Tuesday, 6 November 2012

OTTBS Bead Book Bounce: Little Bead Boxes by Julia S. Pretl

The third OTTBS Bead Book Bounce (and the second in which I've participated) features Julia S. Pretl's Little Bead Boxes. I bought this book after seeing the dedication in Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork, but other than looking at the pictures had barely touched it. I decided to attempt at least one of the projects in the book, and possibly more if I could for Christmas presents for close family this year.

Although the book patterns begin with a triangular box, the one I really liked was 'Star' which is pentagonal.

I had no real problems with the base of the box, working in 4 colours of delicas, and following the word chart and the graphed design. It may seem odd to some that the word chart always starts at a corner, when due to stepping up, the point at which you actually begin a row varies, but once you are used to it it seems straightforward enough. The increase cycle section for pentagonal bases helps to clarify so is worth sticking a marker in.

My shaping at the top of the box was also trouble free, but I hit a snag at the hem round one (and I really needed the bookmark in the hem instruction page) I managed to break a bead in the corner of the row from which the hem begins so had to unravel right back to the beginning of the inner column. The 6lb fireline ended up like frayed Nymo!

My top tip here is to cut the thread if you are going to unpick more than a side, fasten it off and begin a fresh thread length from the problem point. Switching to a thinner needle and 4lb test for the 4 hem rows and the last two body rows and the zipping up, was also beneficial, although by the time I did the lid hem, I was comfortable with 6lb and a size 10 needle.

The box took me about a week to make so the prospect of making a few as presents is not too onerous. This is the finished piece and I have completed the lid with a little ceramic star which was just the right blend of lime and turquoise:

Have a look at the OTTBS page for a few more boxes made by group menbers, and links to other blogs