Saturday, March 25, 2017

Something twinastic: Pinwheel cuff.

For their "Spin the World" March design contest, Preciosa Ornela sent me a selection of their Twin™ beads. Two types: transparent matted crystal and transparent matted grey Twin™ Seed beads and a green satin and opaque black Twin™ Pressed beads. Yep. Seed beads and pressed Twin beads. And the pressed one is actually not brand new, but I now understand better why some Twin beads seemed to suit a project better than another. Read on (and click on the images to see big photos).

Screenshot of Preciosa's presentation of the Twin beads

The first Twin beads we discovered several years back are what they call seed beads. They are, as far as I know, the first two-hole seed bead to hit the market and ever since, manufacturers rival with new ideas to make more multi-pierced beads. The seed bead Twin is oval, not always very consistent in shape, so a bit of culling is necessary. Overall, a very nice bead that offers plenty of design possibilities.
Clever new package

The pressed version has a horse-eye shape, thinner at the pierced ends and so offers more room for other beads between them. They are very consistent in size, resulting in a very even, flexible beaded fabric, at least in the samples I made with them. Beading with them is truly delightful. Twinastic!

The package these new Twin beads came in also deserve a thumbs up, because it is extremely practical and clever: a little plastic box with a cardboard back acting as a lid. The cardboard has to be slid open and can be reclosed. Much better than little bags to tear open.

Initially I planned to make Butterfly Ropes and Sera alla Scala necklaces, because these designs ask for them and I needed a cord for my reading glasses, and something for everyday. I started with the black pressed Twin beads, with pinch beads instead of firepolished beads. The cute Lady Bug look came as a nice surprise. I promise myself to make more of these, a green one for myself, and more for friends who fell in love with it too.

Lady Bug Butterfly Rope

Then, before I even got a chance to start a Sera alla Scala, my muse interfered and said no, no, no, make something new, something like "this". With "this", Eddie meant a small piece of dense beadwork with firepolished beads and tiny pearls - a test I made using Variation no. 9 of Diamond Weave in which I had substituted a number of parallel beads by Twin beads.

I listened to my muse, because he is a clever guy, and also because I wanted to see what it looks like to use only two-hole beads in place of all two parallel beads, so I replaced all the firepolished beads and pearls by Twin beads too. I used the satin green pressed Twin beads and tried a perfectly matching yellow gold metallic size 11/0 seed bead, also from Preciosa, but the size 11/0 did not cover the thread enough. I then tried with tiny white 2mm pearls. and they worked beautifully! However, I wanted a more subtle accent color, so I grabbed a tube of size 8 charlottes and that was exactly the look I hoped for.

Academy Pinwheel Cuff with Twin Pressed Beads - DW var 9

I am very happy with the result. The charlottes are a delight when worn. With their 'only one facet', not all showing to the front, it blings beautifully here and there when moving the wrist, as by surprise. Believe me, not one photo does these subtle tiny treasures justice, you need to experience them in real life. Slightly domed yet supple, the bracelet has a lovely repetitive motif that reminded me of little pinwheels and of the clothes of the honorable members of the Académie Française, hence the name Academy Pinwheel Cuff. Honni soit qui mal y pense.

Academy Pinwheel Cuff with Twin Pressed Beads - DW var 9

To better show the pretty pinwheel aspect and see if I could incorporate true 2mm firepolished beads, I made a second cuff with the Twin seed beads. I chose to make it a continuous band, with elastic at the edges. Stiff, yet extremely comfy to wear, I love it!

Pinwheel Cuff with Twin Seed Beads - DW var 9

Pinwheel Cuff with Twin Seed Beads - DW var 9

Because the result was so encouraging with the Twin seed beads, I had to try with other two-hole beads. Here again, I was happily surprised by the result when using Ios® beads by Puca. I used true 2mm firepolished as accent beads in the ivory version and 2mm matte hematite rounded cubes in the satin copper version and both worked very well. I find it so pretty that I decided to write a tutorial as soon as I have a moment (I am still working on the Farfalle stitch tutorial - soon finished).

Pinwheel Cuff with Ios® Beads - DW var 9

Pinwheel Cuff with Ios® Beads - DW var 9
I also tried this stitch with Rulla beads, which didn't work at all, and then my attention got back to the Sera alla Scala necklace I initially planned to make. 

Sera alla Scala in gold, red and black

And I made another Sera alla Scala rope with magic topaz and black pearls. 

Sera alla Scala ropes
I'm having fun, and I sing to myself. "so many beads, so little time"...

Thank you for visiting.


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