) in your core and the (A) just added. Then slide your (B) beads to the left.
You just need to keep repeating this until this section of the spiral is the same length as the first section that you made the day before yesterday.
Tomorrow, we’re going to finish off the bracelet. Then I have a little surprise in store for days 6 and 7!
Today we are going to finish off the flower. So, keep following the instructions carefully and remember your step up again at the end of every row.
Cut an arm-span of thread and join it to the flower, so you will end up exiting from one of the (C) beads in the outer edge.
You are now going to add a row of Peyote using the (C) beads and stitching all the way around the outer edge of the petals.
Add 1(C) in the ‘normal’ spaces, but every time you reach a space where two petals join, you will see a larger gap. So, add 2(C) in these spaces.
Remember to step up at the end of the row.
Stitch another row using the (C) beads.
You should add 1(C) in every space and when you reach a pair of beads from the previous row, just pass through both beads. So, do not make an increase.
Remember to step up at the end of the row. I haven’t photographed this row as it is straightforward.
Stitch two rows of circular Peyote using your (A) beads. Add 1(A) in every space and remember to step up at the end of each row.
The photo shows the first row of (A) beads.
That completes your work for today. So, put your flower to one side and we’ll come back to start adding leaves tomorrow.