May 30, 2013

Year of Jewelry Week Week 22 and a Lesson on Bead Cord for Knotting

Micro macrame bangle by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Our theme for this week at the Year of Jewelry is Circles, Squares, Triangles and I found this great bangle with a square bezel to inspire me.  I used Superlon MICRO bead cord to make an itty bitty piece of macrame, and believe me, keeping that tiny stuff straight is a challenge.  I used 42 cords to make this piece and it's slightly under 1.5".

Micro macrame knotting in Superlon Micro Bead Cord S-lon

To give you some perspective, let me show you the four different weights of Superlon cord:

Superlon or S-lon bead cord in micro, fine, regular and heavy weight

The first spool in turquoise is the S-lon Micro Bead Cord.  It has a diameter of .115mm and there are 287 yards on that spool.  The next spool in blue is Superlon (or S-lon) Fine Bead Cord.  It's somewhere between the Micro and the plain old bead cord and has 118 yards on a spool.  The lilac colored cord spool is the stuff just called Bead Cord (no micro or fine in the title).  This is the weight that I usually use for micro macrame.  It's .5mm and there are 77 yards on that spool.  The last spool in chartreuse is the Superlon Tex 400 cord.  It's .9mm and comes in a 35 yard spool.
The bead cord was the first weight introduced and is available in the most colors.  It will go through most 11/0 seed beads once (as long as you are using quality seed beads like Miyuki or Toho).  The weight and size are really nice for the jewelry pieces I usually make.
The heavier Tex 400 cord is almost twice the thickness of the regular stuff.  It works well for pieces like multi strand necklaces and for bigger, chunkier pieces.  
Close up of different sizes or weights of bead cord for micro macrame
 
Fine bead cord isn't that much smaller than the regular bead cord, but it feels very different in finished pieces.  Bracelets made with this cord are more flexible and feel more "slinky", if that makes any sense.  
Micro cord is almost like thread.  It is really small.  I can't imagine trying to knot a whole piece using this weight of cord, but it is excellent for fine detail work and makes awesome focal pieces.  I did the same pattern for the pieces in the next photo, but used Tex 400 for the ecru colored one, regular bead cord for the one in purples and micro cord for the little piece. 
Pieces of macrame knotting in different cord weights
There.  Now you're an expert on bead cord and you can better appreciate the fact that the macrame piece on this bangle is 1" square.

Micromacrame knotting in micro bead cord set in bangle bezel

18 comments:

  1. You scare me LOL. I can't believe what you can do with this cord, such beautiful work! I LOVE my dragon bracelet so much, so pretty and very comfortable to wear too.

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    1. I should scare you... for many different reasons bwahahahahaha :)

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  2. Thank you Sherri! I have the regular bead cord, but had not seen the scale difference before. And that focal piece turned out beautiful!

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    1. You're most welcome, Shirley! And thanks!

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  3. Awesome work! And they say those of us who work with seed beads have a high tolerance for little fiddly stuff - ha!

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    1. Oh, I'm fiddly, all right. Very fiddly.

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  4. Thanks for all the info. It helps me to navigate the "cord" section now!

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  5. This is really cool. I recently bought some of the regular bead cord and love working with it. My work is a LOT more basic than this. I really admire your work and this blog post is an awesome comparison. :D

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  6. That helped a lot, thank you!

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  7. Oh my, this piece is amazing! You do such great work. I use a mix of S-Lon and C-Lon (depending on what I can find available in what sizes), but I have only used the micro size to hand knot some gems/pearls,...can't even imagine trying to actually do such tiny detailed work like you have shown here with it. Wow! awesome.

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  8. Thank you. Great information. unfortunately, I haven't been able to make anything since last summer. I have been having neck pain, back spasms, and headaches off and on since last summer. Looking down causes me the most problems. But I have been enjoying your pictures and tutorials and hopefully, once I finish my physiotherapy, I will be able to try again. Still totally appreciate what you sent me, just wanted to let you know it will be put to use one of these days! :)

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  9. hello...can you suggest me some nylon thread to make tassel??
    it should be thin, not frayed when I cut and adapt for knotting.
    thx you so much

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  10. Hello! I found your blog while searching for how to make the knots in the second-to-last image. May I ask what the knot is called? Thank you in advance!

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    1. Actually, I just did a search on your blog and found that you had already made a tutorial! Thank you so much!

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  11. hello how do I have the s - lon as I can not find it in Brazil .

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  12. Grazie per la lezione sul cavo; è la prima volta che ti leggo e mi sono piaciuti molto i tuoi suggerimenti. Mi piace molto lavorare il macramè ma trovo grande difficoltà trovare il cavo dalle mie parti. Grazie ancora di tutto.

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