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Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Weaver's Bracelet

Edit: It's now for sale at etsy!
Edit Dec. 14, 2016: The first one sold out, but I've made another

At Deborah Harkness's website for the All Souls Trilogy one can find all sorts of multi-media tidbits inspired by the books, including some wonderful jewelry by Jennifer Cadsawan.  I can't do anything like that, but I can bead, and I was inspired by the magic of spell weavers in the book.  Over the course of the trilogy Diana learns to manipulate ten "ribbons" of magic, each a different color -- brown (earth), yellow (air), blue (water), red (fire), green (the goddess), purple (justice), gold (the sun), silver (the moon), and white and black (I forget what these two stand for, and I had to return the book to the library -- light and dark magic maybe?).  From there it was not hard to envision a ten-strand bracelet, with the colors woven together.

After briefly considering different types of beads, I settled on size 11 seed beads to keep it simple.  For silver and gold, I thought it would be nice visually and texturally to use the actual metals; silver chain was easy, since I have a bunch of it for different projects.  Gold, not so much, because it is expensive and not my favorite.  But then I remembered a set of thin gold chains I got ages ago, which would be about the right length; I picked the ropey one and I was all set.  A silver slide barrel clasp would do for a simple closure.

My initial plan was to weave the strands the way I would for any braid with more than three strands, by taking the leftmost one and weaving over and under the rest, repeating for the length of the bracelet.  But the results were not great, probably because the seed bead strands were not very flexible:
Coincidentally, this bracelet showed up on my pinterest feed, with instructions for the basketweave.  That resulted in a much nicer braid:
Painter's tape, by the way, is effective for temporarily holding beads and and strands in place.

The completed bracelet:
Despite carefully noting the order of the strands, I still managed to cross the red and blue ones one too many times at the end, something I did not notice until I had already attached them to the clasp with crimp beads and trimmed the excess cord.  Grumble.

Edit: It's now for sale at etsy!
Edit Dec. 14, 2016: The first one sold out, but I've made another.   

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