Large Bead Weaving
I have this basket that contains Delica beads which are in a variety of plastic containers that I have collected over the last decade and a half. I have given a lot of these beads away but I still found myself stuck with this basket, these beads I clearly am not using (because I have been using the Delicas I’ve bought kits). I hate it when I have a something around (yarn, fleece, dye, beads, stones, findings, tools, you name it) that I am not using. That usually prompts me to give it away. I get this gene from my mother. She constantly got rid of things, but to a fault. And she didn’t limit her constant cleaning house to just her own stuff! So I try not go as far as she did (where you regret having given something away because suddenly you really need it!). So what to do about this basket full of little tubes of beads?
I set myself a problem to solve: blow through a lot of these beads by weaving a larger bead piece (3 inches by 11 1/2 inches with the final dimension). You can pretty much guess that I didn’t necessarily love all these bead colors. A lot of them were leftovers from this buying spree I had in a bead store where I had been teaching. I wanted to own a tube of about a 100 different colors so I could have the beads around to work on bead patterns and other designs.
The first thing I didn’t do was weave an entire first row. I was going to approach this more like a tapestry, weaving in sections. Since I had no real plan and definitely no pattern, it would be easier to see what I was doing if I didn’t weave entire rows. For some reason, I don’t seem to have a photo of the beginning of this piece. So you are just going to have to believe me that for the most part it was woven in three sections. It’s easiest to weave up the left section first. When weaving the middle section, when you sew back through your beads, go through one or two of the beads from the same row in the first section. This connects the two sections. Same goes for the section all the way to the right. As you can see I started with a violet/purple scheme and them moved up to some random colors, vertical stripes (by alternating two bead colors).
Yeah, there is this weird cross-like thing down below. I think I was intending to do some geometric shapes, but that was the only one I managed. Maybe my use knows better why it is there.
Notice how blue has sort of taken over the piece. There is that orange blog there and below that, the pinkish blob, is really a very in-your-face bead color . . . way too neon for my taste but did okay lost in this piece. I was noticing at this point that my stash was dwindling. The fact is: it takes a lot of these little beads to weave a big piece and it takes forever. Notice I was not using the shedding device. This is because I was trying to perfect this weaving in sections technique. I am sure it can be applied to bead weaving with the shedding device, but I am not certain yet how I will do that. It’s my next big challenge. Below is a close up of the piece.
This is the finished piece. I added a little checkerboard effect below and above. It does look like a landscape. I had initially thought I would fold whatever I came up with into a purse to hold a cellphone, a credit card . . . that kind of little beaded purse. But it seems like this piece might now want to be folded up. I will take better photos of it off loom tomorrow and maybe you can make some suggestions as to the final destination of this weaving. And my challenge to you: do you have any beads you need to consume and, if so, do you want to try your hand at this? It’s very liberating.