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  1. #31
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I've been busily restringing other strands-- a bracelet of small multicolors, smaller and a larger oval strands from the 2008 private offer, and today I got half-way through stringing a rope of 180 smallish multicolored pearls (lots of flaws on these but they are good enough for the purpose.) It should be 48" long when done.

    This rope has shown me that I need to post a variation on the knotting instructions for making long strands-- the technique I am using is that of dropping the pearls through the overhand knot. This is the only way to avoid tangling the long, long thread. Sometime this weekend I'll grab my daughter to take a few more photos to demonstrate this.

    Basically the idea is this:
    Every thread you are knotting has 2 ends-- the end with the needle and the end with the clasp. Either end can be passed through the loop to form the overhand knot.

    For an 18" strand, it's easy to pass the needle end of the thread through the overhand knot loop-- it goes in at the back of the loose knot and is pulled through the front, as in the photos. Then one uses the tweezers to position the knot.

    But when the thread is very long, this is a recipe for tangles.

    Instead, I made the overhand knot loop as usual over the fingers of my left hand, transferred the loose knot to the fingers of my right hand and held it open horizontally with spread fingers, then gently dropped the already-strung pearls + clasp down through the loose, open knot. Once the pearls were through, I transferred the loose knot back to the fingers of my left hand and used the tweezers as usual to position the knot.

    Many people use this technique of dropping the pearls through the knot even for short strands, but I find it more cumbersome. Maybe with more practice it will be easier, we'll see. I think some people make the knot with the right hand so the thread only has to be transferred once, to the left (So far, this is hard for me.) I'm sure there are various ways to do this.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, so photos will be coming.

    Edit: See post 34 and following.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 02-18-2013 at 04:19 AM.

  2. #32
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    WOW what a great tutorial!!! Thank you so much Pearl Dreams, I really appreciate your efforts on making this tutorial, well done

  3. #33

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    Great tutorial,

    I use very similar technique, but leave out the tweezers. This is called the Japanese method by some. You can also as a option (works expecially for placing mulitcolors) put all your beads on one strand before doing the starting bail. Using a bead keeper of some sort to keep them from coming off. After gimp and getting started, just slide each bead up the one strand, do an overhand knot with the other strand. I might should call this my armchair method. You can sit in a comfortable chair and do this, as I have. Pull the power pro in two directions after getting the loop close to the pearl (I use my fingernail to guide the knot up close). Like the first step in tying a shoe. The knot will go in place, and be properly tight with no gap.

    Remember that with power pro's great strength, resistance to abrasion (this stuf is used to make bullet proof vests), larger lb test, or doubling is needed to increase diameter, not for higher strength. It will be plenty strong in lesser strands. Be sure to test for knot size working properly before getting started.

    Llolyd
    Gemologist GIA Certified
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/LloydsJewelry?ref=pr_shop

    As an option to using doubled thread, you can get power pro from fishing suppliers in larger diameter. I use 20lb mostly, but 50 lb test when I have larger holes.

  4. #34
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Thank you, Lloyd!

    I've finally done the added tutorial photos showing how to knot a very long strand.
    (Edit 10/3/16: Nowadays I do all my strands this way, even the short ones. It's faster and I get fewer thread tangles.)

    Every thread has two ends-- the end with the clasp + pearls and the end with the needle.
    In the technique I taught above for normal length strands, the needle end of the thread is passed through the back side of the loop to form a knot.

    That is fine for relatively short necklaces, but when making very long strands, this would mean wrangling with an extremely long thread. And that is not only very awkward but it greatly increases the risk of making unwanted tangles.

    So instead, we will pass the clasp + pearls end of the thread through the loop from the front (except I will be rotating the loop 90 degrees so that the pearls are dropped down into the loop-- it is easier to let gravity help you.)

    *If you are wondering why there is no clasp on the pearls in the photos below, it's because it was not a real strand that I was making-- it's just a few fake pearls strung and knotted onto the thread for the purpose of the tutorial.

    Excuse my dry hands!

    My daughter took the photos.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 10-03-2016 at 09:34 PM.

  5. #35
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    1. Start the overhand knot as usual.
    2. Pinch where the threads overlap.
    3. Insert fingers of right hand through loop as shown.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  6. #36
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    4. Rotate right hand so loop is horizontal.
    5. Drop already-knotted part of strand down through the open loop (when beginning this will be just the clasp and the first pearl.)
    6. Transfer the pearls back to the left hand.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  7. #37
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    7. Transfer the loop back to the fingers of the left hand (continued).
    8. As usual, insert the tweezers through the loop to grasp the threads just above the pearl. [No need for tweezers if using Beader's Secret].
    9. Make the knot as usual.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 10-28-2016 at 02:36 AM.

  8. #38
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I've experimented with doing this without all the passing back and forth of the loop from hand to hand but it didn't work for me.
    (If you prefer to keep the loop on one hand, which is what is demonstrated in this video from Pearl Paradise, by all means try it! Instead of dropping the pearls down through the knot loop, in this method you have to push them upward through the knot loop.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O12P1OaMCe8 )

    Even so, I got the rhythm of this pretty quickly.

