Introduction: Moebius Strip Earrings

Picture of Moebius Strip Earrings

Make these earrings with size 11/0 cylinder beads in the shape of a Moebius strip, which has only one edge and one side.

First, work a 4-bead wide strip of herringbone weave. Twist, join the ends, add a hanging loop, and voila! A geeky, yet elegant earring.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
You will need:

  • size 11/0 cylinder beads (e.g., Delicas) in two colors for the edge and middle of the strip (I used matte dark gold and matte rose)
  • a pair of French hooks or kidney wires, to coordinate with beads
  • short beading needles
  • Nymo or other nylon monofilament thread, D weight, to coordinate with beads
  • a sharp cutting device (mine is airplane-safe)

Step 2: First Two Rows

Picture of First Two Rows

Thread a needle with about a yard of thread.

Start by stringing a waste bead in a contrasting color. Pass the needle through the bead twice so that a loop of thread wraps around the bead. Slide the bead down so there is about a 6-inch tail.

String two edge beads, four middle beads, then two more edge beads. These 8 beads will form the first two rows.

Pass back through the second edge bead from the needle and pull all the beads snug against the waste bead.

Step 3: Third Row

Picture of Third Row

Pick up one edge bead and one middle bead. Pass the needle through the first and fourth middle beads from the previous rows, skipping over the beads in between.

Pick up a middle bead and an edge bead. Pass back through the two edge beads strung earlier, skipping the waste bead.

Pull snug. The beads should make the shape of a loose M or W.

Skipping the first edge bead so that the thread loops around it, pass back up through the last two edge beads and pull snug. The beads should now form a definite M shape.

You may now remove the waste bead by sliding it off the tail.

Step 4: Fourth Row

Picture of Fourth Row

Pick up an edge bead and a middle bead. Pass the needle through the two middle beads at the points of the "M".

Pick up a middle bead and an edge bead. Pass back through the last two edge beads. Pull snug. Untwist the beads if necessary to make the colors line up.

Pass back up through the last edge bead and pull snug.

Step 5: Fifth Row

Picture of Fifth Row

Turn the piece over so that the working thread is again at the top right corner of the piece.  (Note: This assumes you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, you might prefer to work left-to-right instead.) 

Work the fifth row the same as the fourth row. Make sure the beads line up in rows and pull snug.

Step 6: Rows 5 - 25

Picture of Rows 5 - 25

Repeat row 5 until you have worked 25 rows of herringbone weave. Both the tail and the working thread should be on the same edge of the strip.

Step 7: Joining the Ends

Picture of Joining the Ends

Now for the fun: Joining the ends! You will basically work one last row of herringbone to connect the two ends. The twist is that you will work from right to left on the beginning of the strip, and from left to right on the end of the strip.

Pass the needle through the two beads on the opposite edge of the beginning of the strip, in the herringbone pattern.

Snug the ends up next to each other.

Then pass through the two middle beads at the end of the strip, in the herringbone pattern.

Then pass through the remaining two beads on the beginning of strip, in the herringbone pattern.

Join the edge by passing the needle through several edge beads on the end of the strip.

Carefully pull tight, easing the thread along, and you have a beaded Moebius strip!

Step 8: Adding a Hanging Loop

Picture of Adding a Hanging Loop

Push the folds in the Moebius strip around until the working thread is on top.

String four edge beads and pass back through the last two edge beads and pull tight to form a hanging loop. For extra strength, go around the loop again.

Step 9: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Tie off loose ends to thread between pairs of beads. Work in loose threads by passing through several beads in the established thread pattern. Cut off excess thread

Attach a kidney wire or French hook to the hanging loop. Et voila! A moebius strip earring.

Comments

Jennine117 (author)2010-05-08

 So I love this project and have been at it for the better part of two hours to no avail and have a few questions. 

First, in the fourth step where it says to "pass back through the two edge beads" do you mean the very last two? Because it only works if I put it through the two before the last bead if that makes any sense. 

Also, something that may have been an issue for me is that I may have kept turning and flipping the beads as I was working on them and kept tangling my string so when I try again I'll keep it the same way at all times but in the fifth step where you "turn the piece over" do you flip it over or rotate it like 180 degrees or something?

Sorry about all the questions, I'm just really confused and would love to complete these earrings and put my beads to good use.

Thank you = )

davisjan (author)Jennine1172010-05-08

 Jennine,

If I understand you, yes, in step 4 you shouldn't pass back through the new edge bead you just put on the needle. Then it would come off! The point is to loop around one of the existing beads so that the thread can come back out the top of the new edge bead, in the right position to add the next row.  To be honest, there's more than one way to do it---you just don't want to add too much extra thread that kinks up the beads.

In step 5, I mean turn it over so that the working thread is back at the top right hand corner of the piece.  If you are right-handed, it's easiest to work right to left. Does that make sense?

I'm glad you like the pattern! ! Let me know if you run into more problems. 

Janet

Jennine117 (author)davisjan2010-05-08

 thank you, that cleared it up a bit. Can't wait to try again! 

dobbylvr (author)2009-05-04

This is awesome! I'm wishing for the first time that I had pierced ears.

sally menezes (author)2009-03-05

This is great.... Note: your instruction in the first half is vital before doing the fourth stitch... i shall post my replica of these beautiful earrings for you to see... thank you for these instructions....:)

davisjan (author)sally menezes2009-03-11

Thanks! I'll look forward to seeing them!

leahbuechley (author)2008-11-15

beautiful!

KreaKatri (author)2008-11-07

This is very cool :) How did you get the idea for it? I'm gonna make this when I have the time. Don't you have to be pretty concentrated the first couple of times, not to make it wrong?

davisjan (author)KreaKatri2008-11-08

I wanted to try making a Moebius strip earring because I like math. Herringbone weave had become popular in the beadwork community a few years before, and I thought of using it because it is very soft and flexible. (Herringbone weave is also sometimes called Ndebele weave after the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe.) You do have to concentrate a bit, but the only really tricky bits are the beginning and the end. Once the pattern is established, you can just zip along!

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