Monday, December 7, 2015

Stringing materials

Hello, everyone.

It's been pretty busy around here, getting ready for the holidays and for the incoming houseguests, and so this will be a quick post about something kind of timeless: bead stringing materials.

Some of the stash on hand!
In the photo, there are Nymo D, Beadalon multistranded wire, Accuflex multistranded wire, Fireline braided cord, Seaguar braided cord, and elastic Powercord.

I like the way that the Nymo goes into the size 10 beading needle. I do have to pull the end together sometimes, even dampen it a little on occasion, but once the end is through the eye it moves very smoothly. It is if anything too smooth! Placing a stop bead is more of an act of faith than a way to keep the beads from rolling off the far end of the thread. Knots come undone--in fact, I've begun using Fray-check to glue them in place. (Don't use Fray-check in just any situation; it has a potential to dry with a little bit of yellowish tint. So not the thing with white beads!)

The Fireline, and the Seaguar both come in various sizes. The Seaguar, in fact, came home from Wal-Mart with me because I couldn't find any Fireline in the fishing department. This spool is 8 pound braided line, and it's not the foggy-white color of "crystal" Fireline, it's actually transparent. I used it for part of the crystal diamond tree ornament, after managing to break the strand of 10 pound Fireline I was using in the middle. (This did take effort, accidental though it was. I had frayed the living daylights out of the thread with the needle eye trying to pull too thick of needle and cord through the beads too many times. Eventually the frayed part was inside of a bead while it was being pulled on and it just broke.) I find the really transparent line hard to keep track of, but it works well so far with the beads, and I'll probably add it to the pile of threads to keep around. At least, I have a long spool to play with!

The Beadalon and the Accuflex are reasonably similar in uses and characteristics. I have had some bad luck in choosing sizes of crimps to use, but with the correct size of crimp it holds well. It doesn't get eaten by the sharp edges of beads and it's thin. I don't think I'd want to try and thread it through a needle, though.

The Powercord is useful for making bracelets. I don't have the system quite worked out yet, though--wore a bracelet (one strand of elastic and maybe 10mm round beads) to an exercise class once and the knot came undone during the bouncing. Oops. That was before I'd heard of using glue, though, and possibly a second strand of elastic would have helped.

Lately I've been doing more bead weaving than just stringing, so the Fireline and Seaguar have been used much more than the others. The Nymo did get used in making dangling snowflakes for a Christmas tree. Fraycheck was used liberally on those knots!

Dangling ornament for a Christmas tree