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Free Design - A Variation of the Dutch Spiral

Download PDF for dutch spiral variation instructions

After reading many, many messages about the Dutch spiral and how fun it was, I finally decided to try it for myself. I used Emily Hackbarth's wonderful directions on The Mining Company website. (To find these instructions, go to this site, click on the "Features" link in the index at left, and then scroll down until you see the Dutch Spiral link.)

My first effort used 4mm Swarovski crystals for the large bead in the design, and I really liked the result. Then I decided to try making one using some 4mm cube beads. Disaster! The beads wouldn't spiral correctly, and the result looked terrible! But I was determined to make it work. After several attempts, I found the solution. I also didn't have any large coordinating beads, so I decided to make the ends using a continuation of the spiral instead.

This really is a versatile stitch. It's a lot of fun trying different combinations and varying the style of the stitch to get different looks!

Supplies

For this project you will need:

225 (approx.) 4mm cube beads (cube)
Small amount of 11/0 seeds or Delicas in the same color
 as the cube beads (substitute)
3-4 grams of 11/0 seeds or Delicas (accent color 1)
3-4 grams of 11/0 seeds or Delicas (accent color 2)
40 grams (approx) of 11/0 seeds or Delicas (main color)
Nymo D or Silamide thread

Instructions

To start, you are going to string 1 substitute bead (S), 2 beads of accent color 1 (AC1), 2 beads of accent color 2 (AC2) and 3 beads of the main color (MC). Go through all 8 beads again, and tie the thread off, leaving a 9 inch tail.

Now, pass the thread through the S bead. Pick up one S bead, and pass through the next bead. Pick up one AC1 bead, and pass through the next bead. Pick up another AC1 and pass through the next bead. Pick up one AC2 and pass through the next bead. Then pick up one AC2 and 3 MC and pass through the first S bead which you added at the beginning of this round. (Note: the bead you are picking up is the same color as the bead your thread is coming out of.)

Repeat the previous sequence for about 15 rows, and then increase the MC beads from 3 to 4. Continue adding rows using 4 MC beads for about 25 rows.

Now we're going to start adding the large beads. For this row, pick up one cube in place of the S bead. Continue the rest of the row as before.

Work 10 rows with 4 MC beads, then 5 rows with 5 MC beads, then 4 rows with 6 MC beads, then 4 rows with 7 MC beads, then 4 rows with 8 MC beads, then 2 rows with 9 MC beads, and finally 1 row with 10 MC beads. (This sequence will give you the "corkscrew" look at the top of the spiral. If you want a more gradual spiral, follow the same sequence as above for increasing the MC beads, but follow the sequence below for adding the large beads.)

Now we get to the interesting part. If you were to follow the regular instructions for a dutch spiral, you would simply start increasing your MC beads until you had 18-20 beads in each row, and then repeat the rows until your spiral was the desired length. With the cube beads, this won't work. There isn't enough room for the size and shape of the cubes, and instead of spiraling, they start to twist themselves in all sorts of directions and look terrible. We have to trick the beads into spiraling. To do this, we are only going to add a cube bead every other row, with a substitute bead in the first accent color filling in on the alternate rows.

So, we've already added the cube bead for a row with 10 MC beads. Now, pick up one AC1 bead and go through the next bead. Continue the row as above, ending with 10 MC beads. Now, instead of going back through the AC1 bead, go through the cube bead from the previous row. You should end up with 2 rows of 10 MC beads both going into the cube bead, and your top row should have 3 AC1 beads instead of 2.

Next, pick up one cube bead and go through the second AC1 bead, skipping the first AC1 bead from the previous row. Continue the rest of the row as usual, increasing the number of MC beads to 11, and finish by going through the cube bead just added.

On the next row, again replace the cube bead with an AC1 bead, and finish the row by going through the cube bead again. You should have 11 MC beads. (We're only going to increase the MC beads on the rows where you add a new cube bead.)

Continue adding rows, increasing the MC beads by 1 every other row, until you have 20 MC beads. Then work the spiral until it is about an inch short of where you want the second "corkscrew" to start. At this point, start decreasing the MC beads by one every other row, until you are back down to 10 MC beads. Then stop substituting AC1 beads and work a cube bead in every row, reducing the number of MC beads in the same sequence as the first "corkscrew". Once you have worked down to 4 MC beads, and have finished the 10 rows at this level, drop the cube beads, substituting the S beads in each row. Again, follow the reverse sequence for the top of the spiral to finish the necklace.

Adding the clasp

To add the clasp, pick up 5 MC beads, one half of the clasp, and another 5 MC beads. Go through a bead on the other side of the tube at the top of the necklace, and then back through all the beads and the clasp. Go back through the bead where you started. Pass back and forth through the beads and clasp several times to secure before weaving the thread back through the spiral to finish off. The image below shows the 1st and 2nd bead that you would pass through in order to add the clasp. Repeat this on the other side of the necklace with the thread tail, and again weave it back into the spiral to finish off.


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Copyright © 2002 Mary Winters-Meyer
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