Advent Tip – Day 9

Advent tip

Stitch it in!

It happens to everyone. You spend ages choosing your colours – you work hard to thread on hundreds of beads – you braid with mounting excitement – the braid is removed from the disk so that you can admire it properly and then to your horror you spot a missing bead! What can you do?

When a mistake is made and the braid is still on the disk it is easy to reverse the braiding moves to undo the braid and correct the mistake, but if the braid has been removed from the disk it is extrememly difficult to position the cords back on the disk in the correct slots to enable reverse braiding. My suggestion in this situation is to pick up a beading needle and thread and sew the bead onto the braid. All you need to do is sew through the braid several times to secure the thread in the braid. Give the thread a firm tug to be absolutely sure that it is fixed. Then sew the bead into position. The thread you use should be as close a match to the colour of the beading cord as possible and sew through the bead as many times as needed to match the width of the beading cord. Finish off by sewing through the braid several times. The tails of the thread can now be snipped off. To do this neatly, pull hard on the thread and trim it as close as possible to the beads. The thread end will retreat into the braid.

Now look again at your braid … perfect!

What if you wish to replace a bead? This is not so easy and I would only recommend it if you feel the braid is totally ruined unless you can change the bead and you are prepared to risk breaking your beading cord. The only way to remove a bead is to break the bead and the sharp edges of the broken bead can cut the cord, so beware! You are going to be handling broken glass, so protect your eyes and hands and make sure that you clear up every tiny slither of broken bead. There are two ways of breaking the bead. The first is to force an awl or the tip of round nose pliers into the bead hole until it cracks open. The second is to crunch down on the edge of the bead using flat or chain nose pliers. Once the bead has been broken be sure to remove every shard of glass from the braid, remembering that some may have been forced inwards. Then sew the correct bead into position as described above.

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