Intro to Right Angle Weave Video Tutorial

This right angle weave video tutorial is for those of you who are having a tough time with right angle weave (RAW).  It’s also a quick overview of the stitch, if it’s been awhile since you’ve done it.

This video tutorial is also for anyone who wants to see what RAW can do, because I show some jewelry I made with right angle weave that I think looks pretty neat.  🙂  And the pieces show the versatility of the stitch.

Here’s the video, along with some more tips and info on the jewelry just below the video.


OK, so now you’ve seen the video, and you’re wondering about 1) any tips fro RAW and 2) the ebook tutorial.

I’ll start in reverse order; click here for the link to the right angle weave ebook tutorial.

Next, here are some tips for working right angle weave.  It’s really not a difficult stitch once that “ah-hah!” moment hits, but it is one of the more difficult beadweaving stitches for most people.

  • Start with size 8 seed beads that are not super-shiny; the reflection off the surface can make it tough to see which bead you’re working.  Matte beads are even better.
  • If you have some beeswax or micro-crystalline wax, put some on your thread; the stickiness will help hold your beads in place, especially since you are working with larger-holed beads.
  • Pick beads that have an even shape, but not Delicas (which aren’t the best for learning RAW).  Toho seed beads are excellent to learn on.
  • If you’re having problems with size 8 seed beads, try round 3mm or 4mm beads.  Glass pearls or Czech druk beads are good, as they are large enough to see easily, but they have a smaller hole than the size 8s, so they stay in place a little better.
  • Keep your tension as even as possible — snug but not tight is best.
  • If you’re having trouble telling which beads are top and bottom, and which are the sides, alternate your colors.  In other words, instead of stringing on four turquoise beads, start with 1 turquoise, 1 white, 1 turquoise, 1 white.  Then keep alternating the colors, and it will be easier to tell the tops and bottoms from the sides.
  • Don’t get discouraged!  When I was learning, the straight line part was relatively easy, but the step up drove me crazy.  Finally one day I decided to sit at the table and not quit until I had mastered the step up.  I was there at the table like 2 hours.  Of course back then all that was available was written directions; I probably would have gotten it sooner if I had a video to watch.

So I hope this helps you to learn right angle weave.  It’s definitely worth adding to your beadweaving patterns because it really is versatile — not to mention fun!

How Do You Duo?

OK, it might sound like an odd question, “How do you duo?”  What I am really referring to are the new Superduo beads that are being put out by beadmakers in the Czech Republic.

Duo or Duette?

Well, these are “duo” and the reason behind the name is apparent when you look at the beads — they have 2 holes!

These are classified as seed beads, and are 2.5 x 5 mm in size.  They are roughly oval in shape, but they have an interesting profile.

Seen from the side, the ends are tapered and the middle has a bit of a bulge.  (Hmmm, I think I can relate to that, LOL.)  😀

The unusual shape, along with the two holes lends itself to all kinds of stitch variations and design possibilities.

Colors and Patterns – Oh My!

I have to hand it to the Czech beadmakers — they have definitely been upping their game in the last couple of years.  I’ll admit, I used to pretty much ignore the Czech beads, aside from maybe the Charlottes.  The colors weren’t exciting, the beads looked, umm, cheap — with the exception of the fire polished glass beads.

Now, I feel like I am in a candy store!  There are neon colors, cool patterns like Picasso and Travertine, and a slew of other colors and patterns that will be having the Japanese beadmakers playing catch-up.  The beads in the photo are just an itty-bitty example of some of the colors available.

(I came close to dumping my collection out on the table for a photography session, then realized I’d be spending the rest of the evening trying to get all the beads back into their individual containers.)

What Can You Do With Duo?

I’ll admit, I had absolutely no clue as to what I would actually do with them, once I clutched them in my hands and handed over my credit card (cha-ching!) to the store clerk.  So, I got them home and stared at them.  Took them out of their tubes and stared some more.  Hmmm.

Then I started playing.  And with each pattern and idea I tried, it lead to another idea and another and another…

That being the case, I figured that I’d settle on something, make it and then do a video tutorial so everyone could enjoy it.  🙂

Earrings!  Bright and fun and funky, all ready for you to make.  Naturally, you can make them in any color or color combination you choose, but I used some of the new neon shades, for both the superduo beads, as well as the dagger bead.

So let loose and have fun creating your own earrings.  But I warn you, they are like potato chips — once you start, it’s hard to stop, LOL.

Chain Maille Metals – What Are Rings Made Of?

