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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.