Single-Strand Necklace and Earring Set with Seed Beads and Gemstone Beads

Design and Instructions by Catharina Thomas


Annotations for different sizes of core beads you need to add:

The Ruffle

Using Fireline 4lbs and a needle no. 10, string the 6mm bead 8x1 (color A) and pass through the 6mm bead.

Repeat previous action. You will have two ranges of seed beads around the 6mm bead. It is important to start with a thick needle, size 10, to eliminate those seed beads with smaller holes. A thinner needle can be used later, when the holes are full of thread.

Pass your needle though the first 8 (color A), add one seed bead, pass through the second set of 8 (color A) seed beads and add one more seed bead to have a nice circle of 18 seed beads color A.
Your thread is now exiting the first color A you strung at the very beginning. Do not make a knot with the tail; you can hide it in the beadwork later.
The first step up is made with the same seed beads, using peyote stitch; add two beads at each stitch. Your thread will exit in the middle of the first two beads you added on this row--you are ready for the next step-up.

Note: For beads measuring 10mm and 12mm, you have to repeat step 4 one more time without adding "color B." In doing so, the ruffle will be less "wild."
The next step-up is made with the Ndebele/Herringbone technique. Add two seed beads "color A" on top of each pair of "color A" added in the previous row. Also add one seed bead "color B" in between each pair of "color A."
Add another row of seed beads using the Ndebele technique and add two "color B" seed beads in between each section.

Note: For Longji with 4mm bead; at step 6 add only one no. 15 instead of two "color A"--in order to terminate the points immediately add two "color B"--This nearly does not ruffle.

For Longji with 10 and 12mm beads, you will have to add one additional row of beads with the Ndebele/Herringbone technique--e.g. repeat step 6. This type of Longji will ruffle strongly.

Don't hesitate to change needle if necessary (11 or 12).

Make as many Longji as you wish, in any color or size you like.

Go through all the outer beads again and add size no. 15 seed beads to make nice little "points."
Secure your thread by passing through the central bead and the seed beads. Leave enough space in the central bead allowing for the Longji to be strung on beading wire.
String all your Longji on a wire cable and use crimp beads to secure the thread and then attach it to chain or cord, whatever you prefer to form your necklace.
You can also make the entire Longji chain. Longji means "Dragon's Spine." Therefore the chain is a bit "spiky." First you should make two circles in which will fit the two "flowers" at each end of the front piece, using the same basis as for the single Longji parts. Use a basis of 34 seed beads for the inside diameter and follow steps 4, 5, 6 and 7. Same technique, there is just no bead in the middle. See picture below. You will start the long chain which will run from one circle to other.

The Chain


Attach the chain to the circles.

Start step 10 (color A): make one ladderstitch segment of 11 rows using seed beads color A. See the chart below; your thread is exiting bead x. String 11 B, come back at the beginning at W, pass through the entire row of beads so that the thread exits bead Y. You just made the basis on which you will build your "spines."

Now step 10 (color B): add another 11-row of ladderstitch, but this time, pass behind the work with the 11 (color B). Important: pass under the thread of the color B added in step 10 (color A) before going through the entire row of ladderstitch. This is very important. You will exit bead x. Now TURN the work so that the "color B" seed beads are in front of the work.

Repeat step 10 (color B) for every segment of 11 beads and each time be careful to turn the work into the same direction.

Calculate the length that fits your neckline (including the focal part of the front). Add two more sections to compensate the future twist of the work. One section measures approximately 14mm (5/8 inch). I made 22 (20+2) section= approximately 31cm (approx. 12 inch). The front part (made with 4x6, 2x8mm, 2x14mm and 1x12mm beads) measures approx. 10cm (4 inch). The entire necklace, finished, including the two circles, measures approx. 42cm (16 inch).

Once the entire base is ready, add beads to each segment of 11 (color B), you will use peyote stitch alternating two color B beads on top of two beads and two color B beads on top of 1--all the way along. While doing this, add one color B bead between each section (see arrows).

On your way back, add one A bead to hide the thread while you step-up, use the Ndebele/Herringbone technique to add two B beads on the top and add one color A bead in between. Also between the sections.

At this stage, the chain is quite thin but can be finished by adding 15's on the top of the little herringbone points (see diagram #1 at left). You can also make it wider or make variations. On my chain, there are three heights; in the center (in the neck) there is only one step-up (instructions 1); on the sides there are two higher sections, instructions 2 and 3. The part which is the closest to the front piece (3) is the widest portion. You will need to pass through the beads quite a few times.

Note: Change needle if necessary--do not force the beads, they could break.

Play with color. It is nice to have different colors in the chain to accentuate the spikes. Don't rush. Have fun!

Secure you thread and trim. Your necklace is finished!

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