In the beginning, when chain maille was armor, iron was the metal of choice.  But now there are myriad choices!  Whether you like precious metals for your chain maille jewelry or if you’d like to experiment with color, rings are made out of metals the originators of maille never dreamed of!

So…how about we discuss some of  the metals that jump rings are made from?  (And if you need a little info and/or refresher on gauging and sizing rings, check out the maille/ring details page.)

Precious Metals

First let’s talk about the precious metals– gold, silver, titanium and niobium.  I know, titanium and niobium aren’t quite in the same class as silver and gold, but as far as maille goes, they are classed as precious.

Silver.  This includes fine, sterling, argentium and the new kid on the block, silver-filled.  One of the biggest pros is the look — silver and maille seem made for each other.  And if you plan to sell your work, you’re more likely to get a larger profit from silver.

The cons for silver include the fact that silver, especially fine silver, can be pretty soft.  In the finer gauges this means that it’s easy to distort the rings when opening and closing.  Another con is price — silver has gotten pretty expensive, so it’s not a metal to use for practicing new weaves!  If you’re sensitive to copper, argentium or fine silver are better choices than sterling.

Gold.  Includes 18k, 14k, 12k and gold-filled.  No doubt about it — gold chain maille jewelry is gorgeous!  And there isn’t a lot of it out on the market, so it’s doubly amazing.

Cons?  Price!  Those with metal allergies will do better with 18k than lower karats.  Gold-filled is a more economical way to get the glorious look, but it’s still expensive.

Titanium.  Known as a hypoallergenic metal, it is naturally a silvery color — somewhat like antiqued silver.  But this wonderful metal also comes in colors!  By a process known as anodizing, titanium can blossom in a variety of beautiful hues.  If you want colorful rings with a high perceived value, do consider titanium.

Cons include that it’s a little tough to work with — the metal is stiff to manipulate, except in the smaller gauges (20 and 22 gauge).  Also, the anodized colors are not all the way through the metal so they can be scratched.  (True of all anodized colors.)

Niobium.  Also known as hypoallergenic, it’s naturally a grayish color.  But like titanium, it can be anodized to a wide variety of shades.   Niobium is better known than titanium as hypoallergenic, so those with metal allergies might want to stick with niobium.  It also has a high perceived value.

Cons include price (less than gold and silver, more than titanium) and like titanium, anodized colors can be scratched.  It’s a stiff metal, but not as stiff as titanium.

Other Metals

When it comes to jewelry from chain maille, there are quite a few choices.  Not all of the ring materials are suitable for jewelry, but many are.  Here’s a run-down on the most commonly used jump ring metals for jewelry.

Copper (including enameled copper).  Copper is a soft metal, so it’s easy to use in he thicker gauges.  Of course, this can also be a con (discussed below).  It’s fairly inexpensive, which means that you can afford to experiment — always a plus!  If you like colorful chain maille, enameled copper is widely available and comes in a rainbow of hues.

Cons include being soft — makes it easy to distort rings in thinner gauges or higher ARs.  Copper also tarnishes very easily, although easily cleaned with lemon juice, baking soda and even catsup!  Enameled copper colors can be scratched as well.

Aluminum.  Light and strong, aluminum is a great material to use.  Just be careful – there are several kinds of aluminum rings, and not all are suitable for jewelry.  Look for anodized or bright aluminum; otherwise you’ll end up with black rub-off.  It’s also quite inexpensive.  Being so light, it is a fantastic material for earrings.  The anodized colors are very bright and clear.

Cons include that many people don’t want to wear it (although it’s been shown to be hard to absorb via the skin), and the fact that it’s so light!  For anyone who equates weight with worth, aluminum will disappoint.  And as with others, anodized colors can be scratched.

Stainless Steel.  Very popular for men’s jewelry, stainless usually well-tolerated by those with metal allergies, providing it doesn’t include much nickel – check with the supplier if metal allergies are an issue.  Quite heavy (also a con), it’s also pretty inexpensive.

Cons include weight (earrings are heavy) and the fact that it’s a very hard metal.  You’ll need heavier-duty pliers to manipulate steel– it’s tough.  Then again, it’s jewelry that will last a lifetime — many lifetimes, actually!

Which Metal is Best?

That is entirely up to you!  I’ve used copper, enameled copper, aluminum, anodized niobium, sterling, argentium and gold-filled with wonderful results.  Up to this point, my tutorials have been done using enameled copper.

I am looking forward to using titanium (regular and anodized) and anodized aluminum.  Not sure about stainless yet, but I’ll probably succumb at some point!