I’ve recently been researching traditional netting techniques, like those seen in African and Native American beadwork. Although there are plenty of examples of finished pieces, instructions and tutorials are difficult to come by. After studying a few designs, I decided to experiment a little with the techniques in a new collar variation.
My inspiration was the Egyptian sky goddess Nut, whose blue body is seen covered with stars. With Egyptian tomb paintings in blue and gold in mind, I combined some cobalt white hearts with Autumn Tucson gold and got to work.
I wanted to make sure that my finished collar would have a good curve, so I modified the stitch a little. Most of the nets are three beads long, with the exception of the outer row. Even though there are a lot more beads and stitches in this piece, it still worked up very quickly.
Once the base netting was complete, I had to find the right proportions of beads to fill in the inner row. Rather than make the top row of netting smaller to create a curve, the tops of the beadwork are elongated, with a single bead atop each stitch to be cinched together. I tried several different patterns with the white hearts, but the size difference between the two bead types seemed to pose a problem. I finally settled on using two Japanese seed beads between each shaft, and the curve came out just right.
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