Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stitch Beading with Robin

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Regular scheduled blogging does take some prep work. Mainly, to come up with something to say each week. I put this question out to my Facebook friends...
Trying to stay on my weekly Sunday blogging schedule on Needlepoint Study Hall. Any needlepoint topics, ideas, concepts, themes you'd like to me cover? Since I'm hoping to maintain a consistent schedule, the more suggestions the merrier. I will send my needlepoint stitch collection PDF to the topic winner(s). You will get your name listed in the blog, too. Many thanks in advance! 
I had some wonderful responses and many asked about Beading.

As it turns out, I do have some specific steps I use when Beading which I often share with my classes. And since we are in Needlepoint Study Hall, I'd like to share them with you, too.

So today's topic is Stitch Beading... Robin King style.

First of all, let it be said that if you are already an excellent Beader and/or already have a technique which works for you, please stick with the one who brought you to the dance. I am not wanting to change anyone's techniques which are working for them.

I'm offering some helpful hints for those who haven't Beaded or those who do Bead but can't get the Beads to line up or stay straight in place.

Generally speaking when we add Beads to our needlepoint, we will want them to be in the same direction as the Basketweave stitch which leans to the right (/).

In order to accomplish that feat, your Beading thread will go in the direction of Florida to Seattle. Here are some helpful diagrams for those of us who are visual learners.

Geography and a Beading lesson?
Who knew!!

Your beading travel path goes
from Florida to Seattle.

We want the Bead to lean in (/) direction.

You will want to use 2 ply Beading Thread. I like to use the size 10 Beading Needles. I use one long strand Beading Thread to go thru the eye of the needle. Then I pull the 2 ends together and tie one knot. This gives me the Thread Doubled in the Needle effect.

You will want to tug on your Beading Thread to help get the "stretch" out of it prior to using. You can also use Beeswax on your Beading Thread. There are many options of Beading Threads. You can use the colorful Superlon Nylon Beading Thread and/or the Crystal Fireline Beading Thread (great when working with Swarovski Crystals). Again, I'm not trying to change your dance partner... just showing what works good for me.

Colorful Superlon Beading Thread

Crystal Fireline Beading Thread

Now we are ready to start Beading. Gulp! (It's OK. I'm here with you.)

Stitch Beading places the Bead
across each intersection.

I tried many different beading pathways (some without much success), and finally went line by line; working my stitches across in rows going from the right side to the left side of the canvas. Each time going from Florida to Seattle. 

It all went great... until the last Bead in the row was added. He turned into the drunken sailor who didn't follow the others; the wonkiest in the line of well-behaved Beads!

😬 What was happening? Why me!! Oh, I'll never bead again. Yes. Those words filled my head and made me run away from future Beading opportunities. But then, I became a Teacher. 😊  I needed to solve my problem so I could help others. 

💡enter The Pinhead stitch... or you might know it as the Pin Stitch.

Pinhead Stitch,
your needlepoint BFF

The Pinhead Stitch is something every Needlepointer needs to know. If you don't know about it, that's OK. I'm the See One, Do One, Teach One gal, and will bring you into the Club. We will do a quick introduction about the Pinhead Stitch today and I will continue on its merits next week. (Sweet! We have another blog topic.)

The Pinhead Stitch can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal and it goes across 1 canvas thread/intersection.

How does the Pinhead Stitch help me get my drunken sailor inline with the other Beads? A well-behaved Bead is all about not having extra rope (aka Beading Thread). Loose tension is the demise of all Beading; we want to avoid floppy and wonky.

Remember, I said I did my Beading from Right to Left. The mojo was working and I needed to stick with the sequence. 

Here we go...
But the distance traveled from Left back to Right gave the Beading Thread a chance to get loose.

Danger, Will Robinson!
So after each "end" Bead, I did a vertical Pinhead Stitch directly below the Bead. 

Keeping the end Bead on a short leash.
Then I did more vertical Pinhead Stitches along the same line working towards my next starting point. 

Travel with the Pinhead Stitch.
Ready to begin the next row.

Pinhead Stitch is your BFF.

Travel with the Pinhead Stitch.

Are we already on row 3? Sweet.

Look how nice they are behaving.

Pinhead Stitch.

Work it back to the beginning.

Beading is fun!

Just a few more things to mention. I tug with force as I bring my Beading Thread up to the front of the canvas (as well as down to the back of the canvas) to make sure it didn't get knotted or jumbled on the hidden side. Nothing worse than turning your canvas over and seeing a hitch in your get-along. I don't let go of the Beading Thread: I keep tension on the Beading Thread as I pass from above to below the canvas. Also, I "flick" the Bead onto the top of the canvas intersection to put it in its place. 

Understand, I've dissected these actions into mili seconds. Beading is rhythmic and very zen. 

Well, that's all for now. I hope this has been helpful for those needing an assist. Like I said, I'm here for you.

Many thanks to Michelle H., Ada H., Patricia W., and Ellen D. who all asked about Beading. I hope this helps.

Until the next time... HUGS, Robin


  1. Love this, Robin - great tip about the pinhead stitches. Can't wait to learn more about other ways you use them.

  2. Excellent explanation Robin! Thanks! ��

  3. really love the idea about pinhead stitch. i usually put the thread through all the beads to go back to the start line and it keeps them nicely in place as well as giving an extra support.

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  5. do you ever lasso your beads?

    1. I use the lasso technique for single stand alone beads. Thanks for reading the blog.


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