OH man Zelda: A Link to the Past is my childhood in a cartridge. I played that game for hours a day as a child. The sad thing was that I never made any progress, I mean I was 6 and fruitlessly trying to compete with my 11 year old brother. Then again it wasn't that sad for me because all I really wanted to do was to find all the pretty fairies. Yup I spent hours finding all the different caves to catch the fairies, or to find the pretty great fairy. This drove my older brother nuts...
So I decided to design a necklace to show my love of a game, that I did eventually play seriously, but I'll always get the warm fuzzies when I see the fairies. So this elegant necklace is made by bead weaving, specifically the flat square stitch. Then just simply attaching a chain the correct places. Now I have discovered that there are no flat square stitch instructables, so let's fix that.
What proceeds is a step by step tutorial on how to bead weave a flat square stitch. Then at the end they'll be a video on how I used these skills to create the elegant necklace you see above.
Some people are amazingly skilled with bead weaving and truly make works of art, I just see an opportunity for pixel art... to each his own!
Step 1: Cue Pictures
Alright so I'm going to be making a mario mushroom out of pony beads, yarn, and a home made needle. For the record I don't recommend this, none of these materials are meant for this. However everything is then big enough that I can actually photograph what I'm doing, which as you'll see in the video is really hard to do with seed beads. The pattern I used is here
So gather up your stringing materials, needle, and beads is your first step, and later in the instructable there will be a list of what the proper materials are and where I get them.
Step 2: String Your First Row
So for me this process is a lot like knitting, you start your row building one stitch on top of the other until you get to the other side. Then turn around and continue building one stitch on top of the other until you get back to the edge. Continue working your way back and forth like you're eating corn like a cartoon character until you finish your pattern.
Starting at the bottom of your pattern string your first row on to your thread. Be sure to leave around 6 inches of tail out the end and to keep it there. Then take your needle and thread a bead on that is the color of the square above the bead closest to the needle. For me this is blue.
Once the new bead is threaded on take your needle and put it through the bead on the edge of the first row (what was previously the bead closest to the needle). The needle will go into the bead the same direction it went previously, like the needle is going in a circle. Then pull it tight. Congratulations you have your first stitch.
Step 3: Continuing!
Alright now it's time to do the next stitch! But your needle's in the wrong place... It's coming out of the first row but you need it to go through your new stitch so you can begin the next. So just pull your thread all the way through your new stitch so that you can start the next one.
Then just repeat the previous steps for you new stitch. My new one is silver, just make sure you bring your thread through your new stitch each time so you are read to make the next stitch. Continue on until your row is done
Step 4: Adding Stitches
Alright now turning around is actually really easy, you just thread a new bead on run the needle through your previous stitch and you'll be up on the next row. But sometimes you need to add stitches, how you get that to happen?
Pretty easily, things to note about adding stitches you can only add stitches on rows that have already been established. So in my pattern I have to add a stitch on either side of my second row. But I don't do this on the beginning of my second row because there'd be nothing to anchor the stitch to. Instead I'll do it at the end of my second row and the end of my third row.
For adding I want you to think about the beads in pairs, they always have to be in pairs. In my pattern at the end of my second row I'm going to thread on two beads that are the added stitch of the second row first and the first stitch of the third row next. Then put my needle through the added stitch in the second row, the first bead we strung on. Pull tight, make sure the added bead is right next to the previous bead on the second row and then put you needle through the third row stitch, then just go across like normal.
Now to add stitches to previous rows you're going to do almost the same thing, thread on two beads. The first one is going to be the third row stitch this time, and the second bead will the be the second row stitch. Then bring your needle through the third row stitch, pull tight and make sure everything is sitting right. Then you're going to bring your needle through the second row stitch and a few other second row stitches that are next to it. This is to make sure it is secure. Then just go up one and thread your needle back to the end of the row. Continue on as normal.
Step 5: Aaah I'm Running Out of Thread!
Now this is no one's favorite part, but unless you're working with a REALLY long thread you will at some point in the pattern run out. For thread length I recommend working with what is comfortable, if it's tangling it's too long.
You want to start worrying about running out of thread when there's at least 4 inches left. You need a decent amount to tuck the end away. To secure your thread you want to run it through the beads that have already been worked a few times. I like to pick out a quad and run the thread a round in a circle a few times, it feels like a knot to my brain but it might not actually be more effective.
Once your thread feels secure just clip of the end as close to the beads as is physically possible. To start a new thread your going to do the same thing to finish the thread only to start off. Run the needle through some established beads a few time holding on the end of the thread at least a couple of inches. Once secure thread your needle over to where you left off at and then clip the end that's sticking out.
Step 6: Taking Stitches Away
Yup sometimes you have to make rows smaller as well. This is really easy actually.
Once you've finished a row your going to go down one row on the edge and go over once more stitch than you need to. So for me I had to bring the row in by one so I went down one row and went over 2. Then bring your needle back up to the last row by running it through the stitch that you'll be working on top of. Pull tight and make sure you thread is only going between beads and not on top of. You're read for you next row that is shorter.
If you need to shorten the row on the end of row in stead of the beginning of the next, you just turn earlier.
See, really easy.
Step 7: Finishing
Finishing a piece is a lot like ending a thread, in fact it's the same. Secure all your ends and clip off.
Then you're done, if you're me if have an oddly patriotic mushroom...
Step 8: Gather Materials
Alright so I like working with 11/0 beads, but they are tiny and other options due exist! This is a list of exactly what I used, not what you are required to.
1. Yellow Beads
2. Purple Beads
6. Red Beads
10. Gold Beads
11. Black Beads
14. Silver Chain at least 2 feet.
15. Clasps of your choice
16. Large bead for a stopper
17. Patterns, above.
Step 9: Watch the Video
Yup that's how I took the skills of flat square stitch to make my new awesome necklace. I really need there to be a fancy party so that I can wear this and wait to see who get's it.
If you have any questions about bead weaving feel free to ask me about I also recommend checking out this video, it's where I learned from.
The first 3 people to bead weave a Mario Mushroom and show it to me here will get 3 months of PRO membership! 3/3 Membership are still left!
The first 3 people to make the Zelda Fairy Necklace will get 1 year of PRO membership! 3/3 Year Memberships are still left!