Mar 21, 2017

Herringbone Bracelet Tutorial by Lauren Hartman

Parade Project and Sample by Lauren Hartman

This wonderful tutorial was created by Lauren Hartman for beadshop in October 2016 and continues to be a constant source of help and inspiration. These how-to instructions and step-by-step images were created by Lauren herself. Pictured above is Parade, a wonderful wrap bracelet which now has a kit available, and is one of a number of Herringbone Ladder Projects from beadshop.com. In her own words, here are Lauren's instructions:

Set your project up as you would with any laddering project. If you are making a triple wrap and are using a transition bead between the change in bead types, go ahead and string those on your leather. If you're planning on stringing a charm onto the leather, this is the time to add it as well. Just keep them on the leather towards the bottom of your design tray as you work.

TIP: Before threading your needle, condition your thread (if needed) and run your fingers down the length several times to relax the natural curling tendency it has made while on the spool.

I begin by tying a larks head knot with the thread on the leather.


Figure 1
When working with the herringbone stitch, I've found it's best to add an "anchor" bead first. It will help keep the beads from migrating down the leather as you are working on expanding the bracelet width at the beginning. 

In the men's example, I used a size 6 seed bead. In the women's example, I used a size 8 seed bead. After threading through the bead in both directions, I add a dab of GS hypo-cement to both the knot and the back side of the leather and push it up as close as I can to the knot holding the button. I let it dry for 5-10 minutes to make sure it is set. 

Figure 2
TIP: As you're waiting for it to dry, this is a good time to sort through your Superduos and make sure all the holes are clear. Unique to Superduos is the fact that sometimes one (or both) holes are closed due to the manner in which the coating on the bead is applied. There's nothing worse than working on a row and finding out that the second hole in the Superduo bead above isn't clear and you have to rip out a row to fix it. Get those babies out of there!


After it is dry, I go through that seed bead in both directions a second time to make sure it's going to stay put.

Before you begin the herringbone, I want to assure you that the trickiest part of the project is working the first 3-4 rows. After that, it is more straightforward, and tapering down at the other end is MUCH easier than increasing the width of the bracelet at the beginning.

Add two Superduos to your thread, and loop around the leather (back to front) and go back through the 2 Superduos. Push as close to the anchor bead as you can.

Figure 3
Wrap the thread around the leather (from front to back), go through the second hole in the first Superduo in row one, add 2 more Superduos to your thread, and then go through the second hole in the second Superduo in row one. 

Figure 4
Wrap the thread around the leather (back to front). Then go through the second hole in the second Superduo in row one and the first hole in the second Superduo in row 2. You will be working your needle at a 45 degree downwards angle to the project. Pull your thread completely though those two Superduos. 

Figure 5
Change your needle direction to a 45 degree upwards angle, and then thread your needle through the first hole of the first Superduo in row 2 and the second hole of the first Superduo in row one.  

Figure 6
String your first seed bead onto your thread, and then go through the second hole of the first bead on row 2. 

Figure 7

Add 2 Superduos to your thread, and then go through the second hole of the second bead in row 2.

Figure 8
Add a seed bead, wrap the thread around the leather from back to front, and go back through the seed bead and the second hole of the second bead in the second row and the first hole of the second bead in row 3 (needle is at a 45 degree downwards angle). Pull the thread completely through those 3 beads. 

Figure 9
Now thread your needle through the first hole of the first Superduo in row 3, the second hole of the Superduo in row 2, and the seed bead.

Figure 10
At this point, your project may not be lining up perfectly. This is a good time to carefully tighten the thread through the first three rows, beginning at the top. By the time you finish the next row, your project should sort itself out and lay correctly for the rest of the project.

NOTE: You may find that the rows where you're expanding (and decreasing at the end) the width of the bracelet may buckle a bit. I don't sweat it. I want that area tight so that it doesn't pull down from the button. Once the bracelet has been worn once or twice, the leather relaxes and it will lay flat.

