Thursday, August 9, 2012

Estimating and adjusting

Yesterday I very briefly mentioned making earrings and a bracelet to go with a black and purple necklace.  That necklace was shown and discussed in my Anatomy of a Spiral post a few weeks ago, but here it is on its own:

I have mini keys that match the larger keys I use as pendants, and I wanted to make a spiral rope bracelet to match the necklace with some mini keys as charms throughout the bracelet.

But I only have a small amount of those 11/0 purple beads left:

The beads came from an auction, and I don't know if I can find them again.  I set about finding out if I had enough to do everything I wanted.

I measured the rope near one of the ends and counted how many purple beads I'd need per inch.  I knew I used one per spiral section and one for the core, so I only counted spirals (which can be tricky - you have to keep turning the thing!).  There were about 16 per inch x 2 = 32 purple beads per inch.  I dumped my beads out and made piles of 32 to make sure I had at least enough for 7 inches plus extra for the earrings.  I had enough for the bracelet, but the leftover pile for the earrings didn't seem all that large.

I then measured the clasp, because I knew that would add length without too many purple beads:

Almost an inch and only 6 purples used.  I can probably get away with a little over six inches of rope, plus almost one inch for the clasp, and that will fit most people.  Not me, though, so this set better sell!  :)

I beaded the earrings to see what I had left over. Each earring is made with square stitch strips of 5 across and 6 rows, or 30 beads each.  60 beads sure took a dent out of my pile!

The six piles are the purples I'll need for each inch of the bracelet.  The little pile at the right is for the clasp, and the pile at the top is what's left over.

Not a very big pile, is it?  Since I don't want naked keys on my bracelet (oh, the scandal!), I did some serious thinking.  The keys don't need to be completely purple, but can I stitch the 11/0s with the matte black 15/0s used in the rope?  I tried it and found that I can do it if I don't use too many 11/0s:

This is good.. Less 11/0s = more keys on the bracelet!  There will be a little blast of purple that will move around as the key moves.

I parceled out the rest of the 11/0s in my pitiful pile for 5 more keys with one bead left over.  I then realized that each key will take the place of a purple on the rope, so I took my one leftover bead with two more beads so I can have an odd number of keys on the bracelet:

That should leave me enough for around a 7" bracelet with key charms!

Since this post is getting a bit long, and since it'll take me a few hours to bead up those 6 keys and the bracelet, I will close this now.  Come back tomorrow to see if my estimations were correct.  Wish me luck!

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