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community home > Beading > Beading Hints and Tips > Pulling thread through too-narrow areas
Pulling thread through too-narrow areas
2324 views   0 replies   Latest reply: March 14, 2010 at 2:16:26 PM

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Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 4520
Stitchboard Admin message #1
Pulling thread through too-narrow areas
March 14, 2010 at 2:16:26 PM
While working recently on a RAW amulet bag, I had a problem while working on the strap: weaving back through became increasingly more difficult.

There are normally two schools of thought at work in beadweaving...those who believe threads should be kept short and ended frequently, to reinforce the work, and the other school of thought comprises those who don't like to weave in a lot of ends.

With the latter, should a thread break, a much larger part of a project may be compromised.  With the former, there may be so many thread passes, sections of beadwork ultimately become impassable.

I tend to fall into the latter category; I find working in multiple ends can create areas through which my needle will not pass, which causes great frustration.  Though it certainly is possible to use thinner thread to accommodate more thread passes, I always feel better using a thicker thread, for more structural stability in the rest of the project, where there are few or no woven ends.

My latest project caused quite a problem, because as previously mentioned, I had ended my thread in the strap.  The strap is made up of one row of RAW, though with more than four beads per section.  Then each resulting "square" is embellished with beads.

Weaving in thread ends was difficult enough when they ended in the strap, but when I went to embellish the sections, I couldn't get my needle through at all.

I tried the thinnest needle I had, a John James beading needle.  The working thread refused to go through the eye.  I tried making my own beading needles out of 34 gauge wire.  Though the wire needles normally work like a dream, this time they were too flimsy.  I doubled, tripled and quadrupled the wire, but then it was either too flimsy or too thick to make it through the beads.

Ultimately, I was able to resolve the problem by taking the John James needle, threading it with a very thin doubled short length of thread (threading the two ends through the eye, leaving the loop on the other side, where a knot would normally be), and pulling that doubled thread through the beads, leaving the loop hanging out.  Then I put my working thread end through the thread loop, pulled on the thread in the John James needle, and voila!  My thread was through.

I hope this hint helps someone...I was at an impasse on the project until I came up with this solution!

Melanie  (known to the cat as "Rowr" or "Rowr Rowr") =^.^=

Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.

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