Now you're just repeating the row above for the length of the bracelet.

Add a seed bead, wrap the thread around the leather from back to front, and go back through the seed bead and the second hole of the second bead in the second row and the first hole of the second bead in row 3 (needle is at a 45 degree downwards angle). Pull the thread completely through those 3 beads. 

Figure 11
Now thread your needle through the first hole of the first Superduo in row 3, the second hole of the Superduo in row 2, and the seed bead.

TIP:  When threading your needle back through your row, try not to pierce the thread that has already gone through the beads once. Also, you may find that your thread gets twisted up. If so, let your needle drop every few rows, and run your fingers over the thread to straighten it out. 

Continue until you have the length you need. Take into account when figuring your measurement that you'll need to factor in the length of two rows to taper the end, a knot, and the buttonhole.

On your second to last row, do not add seed beads. Go through the second hole of the first Superduo in the row you just worked. Add ONE Superduo. Then go through the second hole of the second Superduo in the row above.

Figure 12

Wrap the thread around the leather (back to front), and go back through the second hole of the second Superduo in the row above and the first hole of the Superduo you just added. Pull down at a 45 degree angle. 

Figure 13
Go back through the second hole of the first Superduo in the row above at a 45 degree upwards angle.

Figure 14

Wrap the thread around the leather (front to back), and go through the second hole of the last Superduo. Go back through it. If your needle is small enough (you'll need a size 12), go back through this hole a second time and knot.

Figure 15

If you're making a single wrap, you're done. Just knot off your leather, and finish as you would any other laddering project. VOILA!

And don't be surprised if your needle resembles the one below when you're done :)

Figure 16
If you're making a triple wrap, continue on.

Slide your first transition bead up as closely as you can to the first section of your bracelet. Begin by tying a larks head knot with a new length of thread. 
Figure 17
Continue on with the second section of your bracelet.

Figure 18
Slide your second transition bead up as closely as you can to the second segment of your bracelet, and continue with the last segment. If you have a charm, don't forget to slide it up and incorporate it into your bracelet a few beads shy of finishing (to keep it out of the way of the buttonhole). I've forgotten about it more times than I care to remember!

Figure 19
Here are some final tips:

The triple wrap example is with 1.5mm leather. 1mm leather would work equally well.
The single wrap is 2mm leather. 2mm leather takes some coaxing to work with, so don't be afraid to show it who's boss. That said, you may want to start out with 1mm or 1.5mm leather. 

Practice first! Take a scrap piece of leather cord and a few minutes to practice the herringbone stitch (see our Herringbone Wrap Bracelet video for help) before jumping into your bracelet project. You'll thank yourself later :) 

Also, the Superduo Duets I used in the single wrap are awesome! You can play with pattern with them. I knew I wanted the dark navy in the middle, so I strung them with the navy sides all facing the center. You could reverse it with the ivory in the middle, or string them all randomly for a completely different look.

How to Measure for the 3 Sections of Bracelet:

If you're making a triple wrap and want each section of wrap to line up fairly closely, each section of different beads will not be the exact same length. For the first section, you'll need to take into account the button and first knot. The second section will be all beads, and the third section you'll need to take into account another knot and the buttonhole. If you're using a transition bead in between the sections, you need to add that measurement in as well.

To give you a starting point, the triple wrap example is sized to my wrist measurement of a hair under 6". The first section of herringbone beads measures 6 5/8", not including the knot or transition bead. The second section of fire-polished Czech beads also measures 6 5/8". However, the third section of the tile CzechMates beads measures 6 3/8", not including the knot or transition bead. It is shorter to take into account how the button sits in the buttonhole. The transition beads I used are 1/4" wide.

For many more examples of the herringbone bracelet (and variations of the project) you can follow me on Facebook:  Lauren Hartman BEADS

Enjoy!
Lauren

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