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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, 6 March 2013

Introduction to Right Angle Weave (R.A.W.)

So, I get this question every now and then on whether my tutorials uses 'cross weave'. So, I thought it apt that I write a post on this subject. (Actually, I wrote about  this before, just not here. I can't believe I've not touched on this topic before here!)

Yes, I use mainly the 'cross weave' technique or what some might call it as two-needle
Right Angle Weave (R.A.W). However, in my very early stages of doing R.A.W, I used to Use
the one-needle R.A.W but once I learnt about the two-needle one, I've not look back ever since.

The pendant above was actually one of the few earliest project I did on R.A.W. which I thought was rather easy to follow and understand. I reckon most of you would have been familiar with this stitch already but for those of you who have not tried making jewelry before, you might want to give this a shot. I've always think this to be a very simple yet effective project.

Before i jump straight into the project and also for the benefit of those not in the know, let me share with you my interpretation of what is a 'cross weave'.

Now, I use this phrase a lot --> "Cross both thread ends at ......"

This is the literal way of explaining the position of the thread for this stitch. Now, what happens is both the ends (hence, the two-needle idea) of a thread crosses in the opposite directions through the beads.

I will zoom out a little to show you the bigger picture. It is normally done in sets of four beads but it can also be more than that, but that's another story.

So, what happens as you pull the two thread ends in the opposite direction is the bring all the beads close together and more often than not, in a full circle.

Alright, now that you kinda get an idea what it's about, let's give this stitch a try.

Okay, first things first. You will need:

  • (8) approx. 5X8 mm rice shaped freshwater pearl
  • (4) 5mm Swarovski bicone bead
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors

Step 1
Cut out approximately 50cm long fishing line and string on 1 pearl, 1 bicone, 1 pearl and 1 bicone

Step 2
Cross both thread ends at the last bicone bead you added. You will see that the beads now form a circle, or rather rectangular-ish since the 4 beads form 4 sides.

Step 3
String on 1 rice bead and 1 crystal bicone on the left thread. String on 1 rice bead on the right thread.

Step 4
Cross both thread ends at the crystal bicone.

Step 5
Repeat step 3 and 4 one more time.

Step 6
String on 1 rice bead on the right thread and bring the thread end down and pass through the crystal bicone right at the bottom.

Step 7
Repeat step 6 on the left thread.

Step 8 
Pull tight and you will see the barrel forming.

Step 9
Bring the right thread up and through the rice bead, to the left through the crystal bicone and down through the rice bead so that the two thread ends meet.

Step 10
Tie a knot and you're done! Well, not quite. :) There's still some finishing off to do!

We need to end the threads and it's not like we can cut off the excess thread just like that. Even with a knot, the material of the fishing line itself is such that the knot will tend to 'slide' open if left in the 'open'.

So, this is what we need to do.

Step 11
Pass both thread ends through the surrounding beads before cutting off the excess. There's really no rule on how you should pass the thread around but as a rule of thumb, if there is one, pass it through along the thread path and the more beads you pass through, the more secure it is. And passing the thread in a 'zig zag' fashion will be more secured than say, in a 'straight' fashion.

Did I hear a "Huh?"

LOL .... okay, that's another story I'll leave it for next time.

Alright, back to finishing off the threads. Like what you see in the pictures above. I started with passing both threads down through the pearl bead. And you can continue by passing through the bicone bead on the right and thereafter the pearl bead below it on the sides and on and on,  up to you.

But since this Is only a small project/object, I think I'll just stop here and cut off the excess.

For the technicality of finishing off thread, you can refer to this post here.

Now, using the same stitch, try experimenting with different sizes and shapes of bead and see how it turns out to be.

Have fun! ;)

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