Monday, April 4, 2011

Peanutty Goodness

I got a few of these nifty new peanut beads, in the 3-4mm size. Just one tube, as I wanted to see what I could do with them.

So first I made a small sample of netted rope, using the peanuts as the larger inside beads. The gold beads are 15/0 metallic seed beads.

Peanut beads have the unique property of orienting themselves the way they darn well feel like. At least that's what it semms like. In the netted rope, they naturally orient themselves with one end inside, and the other poking a little bit out of the netting. Sometimes they get turned and trapped entirely inside the netting, so you have to encourage them to orient properly. It adds a bit of texture to the rope that I like, but it also eats beads like mad. A whole necklace of this rope would be wonderful, but it'd take 100 grams of the peanuts and really all you can see is one end of them.  It almost defeats the purpose of the peanuts.

So probably not something I'll pursue any time soon. 

Next, I tried my old favorite, peyote stitch. I strung 12 peanuts to start with, and originally wondered how the heck I was going to find the proper bead to go through since at first each row seemed like chaos.  But after a bit I realized that peyote with peanuts (sounds like a band, doesn't it "Peyote With Peanuts!"?) was nearly as simple as peyote with round beads.

The next bead to go through just naturally seems to present itself. Each peanut nests down just like the single round beads do.  The biggest difference seems to be that because there's more space in the matrix than with round beads, the tension on the thread is difficult to maintain and the beads tend to loosen as you work. I found that as I started each row, if I moved my needle down to the previous row's thread and made a half-hitch through that, then started the stitching for the new row, it was much easier to maintain control and prevent that annoying loose-bead feeling.

What you end up with is an apparently "double-sided" peyote piece. I didn't do enough to see how flexible it is in longer lengths. I suspect it will be far stiffer than single-bead peyote, and so probably not suitable for bracelets or neck straps.  Here is a picture taken from the side so you can see how the top edge looks, and another taken from the top edge down along the surface.

Even just stringing peanuts together gives a very nice textured appearance. Next I think I'll try some regular netting with peanuts as the intersection beads. I'll post pictures when I do!

1 comment:

  1. I have been avoiding peanuts, but I think will join your band.. Peyote with Peanuts. What kind of mustic is that... reggae maybe?