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Combine red and hessonite garnets in a double-spiral rope necklace with a coordinating centerpiece and earrings by Julia Gerlach

Garnets, like many gemstones, come in a wide range of hues. In this necklace, red garnets harmonize with the yellow and amber tones of hessonite garnets for a look that's rich and elegant. A red garnet centerpiece and matching earrings pull it all together.

step' step

Necklace

Spiral rope

[1] On 2 yd. (1.8m) of Fire-'ine or conditioned thread (Basics, p. 138), leave an 8-ir (20cm) tail, and pick up a "op bead (Basics). Pick up three cylinder beads, a Char-'otte bead, a red garnet, and a Charlotte. Go back throug all three cylinders in the same direction (figure 1, a-b).

[2] Pick up a Charlotte, a hessonite garnet, and a Charlotte, and go back through the cylinders (b-c).

[3] Pick up a cylinder, a Charlotte, a red garnet, and a Charlotte. Go through the last two cylinders of the previous stitch and the cylinder just picked up (photo a).

Position the new loop of beads on the right of the previous red-garnet loop.

[4] Pick up a Charlotte, a hessonite garnet, and a Charlotte, and go through the last three cylinders (photo b). Flip your work so the loop with the hessonite garnet is on the left. Position the new loop of beads on the right of the previous hessonite-garnet loop.

[5] Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the rope is about

8!/2 in. (21.6cm) long, or half the desired length minus the length of the clasp.

To end a thread, sew back into the last loop added, secure it with a few half-hitch knots (Basics) between beads, and trim. To begin a new thread, sew into a previous loop, make a few half-hitch knots between beads, and continue through the core cylinders to exit the same place you left off.

[6] To finish the first rope, pick up a cylinder, and sew back through the last cylinder added in the same direction (figure 2). Retrace the thread path twice. Secure the tail in a nearby loop with a few half-hitch knots between beads, and trim. Set the rope aside.

[7] Repeat steps 1-5 to make a second rope, but in steps 3 and 4, hold the new loops of beads to the left of the previous loops. This will make the beads spiral in the other direction. For the last stitch, instead of picking up a cylinder, go through the cylinder stitched to the end of the first rope in step 6.

[8] To taper the combined ropes into a point, work three more double-spiral rounds as follows: Taper, round 1: Pick up a cylinder, a Charlotte, a garnet (choose the appropriate color based on where you ended the design), and a Charlotte, and go back through the last two cylinders on one of the ropes and the cylinder picked up in this step (photo c). Do not flip the beadwork.

Pick up a Charlotte, a garnet in the same color, and a Charlotte, and go back through the last two cylinders on the other rope and the last cylinder picked up (photo d).

Taper, round 2: Flip the beadwork over so you're working on the other side of the ropes. Pick up a cylinder, a Charlotte, a garnet in the other color, and a Charlotte, and go back through the last cylinder on one of the ropes, the cylinder added in the previous round, and the cylinder picked up in this step (photo e). Do not flip the beadwork.

Pick up a Charlotte, a garnet in the same color, and a Charlotte, and go back through the last cylinder on the other rope, the cylinder added in the previous round, and the last cylinder picked up (photo f).

Taper, round 3: Work one normal round of double spiral (one stitch per side), choosing the appropriate garnet colors to match the design (photo g).

Centerpiece

[1] Pick up the 7mm bead. If the bead's hole is large enough, pick up enough cylinders to equal the length of the 7mm, and string the 7mm over them (photo h).

[2] Pick up 13 cylinders, a Charlotte, a teardrop-shaped garnet, a Charlotte, and two cylinders. Skip the last seven beads, and go back up through the next cylinder (figure 3, a-b).

[3] Pick up three cylinders, a Charlotte, a teardrop, a Charlotte, and two cylinders.

Go through the cylinder your thread is exiting from bottom to top (b-c). Repeat four times to make a total of five loops, going through the same cylinder with each repetition.

[4] Go through two cylinders (photo i), and repeat step 3.

[5] Repeat step 4 twice.

[6] Go through two cylinders, and make five more loops, each consisting of two cylinders, a Charlotte, a teardrop, a Charlotte, and a cylinder.

[7] Go through two cylinders, and make five more loops, each consisting of a cylinder, a Charlotte, a teardrop, and a Charlotte.

[8] Go through the 7mm, secure the thread in the spiral rope with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

Clasp

[1] Remove the stop bead from one end of the necklace. Thread a needle on the tail, pick up seven cylinders, and go through the loop on one clasp half. Sew back into the spiral rope (photo j), and tie a half-hitch knot. Retrace the thread path two or three times, secure the thread, and trim.

[2] Repeat on the other end.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Hessonite garnets are available in graduated colors from pale yellow to dark amber. Placing the darker beads near the clasp and the lighter beads near the front gives the illusion that the spiral rope gets thicker as it nears the centerpiece.

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