Monday, October 1, 2012

My First Blog Tutorial!!!
Serpentine Necklace

Recently I made a necklace and posted it online.  It was a stitch I had created years ago which was totally by accident. 

It came about in the very early days of my beading.  I had a friend who had some pearls and gemstones.  She wanted them strung and at the time I didn't know how to string pearls.  I also wanted a stitch that would show off the bead and bring out its beauty, especially if it was a gemstone.  Basically I wanted to create something where you would notice the beauty of the beads first, and then the stitch.

So I started fooling around and this is what I came up with.  Well that was over 20 some odd years ago, and lately I resurrected it to make a few pieces for my Etsy store.  I have used this stitch off and on for many years and notice it comes out best with 6mm rounds.  You can use gemstones, glass rounds, Presciosa, Swarovski, and Chinese crystals!   I have used 6mm bicones as well, and it adds a different dimension to the stitch. The spine of the stitch is an 11/0 seed bead.  I like miyuki and Presciosa seed beads....TOHO beads are lovely as well.  Any 11/0 seed bead where there is a ton of uniformity works well for me.  I have not tried it with delica's because I feel that they are cut too small. 

I first start out with about 3 yards of thread, a little over.  You can use fireline, power pro, or wildfire.  I am especially fond of Wildfire.  If you have ever used fireline you know the black one stains your fingers.  Wildfire black does not.

I then condition it with Thread Heaven, and have found that this cuts down tremendously in the tangling of such a long thread.

Put on a stop bead and leave a tail of about 12 inches.
Now the fun begins!  String on 10 11/0's, a 6mm round, and 1 more 11/0.
Now take your needle and skip the first three seed beads you cast on and put your needle through beads 4-9.  Skipping seed bead 10, your 6mm and the other 11/0.  It will look like this,
Pull your needle through and you will get your first in many zig zags on this chain.
The beginning may be a little fiddly, but after you get your needle through those 6 beads and pull the piece together it will start taking shape.  I usually flip my work back and forth so that it creates a little zig zag.  Now for the second stitch.

Add on 7 11/0's, 1 6mm, and 1 more 11/0.
Now for the interesting part!  Take your needle and go back through bead 9 from the first stitch.  It should all look like this,
Now add on the next 6 beads to your needle and pull through.
As you pull it through it will look like this,

Now you just keep flipping and repeating until you reach the desired length. 
I usually like to end my piece with wire protectors. 
 I go through them at least twice and then run my needle through the piece for about 6 inches and then cut the excess thread. 
Here are a 2 pieces in my Etsy store that I have recently made
and this one is about 50 inches and can be doubled....check out the decorative clasp!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!



  1. This is beautiful, Feith!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. Great job! I will try this tonight!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing :)

  4. Thanks for sharing a great tutorial Feith and lovely pieces too:D


  5. Thanks for sharing! can't wait to try it out

  6. Beautiful stitch! I pinned it on Pinterest, giving you full credit.

  7. Thanks, Feith:

    I did this or something similar, using 2-needles...much prefer this method...

  8. Thank you! Very clear and easy to follow directions. This is my first seed bead project. Great job!

  9. This is so beautiful!! You are very generous! God bless you!

  10. Parabéns Feith, suas peças ficaram lindas e muito obrigada por compartilhar. Boa sorte!

  11. What a great way to show off the pearls! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  12. I love this! I'm going to try to make it as a necklace. Great tutorial. The pictures make your instructions very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing this!

  13. Nice tutorial ! I just wish you could have put a quantity list even if it was for a 16" or 18" , to give us an idea as to how much to add or subtract to make it longer or shorter. I started mine with what I thought was plenty of pearls, and it came out being only 12 1/2" long. Hope I can color match these pearls. The necklace is beautiful so far. Going to start another one right now !!!! Thanks again.

  14. Lindo. Parabéns pela clareza da explicação

  15. Me ha gustado mucho. Gracias por compartirlo.

  16. I had seen this pattern made with 2 needles. I am allergic to works with 2 needles. Following your tutorial I made a very nice necklace.

    Thank you,