Saturday, November 1, 2008

Russian Leaves Are Easy and Useful

Russian Leaves seem to be one stitch many people want to learn, yet not everyone knows how to teach it. I took a class at a Bead Fest and didn't quite get it from the instructions or the instructor.

When I got home, I practiced and realized the problem was that I kept getting lost in the instructions and didn't know where I was going next. These particular instructions were not separated into steps and it was hard to keep my place, so I broke it down and marked where each turn was and then I finally got it.
In all the instructions I've seen, you put a stopper bead in the middle of the thread so that you can work each side of the leaf from the center. I like to use two different sizes of beads such as 11's (Bead A Green )and 15's (Bead B Red). String one A, seven B, one A and one B. These beads will be pushed to the stopper bead and this is the center of the leaf with the stopper bead being at the top inside. See Picture 1

When you turn to go up the strand as seen in the photo, you are at the bottom outside of the leaf. When you get to the top (where the stopper bead is, you are at the top inside) Put the needle through the 6th bead of the original 7.

Then work every other bead (peyote stitch) by picking up one, skipping one, going through one, exiting the red size 15 at the top. (The stopper bead is ignored for now.) The second and third pictures show the beads loose, but worked in peyote and then tightened into position.

*Next, pick up 1 A and work the peyote stitch to the next to last protruding bead. Picture 4

** This is the bottom turn. - Note: it is at the opposite end from the Stopper bead and two beads are picked up for this turn.

Pick up 1 B, 1 A and go up through the last A bead added in the last row. Now you will be working toward the top and you have made the first bottom turn, which will be repeated all the way up the outside bottom edge. Peyote the next two stitches exiting the top bead. Each time you go up to the top, make certain you exit the A bead.

***This is the top turn - Note it is at the same end as the Stopper bead and uses three beads to create the turn.

With thread exiting the top bead, pick up one A, one B, and one A and push the bead down the thread next to the finished work. Put the needle back through the first of these three beads, pull snug and peyote down to the to the next to last bead.Go back to the bottom turn and repeat until the side is the desired length.

Then remove the stopper bead and repeat from the *. To make certain the sides are even, count the outer red bead and complete the same number, using the center bead as #1 on each side.

Today's tip: Stopper beads are useful for maintaining and tightening tension as well as keeping your initial strand of beads from fallling off. Using a Size 11 bead for your stopper bead will keep the tension better than a Size 8, which has a tendency to slide down the thread on it own.
Walking the bead of a different drum. Marilyn

1 comment:

bette said...

I wuld like to print your pattern for your russian leaves. They are simply wonderful. Can you suggest how to get the pattern.