Circular peyote stitch takes on a sculptural look when it's worked in beads of various sizes. These sculptural spiral necklaces evolved from a technique taught by Virginia Blakelock and Carol Perrenoud at the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Arts Conference several years ago. Virginia developed the stitch and named it in honor of Benvenuto Cellini, a
16th-century Italian sculptor known for his rococo achitectural columns.
The Cellini spiral is essentially circular peyote executed with graduated beads. The tighter it's done, and the more contrast in the sizes of beads used, the more the work will pucker inward on the spiral of smaller beads.
Play with different color and size combinations before you begin. To get a better feel for how the finished necklace will look without making Cellini samples, make a bead ladder or work a two-bead strip of square stitch (see "Basics," p. 5).
The instructions below explain how to make the ivory and green necklace above, but you can adapt these
techniques as you like. For example, make the necklace long enough to go over your head and eliminate the clasp. Or make the entire necklace in Cellini spiral without the straight tube section.
O Using a 1 yd. (.9m) or longer thread, begin work at the center of the necklace by making a straight tube as follows: String two 15°s, four charlottes, two 15gs, four charlottes. Tie the tail and working thread with a square knot to make a tight circle, leaving a 6-in. (15cm) tail. These beads comprise rows 1 and 2. © To begin row 3, take your needle through the first two 15°s in the sequence (photo a). Pick up a 15°, go through the second charlotte, pick up a charlotte, go through the fourth charlotte, pick up a charlotte, go through the second 15°, pick up a 15°, go through the second charlotte, pick up a charlotte, go through the fourth charlotte, and pick up a charlotte. (Note: Whether you're working the stroight tube or the spiral, always pick up the same bead as the bead you've just gone through.) © To step up for row 4, go through the second 15" on row 2 and the first on row 3. Pick up a 15° and go through the first row 3 charlotte (photo b). Continue in this pattern, stepping up for each new row until the tube measures 1 in. (2.5cm). © Now make two transition rows to the Cellini spiral. Step up as usual at the
start of the row. Begin the row with a d 15° and a charlotte. For the next three stitches, pick up 10"s (photo c). The last stitch is a charlotte. Step up and repeat. © Start the Cellini spiral by stepping up and substituting an 8" for the middle 10°. The Cellini sequence is 15", charlotte, 10", 8s, 10°, charlotte. © Keep the tension tight. After six to eight rows, the sculptural Cellini shape becomes well-defined (photo d). Continue working in Cellini spiral stitch for 3 in. (7.6cm). © To make the transition back to the straight tube, substitute a 10° for the 8" for two rows. To return to the original straight tube sequence, substitute a charlotte, a 15", and a charlotte for the three 10°s. Continue working the straight tube for V. in. (2cm). © Alternate between straight tube and Cellini spiral as desired, ending with the Cellini spiral, until you are about 2'h in. (6cm) from the finished length of one side of the necklace. © To taper the end of the necklace, work in the transition sequence (see step 7) for four rows. Now, reduce the number of beads from six to four as follows: Work the step up, then pick up a 15°, go through the charlotte, pick up a charlotte, go through the next charlotte and 15°, pick up a 15°, go through the next charlotte, pick up a charlotte, go through the next charlotte and 15" (photo e). Step up to start the next row. Work four-bead rows for 1'/: in. (3.8cm).
© Pick up two 15°s and go back through the last charlotte and 15" added on the last peyote row (photo f). © Begin square stitch by going through the two 15"s in the same direction as in step 10. Pick up two more 15"s and work in two-bead square stitch for eight rows (see "Basics"). Slip the clasp finding on this strip and attach the strip securely to the other side of the spiral (photo g). © Weave in a new thread so it exits the starting point at the center of the necklace. Follow steps 4 to 11 to complete the second half. Weave in any loose threads. - Deb Samuels
10", 8", and 13" charlottes
• Silamide or Nymo D beading thread
• beeswax or Thread Heaven fof Nymo
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