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  1. #1

    Default beginner

    Hello,
    I have been reading the various threads. I bought some strung pearls and would like to give it a go in making a necklace.
    When you buy pearls with holes, do I need to worry about how big the holes are in terms of buying needles and string?
    I plan to go to the local bead store and see what they have.
    thanks
    Jonathan
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    Last edited by treepeony; 10-28-2009 at 04:58 PM. Reason: add information

  2. #2
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Yes, you do need to take the size of the thread and needle into consideration. These look to be medium size pearls. They are very pretty. The bead store should be helpful on that. We also have a thread or more wit h advice for setting up a stringing operation. I think it might be a sticky in this section.Good luck!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  3. #3
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jerin's Avatar
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    Generally speaking the more valuable the pearl, the smaller the drilling holes. Take off your pearls, check the holes and take one with you that has a small hole so you can get advice for the needle that is needed and also the size of the silk, if you use silk. If you go with Power Pro (fishing line), a 10 lbs is very thin and should be easy to get through. Look up the "Lowly Beaders Club" and you?ll find plenty to read and learn from. Good luck!
    Inge

  4. #4
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Just to confuse you, it also depends on how you are going to attach any clasp to the string of pearls. If you plan to double back and hide the knot a few pearls back in then you will have to either use silk and needle which will go through twice or enlarge those few drill holes.
    Most freshwater are drilled to 0.7mm these days, tahitians can be the same, but also can be 0.8mm or even 0.9mm.
    There is a bewildering choice of attachment methods to chose from (doubling back and using french wire to hide and protect the silk as it goes around the clasp is probably the classic and professional's choice) and also types of thread from straightforward silk which you double up yourself by threading a beading needle, to silk with a needle built in, or, as Jerin says, you can also use fishing line.
    The good thing is that you can have a play around with all these methods and permutations of them, but the pearls will be quite happy to be re-strung differently every day until you find the way you like and your hands learn to knot (lots of different ways of doing that too!)
    have fun

  5. #5
    Professional Rethreader Senior Guide Member Bernadette's Avatar
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    If you have never knotted before it can be a little daunting

    I would suggest before you start knotting the pearls, get some beads about 8mm and some no 8 crochet cotton.
    Both of these will help co-ordinate your knotting skills
    when you feel confident enough then try the finer thread.

    There is a lot of good advice on technique needle thread etc on the forum by practicing your knotting skills first, this will help in your choice of thread etc.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the responses.
    I have been reading and seeing some online videos for knotting. I kind of like the 2 thread method where you put on a bead, and then use both threads to make the knot. It looks like you could get the knot closer to the pearl.
    For attaching the clasp, i hadn't figured out what to do for this. I saw a crimp on bead thing that you feed back into to make a loop. But the method of going back through a few pearls looks like a good way.
    And of course I didn't mention that i hadn't given any thought to making the earrings and how that works.
    I do a lot of other manual hobbies and when I don't know what i am doing, I ususally start by finding out "one way" to do the easiest/most efficient way to do something, which are the best tools, etc... and then just follow them.
    The sticky threads are great, but in some ways there is so much information, it is hard for a beginner to know what to choose.
    I am sure most of you don't remember what it is like to have no clue whatsoever, like me.
    Jonathan

  7. #7
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Jonathan,

    I am sure most of you don't remember what it is like to have no clue whatsoever, like me.
    Actually, there are quite a few of us who are only a tiny bit ahead of you and who have started knotting very recently, encouraged and mentored by the Pros here. I personally like the 2 thread method you mentioned. What I like is it always feels ok to ask questions and talk about problems with knotting.

    Good Luck!
    Pattye


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  8. #8
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi
    I use the double back method. I do not ream pearls out to do it. (I find that a real pain) Instead, I have several weights or thicknesses of thread. when in doubt, I test the proper size thread by putting the pearl over a threaded needle, then doubling back the same way. If the thread will fit through twice, I use it. Generally, for a .8 hole medium thread (or 20lb PowerPro) works fine. I have forgotten the proper size of silk, maybe a EE? Another test is to make a knot in the thread and put on a pearl. If the thread is too small, the pearl will slip right over the knot. In this case move up a size of thread --or make a double knot.

    Don't try to absorb everything before you even begin. Just look up the one part you need to move along, then another part. Also that Henrietta Virchek book can teach anyone to knot in the way that comes easiest. I only use the 2 thread method precisely because you can get the knot snuggled really tight up against the pearl. Using a single thread with an awl to move the knot in place requires great care, because if the instrument slips out before the knot is tight against a pearl, it is difficult to impossible to loosen it up with the awl (or other tool) and get it moved. I tend to fray the knot when I try, so I quit that method years ago.

    So start by attaching the clasp, then do the knotting, then attach the other side of the clasp trim the excess thread and you are done.

    This is a question for everyone: Have any of you used the new style clam shell shaped like a V? It has a hole in the bottom for passing the thread through to the knot. The V is then squeezed shut and a ring passed through the holes in the top and through the clasp. I forget what you call those doubled rings like car keychain rings, but they would be very strong.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  9. #9
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jerin's Avatar
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    Hi Caitlin,
    I haven?t even seen this type of clam shell yet, but the type of ring ought to be a spring ring, if your description is correct.
    Where have you bought it from? Firemountain, Bella Findings or Rio Grande?
    Inge

  10. #10

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    Thanks Caitlin,
    I think I get it. So with the 2 thread method, the double back at the end results in 3 threads thru the last couple pearls?
    Jonathan

  11. #11
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Hi All.

    Here's some double tip bead cups. I haven't tried themhttp://www.riogrande.com/MemberArea/...irst_answer=16

    The other item you are thinking of which is a small version of a key ring is called a "split ring" and the cheaper ones can be sharp and scratchy on the ends. I haven't used them myself, so perhaps the good quality would be finished nicely. They would be very strong indeed.
    Pattye


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  12. #12
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    http://www.firemountaingems.com/deta...p?PN=H206672FD
    Here is a variation on the one I mentioned
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  13. #13
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Think those with the double tip will hide the knot better and attach more securely to the clasp.
    Pattye


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  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Hi Caitlin, Pattye and others yet to meet,
    I've used the double clamshell tips and have mixed feelings. They are handy for multi strands, but I really like the finished look and smoother feel of gimp. The folded ends can be a bit pokey and the old style fold over "ring" is not large enough to attach to a larger gague finding ring. I like the look of the version with the fixed circle top attachment. Ultimately, wish someone would make some real gold gimp!
    (Have tried to wind my own w/ 30 ga gold filled and it is too stiff to bend nicely, darn). The search for perfection goes on.
    Smiles and hugs,
    Marianne

  15. #15
    Pearl Collector & Designer Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sueki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treepeony View Post
    Thanks Caitlin,
    I think I get it. So with the 2 thread method, the double back at the end results in 3 threads thru the last couple pearls?
    Jonathan
    Hi Jonathan,
    It'll be 4 threads....
    i.e. 2 threads, twice.

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