    Also-- You can string all your pearls onto the thread initially and just slide one over at a time to knot, as LloydsJewelry pointed out, or you can string on 5 or 10 at a time. At first I preferred fewer at a time as occasionally I made an unwanted knot and had to remove the pearls I had strung on (but not yet knotted) to untangle the thread-- and it's easier to remove 5 than the whole lot of them. But now I have gotten better at it and can string all the pearls on at once before knotting them (after the first 3).
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 11-28-2016 at 06:45 PM.

  9. #39
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Ramona's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tutorial. I finally finished some of my necklaces. I just wondered what is best to finish off at the end when you do not have pearls, but gemstones, which do not allow to double pass the thread. Do people then glue the knot or zap it? What is the most stable?

  10. #40
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    You may wish to try these bead tips-- they have closed loops and you can attach a clasp to them with a jump ring:
    https://www.riogrande.com/Product/14...ead-Tip/689195

    I haven't tried them yet, but I recall reading a post by GemGeek who said she used this type of bead tip. I would make a knot and apply a dab of glue over it before closing the clamshell over the knot.

    Personally I've mostly strung my gemstones on nylon-coated beading wire and used Twisted Tornado crimps. In cases where the end beads' holes were too narrow to double back after the crimp, I would string a round metal (silver or gold-filled) bead or a small round garnet or horn bead (with a large-enough hole diameter) as the last bead next to the clasp.

    You could take a chance on reaming out the end beads' holes using a small battery powered drill (with the bead under water to cool and lubricate the drill bit) but you run the risk of breaking the bead.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 09-22-2015 at 04:41 AM.

  11. #41
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Ramona's Avatar
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    Thanks. I used the flame so far on Powerpro as my glue hardened, but it is a bit dangerous. I think I will move to glue and crimp beads now that I am mostly done with high carat gold.

  12. #42
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I made an "Endless" necklace today without a clasp. Here is how.

    Make a knot and string on your first 4 pearls without knotting between them (you will make the knots later when connecting the 2 ends of the strand.)
    Place a spring type bead stopper (image: http://beadwork.about.com/od/howtos/...-Stopper_2.htm) between the knot and your first pearl-- it will help later to have a 1" gap or so between the knot and the first pearl.

    After your 4th pearl make a knot. String on all the rest of your pearls, knotting as you go.
    For a very long strand I recommend using the technique described starting at post #34, as it avoids the tangling of a very long thread.)
    String on the last pearl and make a knot.

    Now you are ready to connect the two ends of the strand so they form one continuous circle.

    Insert the needle back through the first pearl (entering from the knot side). Pull the thread through the pearl, snugging up the thread. The knot you made after the last pearl serves as the knot separating the last pearl and the first pearl. (Ignore the tail with the original knot for now.)

    Make a knot between the 1st and 2nd pearls, then pass the needle through the 2nd pearl.
    Make a knot between the 2nd and 3rd pearls, then between the 3rd and 4th pearls, and then trim off the remaining thread. (Edit: Lately to better conceal the cut-off end, I've been passing the needle one last time through yet another pearl and then cutting it off. If you do this, don't knot before cutting it.)

    Now go back and trim off the original knot with its tail of thread, close to the first pearl. I use a Thread Zap or X-Acto type razor knife for this-- it enables you to get up close when trimming.

    Edit: I found a video on YouTube that shows a slight variation of this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N87vt-heao
    If you use the method in the video, DO use a bit of glue on the final knots.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 11-28-2016 at 06:50 PM.

  13. #43
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    I am totally crazy about power pro thread. I don't care that it only has two colors, white and moss green. However, for those of you who really want colored thread that is pretty good, better than silk, anyway, go to Pattye's Etsy shop. On the last few pages, she has some European thread of some kind. Anyway, it comes in lots of colors! LOTS of colors.

    I have not used it yet and don't know how well that knot slides in tightly and compactly, compared to power pro, but for $2.50 for a card, it is worth trying!
    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.

  14. #44
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member maiakity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    I am totally crazy about power pro thread. I don't care that it only has two colors, white and moss green. However, for those of you who really want colored thread that is pretty good, better than silk, anyway, go to Pattye's Etsy shop. On the last few pages, she has some European thread of some kind. Anyway, it comes in lots of colors! LOTS of colors.

    I have not used it yet and don't know how well that knot slides in tightly and compactly, compared to power pro, but for $2.50 for a card, it is worth trying!
    This is what I used on my pondslime strand...I don't have any experience with powerpro, but I think that it made nice, tight knots and it was fairly easy to work with. I did have it break on me once and had to do the string over, but the thread had become frayed in that place making it weaker I think. It does come in almost every color you can imagine!

  15. #45
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Great idea for the endless necklace. I'm going to use that very soon, thanks!
    GemGeek
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