This week I've been working on a project using netting. Anna Elizabeth Draeger has created a great video on netting
as a tutorial for our readers. In fact, if you want to learn a new technique or feel you need a refresher course, check
out the Videos tab
at the top of this page to see if there's a stitch for you. I watched Anna's
netting video last weekend and was inspired to see what I could do with it.
Netted beadwork drapes like fabric, and
because of the open spaces in the beadwork, it creates a foundation that begs to be embellished. It is also a versatile and somewhat forgiving stitch, and therefore it's fun to experiment with it using different sizes and shapes of beads.
This week I've been working on a netting project for a new publication we're working on at Bead&Button. When I begin a project from
an idea I have in my head, I start by sketching out the design. I use colored
pencils to denote the general color scheme. I typically
stitch several small swatches with different sizes and colors of beads to get a
feel for how the stitch or technique fits with my initial design. Sometimes I
hit upon a color scheme that works better than
I first envisioned.
Last week, I planned a lacy, netted collar made primarily with
intersecting rows of bugle beads. I used graph paper to plot the increases,
decreases, and various bead sizes in the collar. Next I stitched small samples,
making the necessary adjustments to the design on the graph paper to ensure that the collar
would lie flat. Then I had one of those happy accidents that resulted in an
"aha" moment, and my design was forever changed. I got distracted and was not paying attention to
my work. When I finally got back to my project, I discovered I had picked up
the wrong size beads, repeated the same row several times over, and changed the order of the colors. I loved the result!
One week later, there isn't a bugle bead to be found in my double-netted choker
project. I redrew my design as I now envision it, but I fully anticipate that the final project will look nothing like my sketch.
This is what I love about the creative process – the
opportunity to evolve and adapt. When this project is complete, it will not
have been dictated by a foregone conclusion as to the outcome, it will have
evolved from the beads and their relationship to each other. And isn't that
what it's all about, anyway?