Russian Snake Stitch - A Beading Adventure

Russian Snake Stitch Bracelets
Russian Snake Stitch Bracelets | Source
Bracelets Created from the Bead & Button Magazine
Bracelets Created from the Bead & Button Magazine | Source

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Teaching myself how to bead has lead me down an interesting road.

Well, actually it started on a path, and branched out from there, and this is one of my adventures.

It all started when my sister sent me an older copy of a Bead & Button Magazine.

One of the feature articles was Russian Snake Stitch, by Ny Wetmore.

I had the beads, and I loved the name so I decided to try it.

This was about the 3 month mark on my path to beading.

Still learning to read patterns, it took me a little while to get started, once I was on my way, it was love at first row.

Unfortunately, as I finished the bracelet, I found myself not thrilled with the end result. I felt it was a little too... Frilly?

So, I put the pattern and bracelets away and continued on other adventures.

Double Row - Hearts and Frills

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About the Clasp

The original pattern from the Bead and Button magazine uses a beaded bead and a loop for the clasp.

These have a peyote tube and beaded loop for the clasp.

Always on My Mind

I could never seem to stop thinking about this pattern.

From the first time I seen the name and the pattern, there was just something about it, that made me want to do more.

How can I make this pattern different, one I like better?

My first thought was adding a second row. But how?

Being a self taught beader, without an example of how to do the color switch, to start the next row, was challenging. My logic went this way...

  1. You have to come out of the right bead at the end of the first row.
  2. Then add the right amount of beads, in the right color, to begin the second row.
  3. Then connect those beads, to the right bead in the previous row, keeping the pattern uniform.

I admit, once I sat down to try it, it did take me a few hours to finally figure it out. But wow, I sure liked this pattern a lot more.

It has a lovely heart shapes that alternate in color, and what a change from the first one I made.

I just had to make a couple more.

This is where the path starts turning into a road.

Double Row - With Frills

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Czech Seed - Aqua Czech Seed - Turquoise 4mm Silver PearlsHow the Mistake StartedMiyuki Seed - Tr Capri Blue AB MT Miyuki Seed - Antique Ivory Pearl Ceylon 4mm Crystal BiconesCzech Seed - Silverlined Red Czech Seed - Crystal AB 4mm White Glass PearlsCzech Seed - Metallic Gunmetal Czech Seed - Op Matt Black 4mm Turquoise Glass Pearls
Czech Seed - Aqua Czech Seed - Turquoise 4mm Silver Pearls
Czech Seed - Aqua Czech Seed - Turquoise 4mm Silver Pearls | Source
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How the Mistake Started
How the Mistake Started | Source
Miyuki Seed - Tr Capri Blue AB MT Miyuki Seed - Antique Ivory Pearl Ceylon 4mm Crystal Bicones
Miyuki Seed - Tr Capri Blue AB MT Miyuki Seed - Antique Ivory Pearl Ceylon 4mm Crystal Bicones | Source
Czech Seed - Silverlined Red Czech Seed - Crystal AB 4mm White Glass Pearls
Czech Seed - Silverlined Red Czech Seed - Crystal AB 4mm White Glass Pearls | Source
Czech Seed - Metallic Gunmetal Czech Seed - Op Matt Black 4mm Turquoise Glass Pearls
Czech Seed - Metallic Gunmetal Czech Seed - Op Matt Black 4mm Turquoise Glass Pearls | Source
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A Mistake Changes Everything

After beading a few more, I accidentally put the opposite color of beads on. This completely changed the original combination I used when starting the second row. (I have found beading and watching a good show/movie don't always mix)

Noticing the difference right away, I decided to go with it, see how it looked. This resulted alternating lines, instead of the heart shape.

At this point, I could see exactly why this is called Russian Snake Stitch. The lines go in a serpentine pattern. Oh I loved this.

Keeping with the original pattern, I still added the picots around the outside.

While still nice, it was still just a little too frilly for me.

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Double Row - No Frills

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A Little Change Makes a Big Difference

So the next step was trying it without the picots.

I find these a sleeker, classier bracelet. This is my favorite of all the different patterns I have tried in this stitch. I love making it with cylinder beads and fire polish crystals or pearls in the center.

I get a lot of compliments on this style, and I have given quite a few away as gifts.

The red and white one is a combination I made for Canada Day.

The longer one with the single row is an anklet.

The green, purple and black was made to match my outfit for a wedding, I made a matching necklace with Russian Spiral stitch. My nails even matched the pattern!

Matching set to go with outfit.
Matching set to go with outfit. | Source

Triple Row - No Frills

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Adding Just Made Sense

After playing with two rows, of course I had to try three, which created more of a cuff.

Having tried it with the picots, I found it looked best without the frills.

I don't wear a lot of thicker bracelets, so while I had to try them, I didn't make very many of them.

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Single Row - Bigger Beads

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Single Row - No Frills - Different Beads

All of the bracelets above use size 10 or 11 seed beads and 4 mm centers.

My next turn, was trying a different size of beads, and using just a single row.

These were experiments with size 8 seed beads and 6 mm centers.

These are a little chunkier and make great anklets.

My personal favorite is still the Double Rows - No Frills.

You Decide!

Which One is Your Favorite?

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Thank You for Sharing my Adventure!

My love of beading has not changed since I first picked up my needle and thread. I have enjoyed many hours of peaceful beading, and while I have learned a lot, there is still so much more to add to my limited knowledge.

Thank you for joining me, I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure.

I know I have enjoyed taking it.

Still an avid beader, a couple years down the road, Russian Snake Stitch will always be one of my favorite stitches.

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2 comments

AbsorbArt profile image

AbsorbArt 4 months ago from United States

Very cool pattern! The double row no frills is a favorite as well!


Eccentric-Lhee profile image

Eccentric-Lhee 4 months ago from Canada Author

Thank you, I like that one too!

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