Russian Snake Stitch - A Beading Adventure
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 FrillsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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...
- You have to come out of the right bead at the end of the first row.
- Then add the right amount of beads, in the right color, to begin the second row.
- 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 FrillsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
Double Row - No FrillsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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!
Triple Row - No FrillsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
Single Row - Bigger BeadsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
Which One is Your Favorite?
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.