Brick Stitch: My Nemesis

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I’ve spent a couple of evenings contending with this stitch and I think I’m now winning the battle. Simple, flat brick stitch is not a problem, but when you try to shape it, it throws a tantrum.

At first, I was attempting to work with symmetry. I would add a increase bead on one side, then as I progressed, I would mirror that bead on the other side. This caused the piece to buckle and curl. I tried again and again, but still the increases were too much. If the beads weren’t placed symmetrically, I could easily get the piece to lay flat; but wouldn’t that compromise the look of the finished piece? I resisted a while longer. I looked at the work of others and scrutinised the details. Dear God! My inner Vulcan was horrified: The symmetry was an illusion! Illogical! To me, beading is patterns – mathematical and logical. But shaped brick stitch is a more organic beast, extra beads need to be added at random locations for the piece to come together. At last, success!

Typically, I immediately thought of another challenge that needed conquering. What if, instead of completing a circle, I made two half-circles that were joined end for end. To my surprise, this actually worked. I still had some problems to solve though, such as making clean joins and the sudden realisation that when you turn a rainbow upside-down the colours become reversed. But I made it work. My test pieces are complete and I’m ready to create something bigger and better. Well, nearly ready. I think I’ve earned a break from brick stitch before I commit to a big project. Tonight, I play with wire, I have an earring tutorial that I’m dying to try out. Stay tuned!

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