This necklace design was inspired by the women of the Bedouin tribe located in the southern region of the Sinai Desert.
In 1978, I traveled to Israel with my friend, Ann Gardner. At the time, Ann was enrolled in a college anthropology program and was scheduled to go live on a kibbutz. All that changed when we traveled to the Sinai Desert to take a diving course. There we met the Bedouins and, by the time the diving course was over, Ann made the decision to stay and live with the tribe as part of her anthropology program. Ann lived with the tribe for over six years, becoming part of the tribe and traveling with them deep into the desert. I visited her and learned beadwork from the Bedouin women. It didn't take long before I was completely hooked!
Originally, the women used this design for the trim of their veils. The beads helped weigh the veil against the desert winds. Some women sold their beadwork, but most of what they made was for personal use and practical purposes. Now they rely on the beadwork as part of their livelihood.
Thread the Silkon cord onto the Speedy Stringer™ needle (do not cut the thread, work from the spool).
For the fringe, pour two boxes of emerald green and two boxes of peacock seed beads and a mix of crystal beads into the Speedy Stringer bowl.
Dip the needle into the Speedy Stringer and spin. The beads will jump onto the needle (see Speedy Stringer instruction sheet for more details). String 140 inches of mixed beads, using the formula below.
Tips for stringing with the Speedy Stringer: skim the tip of the needle on top of the beads. This way, the needle will not get stuck in the bowl and slow it down. Brace the needle on the edge of the bowl for stability.
Empty the fringe beads from the bowl and refill with 2 boxes of root beer size 6 seed beads. String 38 inches of beads using the formula below.
To crochet the necklace, move the beads down the thread and make a slip knot. Move six beads up to the slip knot. With the crochet hook, grab the thread after the six beads and make a chain-stitch.
Stitch 2 chain-stitches. Make sure to adjust the size of your stitches so the groups of beads sit side-by-side without a lot of space between them, and yet so they don't bunch. Repeat Steps 5 - 6, fifty more times, then measure the row. Because the formula is not exact, you may not have exactly 16 inches. Continue stringing until you have a 16-inch necklace. If you have 16 inches and still have some root beer beads on the thread, cut the thread from the spool, take off the extra root beer beads and re-attach the thread to the spool with a small knot. Don't worry about the knot, you can crochet it into the necklace so it won't show. Once you have 16 inches, the top row is complete. Leave the thread attached to the spool.
The crochet hook should be on the top side of the top row. To start the fringe, the crochet hook needs to be on the bottom of the group of beads. Chain-stitch your way to the bottom of the top row until you are connected at the bottom of the group with 3 beads on either side of the crochet hook.
Move 2-1/2 inches of the fringe beads to the crochet hook. I measure them against my finger; again, this is not exact. Chain-stitch to create fringe. Chain-stitch the fringe to the bottom of the last group on the top row.
Repeat Step 8 until all the top row groups have fringe. If you have extra fringe beads, take them off after cutting the thread.
Chain-stitch to the top row to give a base for the fiber row.
Unwind the peach chenille and green and blue ribbon from the fiber card and cut them both in half. Make two groups of peach chenille and green and blue ribbon and tie each group onto each end of the necklace.
Crochet a couple of stitches on the end of the necklace to create a base, then chain-stitch the 2 yarns together to make a rope for tying the necklace around the neck. Do the same on the other side of the necklace.
Tie the red eyelash yarn from the fiber card to one end of the necklace on the top row. Chain-stitch a yarn row on top of the bead row, making sure to carry the original thread along to hide it. It isn't necessary to go into every stitch on the top bead row, if you do, it will make the yarn dense.
Congratulations! You've just completed another beautiful design.
NOTE: You may choose to use different size beads, but will need to adjust the formula. This formula is for size 6 dynamite beads and a 16-inch necklace:
The top row is made from groups of six beads each. When you put the groups side by side, 3-1/2 groups make one inch. To figure out how many beads you need per inch, calculate 6 beads x 3-1/2 groups which equal 21 beads in an inch of the crocheted necklace. If you are making a 16-inch necklace you need 16 groups of 21 beads totaling 336 beads. Nine beads strung singly on the thread make one inch, 336 beads divided by 9 beads equals 38 inches.
Formula for fringe: 1 inch will have 3-1/2 fringes: 16 inches x 3-1/2 = 56 fringes. Every fringe requires 2-1/2 inches of beads: 56 fringes x 2-1/2 inches = 140 inches of beads.
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encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.