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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bugle Bead Bother

The August/September 2014 issue of Beadwork had a pattern by Sara Oehler for beaded beads, made from bugles and size 8s woven together in Russian spiral stitch, with the suggestion that the tube could be extended long enough to make a bangle.  I have lots of bugle beads just waiting to be used, so this seemed like a good idea.

Only, very few of them were suitable.  Some were too big, others varied too much in size and quality, still others were in a color I wasn't crazy about.  One kind was perfect -- pretty color, right size, consistent quality -- but there were far too few of them.  Finally, rooting through a bag of vintage beads a friend gave me, I found some black 6mm ones that paired nicely with red size 8s:

But the resulting bangle would be thicker than I wanted, so I switched to a 4mm size.  But then the only bugles suitable for that were orange, not a favorite color of mine.  Still, I paired them with teal beads and got a decent bracelet with a slinky feel:
Maybe I'll sell it.

Meanwhile, I still wanted a bangle I'd be excited to wear, so I tried again, this time with two size 11s to take the place of the inadequate bugles.  I used various turquoise shades left over from my Gee's Bend cuff and cheery yellow 8s. I like this one a lot better.

A construction note: the first round has an extra size 8, I'm sure for a very good reason (Oehler is a professional, after all), but I couldn't see why and it offended my sense of symmetry. It also made zipping the ends of the tube together awkward, which you can see in the orange bracelet detail above.  When I did the yellow and turquoise one I omitted the extra bead, which caused a bit of confusion in the initial rounds (I guess that was the reason, although there must be a way around it; I have to think more about the geometry) but led to a neater closure.

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