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August 12, 2015

Ladder Stitch: More Than a Beading Foundation Stitch

Ladder Stitch - Beyond the Base Stitch

Do you use ladder stitch?  I've used it often - but always as a starter stitch.  It works great as a the base row for brick stitch.

Oddly enough, this week I took another look at ladder stitch as a real stitch to make something from.  It actually wasn't my intent to use ladder stitch.  I started with peyote - but it just wasn't working... as you'll soon see.

This is a bracelet design I have been wanting to make for a long time - simple beaded links. I can think of a lot of different ways I'd like to use them.

Before I go too far with my story - this bracelet is not my original design.  It's based on a Miguel Ases bracelet that I've admired (drooled over, coveted) for a long time.

I've had the picture of the bracelet in my head for a long time, so I started there and decided to try some peyote links.

And I also tried linking them together.  Slight fail, but I'm not quite willing to cut them apart.  They may be something yet.

Next up is this ladder stitched sample.  As this point, I've determind that ladder stitch is the better option, but I'm still not sure how big to make the links.  On the left is 14 rows, 12 rows on the right.  I decided to go with 12.

The center ring is a jump ring with delicas threaded on.  If you want to really test your patience, try doing that.  It was somewhat maddening.

Which is why in this version of the bracelet, there is only a single ring covered in beads.

Ah - but there is a trick! The trick is to super glue the first bead as a stopper and go from there. But it is still very time consuming and I'm pretty sure there are lots of other good options to join these pretty beaded chain links.

I really like the ladder stitch though.  It is slinky, easy to do, and looks a lot like loomwork without having to thread a loom.  I suspect it takes about the same amount of time and thread as bead looming too. I doubt it will look as good as a loomed piece when you add more columns and make the band wider though.

Here's a ladder stitched bracelet that reminds me a lot of the Chan Luu style of wrapped bracelets without the leather cord on the edges. Just the yummy beaded goodness from the center.  It will be a great layering bracelet - as soon as I figure out how to attach a clasp...

Here's another simple ladder stitch link.  I published a ladder stitch links tutorial to make these.  In the past, I've used little tubes of ladder stitch like this one as bead spacers.

And one more look at my bracelet - just because I'm very happy to finally have made one.  I will be adding a beaded charm dangle to it eventually - but for now, I'm wearing it all the time like this to test the durability of the woven links.

And while we are on the topic of links...

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