November 18, 2015

Making Rosary and Prayer Beads


That's what Bill the Cat from the cartoon Bloom County (which is being published one again on the internet) always says.  It's what I think whenever there's either too many or too few words swirling in my brain to express myself.

I'm not going to get the least bit political here but Sunday's attacks in Paris were depressing* (*gross understatement).  They made me just want to sit back and play with beads. They especially made me want to tune out social media.  Ack.

So that's what I did...

I had been wanting to do a tutorial to make a rosary for a long time, so this gave me a good reason to.  It's probably a little cliché that I chose black beads and quatrefoil beads (quatrefoil is french for four lobes - as in a clover), but I'm an ardent lover of puns, and cliché is not far behind.

I really love the cross on the rosary - and I enjoyed making it. I used simple wire loops - not wrapped loops to connect the beads.

I used my 1-step looper to make the links and it went very fast - considering there are a lot of loops on a rosary.  A lot!!

The looper doesn't do a great job of forming the loops on both sides of the bead - I knew that from the times I've used it in the past.  What the 1-Step Looper does really well is make the first loop and trim the wire to size and begin shaping the second loop - with one tool.  If you're interested, the link will take you to my previous experiments using the 1 step looper with different wire sizes and beads.

I also made a set of prayer beads (aka a mala) - a little non-traditional though since I wasn't in the mood to make a tassel. I was more interested in running beads between my fingers - which is what the rosary and prayer beads are ideal for. This mala is traditional in that it is the auspicious number of 108 beads arranged in 4 sets of 27.  Of course, there are step by step pictures on how to make the prayer beads.  The beads are strung on grey bamboo cord.

With the holidays coming - I have waaaaay more ideas and projects than I have time to write details about them. Please excuse me if I post things that are not as complete as usual.  I am trying to keep the ideas flowing and will get back to the fleshing them out at some time in the future.

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