Hello bead friends! I think most of us have run into a situation where we thought we had enough wire to complete a component, but it turned out that we didn’t. Maybe you estimated incorrectly, or maybe you used a lot more wire than the designer, or didn’t realize there wasn’t enough wire left on your spool. Either way, it’s a frustrating situation. So this month on my blog, I’m going to show how to add in additional working wires when working with Basic Frame and Continuous techniques.
Adding in a New Working Wire to Basic Frame
Before adding in a new wire on a Basic Frame type petal or leaf, you first need to tie off the old one. Always end the old wire at the bottom wire of a Basic Frame, so if you don’t have enough wire to reach the bottom wire again, go back to the last time you were able to reach it.
Do not double wrap the working wire below the last row of beads. This will create a little “collar” of wire that will be more visible in the component. Instead, bring the little working wire tail around and up through the back of the petal right above the last row of beads you added. (Photo 1)
Then down over the front, and down between the last two rows on that side of the petal. (Photo 2).
Pull the wire all the way through, then clip the wire off against the back of the petal. (Photo 3)
Untwist the bottom wires. Then lay the new wire over the front of the bottom wires, pointing in the direction that you will be starting your next row. You will need a short tail to join with the bottom wires. (Red wire in Photo 4)
Twist the new working wire together with the two original bottom wires. Make sure the twist is very tight right up against the bottom of the petal. Also make sure your twists are as smooth as possible. (Photo 5)
Then you can complete the remaining rows with the new working wire. (Photo 6)
Is this method perfect? No. There could be more wire bulk, or slightly more visible wire. But it’s a whole heck of a lot better than wasting your work, especially if it’s a huge petal, or one with lots of colors that you’ve spent so much time aligning perfectly.
Adding in New Wire to Continuous Techniques
This next method will work with any continuous technique. Continuous techniques are those where multiple petals are made on a single length of wire, and you could continue making petals indefinitely. Techniques like: Continuous Loops, Continuous Crossover Loops, Continuous Wraparound Loops, or Continuous Basic Frame.
To add a new wire, you need to stop using the old wire at the end of a petal, not in the middle of a petal. When you are getting close to the end of the wire, you will need to judge whether or not you have enough wire to make the next petal entirely, and still have a short tail leftover. If in doubt, assume you don’t have enough and add in a new wire.
Most people just twist a new working wire together with the old wire’s tail, which you definitely could do… but I prefer a stronger join.
Once you reached the end of the wire, just start the rest of the unit on a new length of wire. This will result in two pieces. (Photo 7)
To combine them, wrap the tail wire of the second unit around the base of the last petal on the first unit. (Photo 8)
Then twist the two tail wires together. (Photo 9)
Repeat with the other tail wires. (Photo 10)
French Beaded Collarette Dahlia Pattern
My new pattern for this month is a Collarette Dahlia! I almost didn’t have enough time to finish it as February turned out to be busier than I expected. But, I pushed through this past weekend to get this done.
I absolutely love dahlias. There are so many different varieties and colors and forms. I’ve published more dahlia patterns than anything else. Hopefully you guys love dahlias too, because it’s very likely that you will see me publish more of them.
This is a design I started several years ago, but, like many of the things I make, it got set aside for “later”. Luckily, this meant that I already had a portion of the design and PDF done. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to complete my goal to publish a new pattern every month in February.
These Dahlias come in so many different color patterns that I had a hard time choosing which ones to make. I finally settled on three different flowers, which I specifically chose for the different shading patterns. Some are easier than others and I wanted to include a variety of difficulty levels in the pattern.
I have a PDF for the pattern available in my shop. And I’ve also put together some bead sets, which are also available in my shop. I only have a few for now as I’m waiting for one of the colors to arrive. So I will re-stock later once those arrive.
I will likely be making more of these Dahlias this week, just because there were more colors that I liked and I kind of want to get them out of my system before I start work on my next pattern. But, those won’t be in the PDF. They will be just for fun. Because sometimes I just need to make flowers without the pressure of taking pictures and writing up instructions and materials lists. But, I’ll share photos of them on Facebook and Instagram once I get them finished.
I’ve decided to pattern sales every month too. So I will select some of my patterns each month, and reduce their price for a couple weeks. These patterns will be on sale through March 14th.
– Lauren Harpster