Sunday, November 8, 2009

Laura McCabe Continued

Laura started my love affair with the spiral rope.  It is a very versatile stitch and can be embellished in a multitude of ways.  It is also a relatively fast stitch in comparison to other stitches like peyote in the round or herringbone in the round.   These two pictures show the basic rope.  You can vary the look in a multitude of ways, experimenting both with color and texture.

The main thing I learned from Laura was how to end a rope seamlessly.   Not only did I use this to create a professional finish, I used it to transition between sections of rope.  In other words, rather than create separate segments and then connect them, I do it as I go.  Although Laura doesn't explain this, her technique for ending was easily adapted to this.  This necklace shows a seqmented spiral and is one of my favorites.  With these necklaces I start in the middle and pull enough thread to do the entire necklaces (about 4 to 5 yards).  I spool half the thread and work to the end, attach a button, then work the rest of the necklace.  It's been a very effective technique.

This necklace also showcases Swarovski bicone crystals.  It's my favorite material to use as it achieves a nice staggered rope.  Crystal rounds can also be used, but I found that they work better if they are placed every other segment of the spiral.

Laura's Crystal Heart project truly showcases both encasing a rivoli, creating a crystal spiral and creating a beaded toggle.  You can find it in her book.  I knew immediately my friend Loretta would love it and I made it for her for Christmas a few years ago.   These are the two colorways I currently own and I wear them often.  I made the copper one for a charity auction and the blue for Loretta (of course, then had to make them for myself).  It is a lovely piece and worth the effort to make.  I found I prefer a simple beaded loop rather than the toggle and loop Laura teaches.  I found it to be sturdier.  I love Czech glass buttons, but a chain and hook are more practical if you want to adjust the size for a variety of necklines.  Next post we'll talk about an embellished rope and complete this series on Laura.

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