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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Adding New Thread

I was asked  on how I add on new thread to a particular project. So I thought I would do a post on this topic. I think this concept works the same across the board, regardless of what project it is.

So, when do you add new thread?

It's quite subjective. Some people feel comfortable working with shorter lengths of thread but some people would rather work with longer threads to avoid the hassle of adding new thread. But if you ask me, adding new thread is unavoidable is you do bead weaving. At some point, you would need to add new thread.

There are many ways that you can add on new thread but generally, there are two things I consider when it comes to adding new thread :-

1. The type of stitch I was doing; and
2. The type of stringing material I was using.

In my case :-

1. Since I do the two-needle R.A.W (some are more familiar with it as the cross weave) most of the time; and
2. Use fishing line all the time

this is how I always add on new thread.

I also used to do some other stitches like peyote (or some refer it to gourd) stitch where I used a different way to add new thread, but that's another story.

How I do it is very simple, really.

What I do is finish off the old thread by weaving it back into my work like how I would normally end a project before adding on the new thread at the point where I stop to finish off the old thread earlier on.

First thing first, at what point do you stop to add new thread?

Two things I do :-
1. Make sure you leave enough tail; and
2. Stop at the point where both thread end crosses.

Make sure you leave enough tail for you to weave back in. It's up to you really at which point you think want to stop your work to addI leave a minimum of 3" long thread. You don't want the thread to be too short because not only longer thread will make your work easier but also more secure. On how it makes it more secure, I'll explain it in a while.

Well, if you are doing a cross weave, every step ends with both thread ends crossing. So, at what point do I actually stop? Well, this has a rather relative answer.

It depends on the project on hand but what I normally do is to stop at the point where I consider it to be a 'secure point'. Which is the point that I consider to be the 'secure point'? But a good guide can be when you are done with one 'cycle of repetition'.

Take the project in the picture for example. It actually has a base row that I then embellished with additional beads on top of it. So, if you ask me where I think would be the 'secure point', I would have to say that it's the base row after it has been embellished with additional beads.

Here's a look at the base. You'll see that I have pass the thread around so that the two thread ends meet (individual thread path shown by the blue arrow).

Just like how you would finish off any piece, you are going to tie a knot between the two thread ends and the weave both thread ends back into your work again.

Now, the further you weave back into your work, the more secure it is, which explains why a longer tail end is needed earlier.

Two things to take note of at this stage.

1. Where you end with the know. Remember earlier when I explained how that the knot is hidden in the bead hole when you finish off your work? So, wherever it is that you decided to knot, make sure that no more thread will be passing through that bead where the knot is hiding or you will have difficulty passing the thread through because the knot is already blocking the thread path!

2. As you are weaving your thread back into your work, make sure that it is done in a 'zig zag' manner i.e. don't weave them back in a straight path but rather pass the thread through the beads up and down. It's the turning 'angle/corner' that will secure the position of the thread path. Get what I mean?

Turning back to the front, it looks like the ends are finished off already but we are going to continue.

Cut out a piece of new thread and pass it through the bead where you decided to stop earlier on, In this case, it's the bead on the edge at the base. And continue weaving.

Well, that's how I do it, regardless of what project it is. It's still the same principle. :)

Hope this helps!

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