It's turkey time! Sometimes I hear people say that Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick, overlooked by department stores and TV ads as they leap from Halloween to the December holidays. Not this time! Stitch up this adorable herringbone turkey bracelet, just in time for our annual day of gratitude and feasting.
If you're a pro at working in herringbone stitch, you probably only need to look at the pattern at the bottom of this page to get going. If you're new to herringbone stitch, follow these instructions.
1. On a comfortable length of thread (I used crystal-colored Fireline), pick up two cream-colored 11/0 seed beads. Sew through both beads again, leaving a 10-in. (25 cm) tail, and position the beads so they are sitting side by side.
2. Pick up a cream-colored 11/0, sew through the previous 11/0, and continue through the new 11/0. Again, position the beads so they are all side by side. Repeat this stitch until you have eight cream-colored 11/0s. This is called a ladder (because it's worked in ladder stitch), and it will make up the first row of this bracelet.
3. Turn your ladder so the working thread is exiting the top of the last bead and pointing away from you. Pick up two cream-colored 11/0s, sew down through the next 11/0 in the ladder, and sew up through the following 11/0. If needed, tap the top of the new beads so they angle out from each other, creating the herringbone effect. Repeat this stitch across the row. This is called working in herringbone or Ndebele herringbone stitch.
4. To turn and get into position to stitch the next row, pick up a 15/0 seed bead, and sew up through the last bead you picked up in the previous row.
5. You've now completed the first two rows of the pattern! Following the chart below, work the rest of the pattern in herringbone stitch, always working off the previous row. Check to make sure you're picking up the right color beads, and pick up a 15/0 for each turn. After you complete the turkey motif, repeat the motif again and again. My bracelet has a total of five turkey motifs, and the beadwork measures 7 in. (18 cm). When your thread gets short, end the thread, and then add a new thread, exiting where you left off. And after stitching the last row of your bracelet, work a ladder stitch thread path through the beads in that last row to tighten them up and make them look like the starting end of the bracelet.
6. You can attach any kind of clasp in any way you choose, but I opted for a snap. Using the working thread, sew half of the clasp to the working end of the bracelet. End this thread. Then use the 10-in. (25 cm) tail to sew the other half of the clasp to the starting end of the bracelet. Make sure the bracelet ends overlap nicely when clasped and that the bracelet still fits your wrist. End the tail.