Saturday, October 26, 2013

Authentic Pondo Progress

I've been working pretty steadily on the authentic pondo stitch bracelet I told you about in my last post. Whereas authentic pondo was usually attached to a cord of some type on the leading edge, I attached mine to a herringbone or ndebele rope. As I worked the last row I attached it to another identical rope. I'm finished now with the main body of the bracelet and the length of time it took me had nothing to do with the stitch. It works up much more quickly than the modified pondo that I've designed with before, but I can't sit still for very long at a time, so I find beading of any stitch goes slowly.

As I mentioned before I do love the semetry of the two size beads with the smaller beads nestled in the exact center of each row, but the stitch is tedious.

I took Susan Mandel's advise and worked the pondo part with a double thread and waxed it to help keep the beads in place. If you don't have trouble with tension, you could probably work this with a single thread, but I'd still advise waxing it or using thread heaven to keep the beads from slipping.

Now I just have to decide on a clasp and take some better pictures and finish the pattern.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Authentic Pondo Stitch

I've been playing around and creating a few items with Pondo or African Circle stitch.  It was a complicated stitch and I found it difficult to understand the few diagrams that I'd seen, but finally someone posted an understandable tutorial and I learned the stitch.

I created a couple of designs, Pondo Ripple shown here on the left and Delft Blue Tile on the right.

It is a complicated and time consuming stitch requiring a round-about thread path and weaving back to the start of each row, but it is a very sturdy fabric and I love it's semmetry.  It is worked with two sizes of beads, with the smaller bead sitting snugly in the center of the row between each square of 4 larger beads.

Then someone posted a link to Susan Mandel's blog and I discovered that this beautiful, semmetric, complex weave isn't the authentic stitch used by the Mpondo people in Africa.  The stitch they use is more straightforward, usually attached to a cord or beaded rope as it is worked, and is worked with a double strand of waxed thread to hold it in place and make it every bit as sturdy as the stitch I had just learned, but it is less semmetrical.  The accent beads between each square of 4 beads don't snuggle into the center of the row, they ride between the top beads of each square.  The authentic stitch is woven with all the same size beads.
Here is a picture of what I've done so far on a bracelet.  Even with the time it took to make the 7 inch herringbone rope, this swatch has taken less time than just making a couple of seven inch rows of the modified Pondo stitch.

Another difference is that the authentic Pondo stitch is always worked horizontally.

Be sure to check out Susan's blog for more details of the difference between the authentic stitch and the modified stitch and how the stitch came to be modified.

Visit bead doodler's Craftsy Pattern Store »

Visit bead doodler's Craftsy Pattern Store »

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beady Bling Bingo is Back!!

If you're not already a member of the BeadPatternsBoutique forum join now and come play Beady Bling Bingo.

Beady Bling Bingo is back at Bead Patterns Boutique!
Come one, come all and join the hunt for graphics and qualify for a bingo card! To celebrate the Halloween season, I have hidden 4 orange “Trick ‘r Treat” graphics among the beautiful jewelry photos at . They are numbered 1-4.
For those of you that have not played before, look to the "More Images" links below the thumbnails of the photos at These graphics are not hidden inside of pictures. They are full sized photos themselves! Here is an example of what you are looking for:

Once you have found the graphics, write down the pattern name & the number on the graphic and send it to  or use the "Contact Us" form on the Boutique to report your findings. Be sure to put "Bingo Hunt" in your subject line for emails. Your bingo card will be attached to the reply email.

Now, here's the catch: You only have three days to find all the Graphics!  You must have the locations in to us no later than 11:59pm on 10/3/2013 Eastern US time. Don't miss your chance to play, Beady Bling Bingo!  Numbers will begin being posted on10/5/2013. My normal response time is very quick during regular business hours. If you do not receive your card, please check your spam folder and alternate emails. If it's not there, write me. The net limbo monster may have eaten your submission.

Numbers will be added to our SHOP BLOG each day in the early morning hours. To access the bingo board, go to and click on the "SHOP BLOG" button.

Should you get bingo, you must declare BINGO in our Forum group prior to the next days’ numbers being called. Once a BINGO is verified, there will be no further numbers posted on this board until the next game.
Not yet a member of the Forum Group?  Click this link to join.

Make sure to stop by the Beady Bling Prize Donations folder in our group albums to look over the prizes that are available. The first verified bingo gets to choose their prize from this folder. Should there be other bingos at the same time, they will each receive a $5 off gift certificate good on any purchase at within 7 days of their win.

Feel free to post questions about the game here in our forum, but please make sure if you are sending in your findings they get sent to

Have fun and good luck to all!

Beth “Bouncing Wolf” Rudy
& The BPB Design Team


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