Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Diagonal Square Stitch

Here it is. I've finished the twisted diagonal square stitch I mentioned in a previous post. I don't have a suitable clasp for it yet.

The pattern for this bracelet is by the late Marji Brohammer and is a free pattern available at Beading Daily.

The pattern carries the "techi tip" that it's an advanced pattern and you should practice square stitch until you're ready to scream.

To that I say practicing square stitch will do you no good. You must practice diagonal square stitch. The tricky part is in the increase and decrease turns. Obviously I need to practice some more. This was my third start. I still didn't get the start 100% right, but I did figure out a few things that weren't given in the pattern.

If you want a different color border, where it says string 1 bead or string 2 beads, string accent color beads. Where it says string 3 beads, string 2 accent beads and a main color bead.

When you split the strap remember to square stitch an accent color for the last bead on the right side before you skip the next bead, and use an accent color for the first bead on the other side. If you look closely you can see I didn't do that.

Don't turn your work, work back and forth. The pattern consistently refers to the right and left hand side. If you keep your increases on the right and the decreases on the left you won't be as likely to get lost.

I found the diagram totally confusing because it had symbols that I'd never seen before, but I managed to figure out the design using the written instructions and comparing my work with the diagram.

I almost didn't post this because there are so many bobbles and boo-boo's in it, but then I thought maybe it would be encouragement to someone who was totally intimidated by the whole idea of diagonal square stitch.

This forms a very supple, slinky "fabric" feeling project that is really quite delicious feeling on your skin. I'd definitely encourage anyone who hasn't ever worked square stitch to try it.

To learn a new stitch on your own there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

1)Chances are really really good that you're not going to get it right the first time, so don't get discouraged. Be ready to do lots of frog stitch (rrrrip-it, rrrrip-it).

2)If you get frustrated, put it aside and do something you're familiar with to bolster your confidence. You're not a doofus or an idiot. It just takes time to process something new.

3)If you get to a certain point and then just get completely lost, put that piece aside and start over, but don't rip that one out yet, use it to refer to so you can figure out where you made your mistake. You can take it out later.

4)Don't be afraid to try something new. You may use up a lot of thread, but the beads are always reusable!

5)Join the About.com Beadwork Forum for lots and lots of help. There are a lot of caring beaders there willing to share their knowledge.

Happy Beading.


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