The basic circular netting stitch can be found in my previous article. Today is a promised followup to take your circular netting to the next step and make mandala style pendants.
Like most techniques, these pendants are adaptable to a variety of materials. I prefer to make the pendants using Miyuki size 15 seed beads, mostly round beads, but occasionally I will sneak some cylinder beads in there. I also use 3 mm crystal cube beads.
You can definitely get started using larger beads though - for example, the mandala on the left uses a combination of size 11 seed beads (the center beads are Preciosa Czech size 11 seed beads, the rest are Miyuki size 11 round beads) and 4 mm crystal rondelles.
I almost always do beadwork using a size 11 Tulip needle and I often vary the type of thread that I use - but lately I have been using Nymo size D from the cone in tan. Here is my most recent beading setup.
I bought several old school cafeteria trays and they have a spot for everything I need. The cone of thread fits perfectly in a round indentation - it's like it was meant to be! I didn't always condition my thread, but with Nymo I find it helps make it easy to thread on the needle and keeps it from fraying - but I'll write more about that another day.
So, let's get started mandala-ing! (totally a made up word).
Start with a full arm's length of thread (at least one yard). Pick up twelve beads for your center circle, slide them down to about six inches from the end and go back through the beads in the same direction a second time.
Pull the cord through and go through the first bead one more time.
Pull the thread tight to make a ring with the beads.
Pick up three beads, skip one bead on the circle and go through the next bead.
Pull tight and you will have a small triangle of beads. Repeat all the way around the circle - pick up three beads, skip one bead and then go through the next bead.
For this round, pick up one seed bead, one crystal, and one more seed bead. Put your needle into the second (middle) seed bead from the last round. It is the points of the star.
Note that when you are doing 'regular' circular netting, you would be picking up five seed beads. In this case, whatever crystal bead you are using, it is substituting for three seed beads and should be approximately that size. I am using a 3 mm crystal cube.
Continue all the way around the shape.
When you are done, step up by going through the first seed bead and crystal you added on the row.
For the next round, pick up five seed beads and stitch through the crystal bead you added.
Continue to the end of the round. Step up by going through the first four beads you added. Yes - the picture shows three - but it should be four (and I corrected it, but didn't take a picture!)
With your needle coming out of the fourth bead you added on the last round, pick up five seed beads. Stitch through seed beads two to four after the crystal.
Continue with this same pattern for the entire round. Come out of bead four, add five beads, and go through beads two to four.
Continue until you have completed the round.
And there you have a basic mandala pendant. To finish, I go back through all the beads on the outer edge at least one and maybe two more times. This will help it to keep shape. There are other tricks to making them lay flat - for another day though!
Weave in the end, trim the thread and you're done! You can add a small jump ring in the gap between the crystal beads to hang your pendant.
And a final note, in my last netting article I pointed out that the Beadwork magazine instructions for circular netting were incorrect. I'm happy to say that they corrected it in the most recent issue after I emailed the editor. If it's too difficult to read it below, here's a link to where they mentioned it.
They jumped on it very quickly and I received a very nice email reply back from Tammy Honaman. It would have been super great if they had linked back to me - but, hey, you can't have it all. Maybe she didn't mention me because in my email, I accidentally praised an article that was in Bead & Button. I wondered why she didn't mention it in her reply - and then I realized. Oops! Pretty funny.
In any event, the lesson from all of this is just have fun and don't take it too seriously. (Actually - that's just a general life philosophy - there is no lesson from this really.)
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Also, if you are enjoying the circular netting projects, you may also like these huichol style beaded flowers that also use the circular netting technique.