The Beading Beat - To Knot or Not
Welcome to the Beading Beat! Every Friday (except for Tutorial Friday's) I'll discuss various beady topics like tips and tricks, some of my favorite beading products, and more. Some weeks it will be a quick discussion, some weeks it will be longer. But every week it will be fun and full of beady goodness.
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This week we're going to talk about a hot topic. What do I do with my thread when I get to the end? Should I knot it? Should I weave it in? Should I do something else? What do I dooooooo?
When I first started beading, I hated ending/starting thread. I just wanted to accomplish the whole project with one thread and be done with it. I would either stick to small projects that I knew would only take a small amount of thread or I would just an indecent amount of thread. And that thread would always get tangled or break or both. And I would loose my mind.
I quickly learned I was going to have to get over my fear of ending/starting thread.
So I started with knots. And boy would I knot a lot.
I have the fear (I fell like a lot of beaders feel this way) that my beadwork will fall apart. I needed to bead as many times as I could. Maybe 5+ times. That would keep everything in order.
My first knots were always on the edge of the beadwork. You could see them and it was knot pretty (hehe, word pun). Then I started knotting in the beadwork and trying to hide the knot. This worked sometimes, and sometimes it didn't.
So I went on a quest to find a better way. How could I finish my thread off without knotting it or at least learn to do it in a better way? I asked friends that beaded and researched on the internet and I found an amazing thing.
That's when I learned about weaving the ends in. Seriously, I had no idea you could just weave the end in to secure it. Where was this my whole life? How did I not know this earlier?
It's great. Weaving the ends in strengthens the piece. Unlike knotting, which can possibly weaken the thread at the knot point. And it's way less of a headache then knotting. It is my preferred way to end a piece.
So how do we do it? How does this magical weaving work?
So this is how you are "supposed" to do it. Make a figure 8 with your thread. I was always told that you should start in the middle of a row to hide the threads better. Buuuuut to be honest, I almost always end/start at the end. I just weave my thread in a little farther and then do all the fun turns.
And to be honest, mine looks a little bit more like this.......
Okay, maybe it's not quite that much, but I do a few extra turns just to make sure me thread is secure. Because like I said earlier, I have a fear my beadwork will fall apart.
Once I weave my end in, I use a thread burner to carefully cut the thread. This gives me a little bit more confidence in my beadwork because the thread burner makes a tiny tiny melted ball at the end of thread, which will help reduce the chance of the thread working it's way out.
Just be super careful when using a thread burner. You don't want to accidentally burn through the wrong threads. Just trust me on this, it's not fun having to pull apart beadwork to fix that. So, I've heard. :-D
So that is how I finish a piece of thread (to add thread, I do the same thing, just make some figure eights with my new thread). It works for me, but it might not work for you. There are a number of ways you can finish thread (weave it, knot it, fuse it, etc) and I am here to tell you that there is no correct way. And the way you do it might change on different projects (I still knot when doing embroidery). The correct way is the way you chose to do it.
How do you finish your ends? Do you weave them in, do you knot, do you fuse, or do you do it another way? Why do you choose to do it your way? I'd love to hear from you, just leave a comment below.
Other Helpful Goodies
Want to know how I keep track of where I am in a pattern? Click here to read about my method for staying on track.
Find out what kind of bead boards I use. Click here and here to read about my favorites.
What are my favorite beads to use for peyote? I love me some Delica cylinder beads. There are a number of awesome choices HERE.
Even Count Flat Peyote Stitch - Click Here
Ladder Stitch - Click Here
Brick Stitch - Click Here
How to Read A Peyote Word Chart - Click Here
How to Read a Peyote Graph - Click Here
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Just a girl that loves to bead, take photos, and cuddle with her new baby and her pug.