Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beading Tutorial: Dutch Spiral Rope

Dutch Spiral Rope with Shell Chips

Beaded ropes and spiral patterns go together like turquoise and coral, but we always seem to stick with the most obvious stitches. Tubular peyote and twisted herringbone get a lot of time in the spotlight, which means that other really fun techniques often get overlooked. Russian spiral is one neglected stitch that we’ve already covered. Today, we’re going to visit its neighbor, Dutch spiral.

Another variation of peyote stitch, Dutch spiral is worked with three sections, each with a different bead color or type. It’s a lot easier to get started if you’re already comfortable with tubular peyote or flat peyote, and it helps to think of it as peyote with an increase or bridge. Essentially, it increases the number of beads picked up during the final stitch, to create a loose section of beads. Because tubular peyote has a natural spiral shape, this extra section curves around the beadwork.

For a basic rope, you’ll need size 8/o seed beads, and 11/o’s in two colors. You can also use Delicas in the peyote section for a stronger contrast between the spiral and the core of the beadwork.

To Weave a Dutch Spiral Rope

Pick up an 8/o seed bead on a comfortable length of thread, and slide it down to the end, leaving an 8 inch tail. Stitch back through the bead again and pull snug to lock it in place.

Attaching a Stop Bead Dutch Spiral Rope Tutorial Dutch Spiral Rope Stitch

Pick up three peyote beads (or Delicas) and three spiral beads. Pass through the 8/o bead and pull snug to form a ring. Pick up one 8/o bead, and stitch through the following peyote bead in the ring. Pull snug, so that the new 8/o rests between the two beads.

Peyote Stitch in Dutch Spiral Rope How to Stitch Dutch Spiral Rope

Pick up one 11/o peyote bead, and pass through the next bead in the ring. Do not skip any beads here, the way you would with a regular tubular peyote start. Pull snug, and add another peyote bead to the next one in the ring.

Pick up one peyote bead, and three spiral beads. Stitch through the 8/o bead added at the beginning of the round, and pull snug. Make sure that the new beads are resting over the first round below it. Here you can gently pinch or push the beadwork to begin a more tubular shape, which will become more defined as you work the next two or three rounds.

Finishing Dutch Spiral Round Two Peyote Stitch in Dutch Spiral Round Three

Add one 8/o bead with peyote stitch, stitching through the raised bead from the previous round, and repeat with your core color for the next two raised bead. Just as with tubular peyote, you always pick up the same bead as the type your thread is exiting. To finish the round, add one peyote bead, and three or more spiral beads. Always remember to pick up one bead for the core before adding your spiral beads, to keep the core growing in the spiral pattern.

Dutch Spiral Stitch Tutorial Dutch Spiral Round Three How to Weave Dutch Spiral Rope

Continue stitching in this sequence, increasing the number of beads in the spiral section as desired. For a symmetrical rope, decrease in the same pattern when you reach the center point of your design. You can add or subtract beads from your spiral pattern gradually, or one with every row, creating very different looks. The fewer beads you have in the spiral section, the tighter the rope will appear. More beads create a fringy swag look with lots of space between the rows. Either way, Dutch spiral is always softer and slinkier than regular tubular peyote, even when using stiff threads like Fireline.

Dutch Spiral Rope Technique Dutsh Spiral Fringe Section Dutch Spiral Peyote Section

One of the best things about Dutch spiral is that you can add almost any kind of accent bead to your rope - because the spiral section is loose, there’s more room for embellishing. Drops are a favorite, but almost any shape or style of bead will do. Longer spiral sections make room for bugles, and you can even incorporate focal beads right into the rope at the center point. Drops, daggers, or magatamas can also replace the 8/o beads for a really textured rope.

Dutch Spiral with Top Drilled Coins Dutch Spiral with Long Magatamas

Have you tried Dutch spiral? Do you like to make your ropes tight or extra loopy?

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  1. Thank you Mortira....I have been looking for a stitch for a pendant I have and I think I just found it.....thank again...have a wonderful day!!!!

  2. I've never seen the Dutch spiral before but I'll be trying it for sure! Thanks, Morti!

  3. I have been wanting to try this. You had mentioned the Russian spiral and I have come across a project I started a long time ago but never finished. It looks like Russian spiral but with only a 3 bead base. I would like to finish it but I don't remember how I did it. I have done a lot of searching and can't find anything out there in just a 3 bead base. Any ideas?

    1. Sounds interesting, but I'm not certain what it could be. You're welcome to send me a pic by email or on Facebook. In the meantime, you could try deconstructing the rope from the start point, to get an idea of how the stitches work. If the tail is long enough, you can just loosen the stitches, without actually removing any beads.

  4. Hi Mortira, thank you for kindly sharing Dutch spiral lesson. It's very clear and easy to follow and I just finished my 1st Dutch spiral project as a gift for my friend and she really like it. Thank you Morti and keep doing wonderful things.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! It is definitely a fun stitch.

  5. Hi Mortira. I love your tutorials but is it possible to use beads other than seed beads for the rope,thanks

    1. You could certainly try! I wouldn't recommend using crystals or anything with a sharp edge for the peyote sections. You'd need to increase the weight of your thread, and that would make things rather tight when you're making multiple passes. You can use just about anything for the fringed areas, but you'll probably want to have something smallish at either end so that it all fits together nicely. Staggering the length of each fringe can help with this, too - for example, using counts of 3, 4, 5, 4 and repeat. Send me an email if you'd like more help on this!


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