Friday, August 10, 2012

Estimating and adjusting, part 2

When I finished posting yesterday, I was ready to stitch up a bunch of mini keys and spiral them onto a bracelet.

After I stitched the 6th key, I was wondering if I wanted to stitch the 7th.  I started to think about where I wanted to place them along the bracelet.  Steve thought one right at the beginning and one after every inch, totaling 7.  I thought that might put the keys too close to the clasp and started playing around with a ruler and my piles of beads.

I decided to do a half inch of stitching before the first key then a key every inch after, leaving a half inch at the end:

The piles of 4 at the top left and right are for the clasp and the one pile of 4 at the left is for establishing the core.

After I'd stitched a few spirals I realized I was stitching through four of the core beads instead of three.  Four is what's usual (see my Anatomy of a Spiral post if you missed this discussion), but using only seed beads four core beads is one too many.  Grumbling, I took it apart.  Fortunately I hadn't gotten very far.

A half inch in, I added the first key:

I used two 15/0s on each side of the key's ring.  Here's what it looks like stitched into the rope:

If I do this again, I'm going to use 11/0s.  The smaller 15/0s tend to slip through the ring, and the key has a tendency to roam around a bit.  Not too much, but enough for me to change it for the next one.

I kept measuring as I stitched.  Turns out that 16 spirals is a touch over an inch, so by the time I ran out of beads, I had 6.5".  I had set aside 4 beads for each end of the clasp to add a little length, but I realized it wasn't necessary.  I wanted the bracelet to match the necklace if possible, so I stitched one more spiral, leaving 3 for each end of the clasp.

I stitched the clasp on, and here's the final bracelet:

It's almost 7.5" long.  Still too short for me (darn it!), but it's a good length for most everyone else.  I imagine the keys will move nicely but not be annoying.  They're light and make no noise.

So, how did my estimating go?  If you've paid attention, you'll know how many beads I have left over.

No?  I rambled too much and threw too many numbers at you?  I have one bead left.

The cheese stands alone

I had set aside 4 beads to establish the core but remembered later that I needed 3.  I thought that I might use 4 beads for one end of the clasp and 3 for the other end, but the asymmetry of it bothered me.  So I have one bead left.  I could toss it, but I have a few "bead soup" mixes that it can go into.

To sum up (no, there's no more math, I promise!), I was able to get what I wanted with the beads I had without really sacrificing my original plan.  I knew the earrings were most important, so I stitched those first so I knew what I had left to work with.  Then I did some estimating and adjusting to add a dash of purple to the key charms and still have enough to make an average-sized bracelet.  If I had wanted to size the bracelet to fit me, I would have used the black 15/0s for the clasp instead of the 11/0s to make it long enough.

Apart from my estimating being a tiny bit off (my estimated 1 inch was a little longer than 1 inch, but that's not the end of the world), I had no surprises and only one bead left.

Now I have one less tube in my stash and a beautiful set that I'm sure someone will love.

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