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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member danachit's Avatar
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    Default Pulling out my hair over GIMP!

    Grrrrrr!!

    Okay, first I went through the searching for karat gimp. It doesn't exist. I admitted defeat and agreed to use vermeil or gold plate with my 14K gold findings.

    I just knotted the most beautiful strand of pearls and the ding dang gimp wires have ever so slightly separated where the clasp loop is hitting. I cut about 1/4 inch piece and was extremely careful in the threading of the silk and making the little loop. Now, with the slightest handling of the necklace, the gold wires are parting.

    This is giving me a gargantuous headache and leading me to the kitchen for chocolate. Is there some secret supplier of heavier gimp that I don't know about? I was using the medium and I just ordered some heavy from fire mountain. I hate having to restring but I'm just not happy with these results. Help!!

  2. #2
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Don't use plated. What size jump ring are you knotting to? Tell me about your thread. Pictures would help.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member danachit's Avatar
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    I'm using vermeil from fire mountain. It's paired with Size D or E (forget) silk and the loop is the tiny little loop on a 14K single strand clasp...the kind that comes with the clasp. I'll see about doing some pics. Should I have ordered the heavy instead of medium?

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member danachit's Avatar
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    Okay...I'm not going to be able to take that close of a picture. The gimp I'm using is 1.2 vermiel. I'm wondering if the loop on the clasp were thicker, it would help? The loop is just what came on the clasp...and they are quite tiny.

    This is so frustrating... It was the prettiest knotting job I've ever done and now the silly thing is going to have to be redone.

    Knotty, why do you say to not use gold-plate? Do you use medium or heavy? (Thank you for your help here....I was about in tears when I saw the outcome! )

  5. #5
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    I use vermeil. No problem. I don't use Champion but from what I recall, D or E is similar to my buttonhole twist. If your clasp has a normal jump ring on the end, 26 or 24 ga., 1/4" of gimp should be plenty. The medium, heavy, gimp description, I think, refers to the size of coil. You shouldn't need heavy. The only other thing I can think of is, are you using a flush cutter on the gimp? If there's a bit of a barb on the end, sometimes that might cause it to disintegrate. Is the gimp that's failing you from Fire Mountain or is it that Beadsmith crap? Work gingerly with it. Don't try to force it to slide down the thread. Lift it from the box like it's a butterfly and put it back in just as delicately. When I cut it, I sort of eyeball the length because the way it wants to lie on my bead board ruler, is the way I keep it. I guess I coax it into position rather forcing it. Sorry I can't be of more help. Sounds like you're doing all the right things.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Sorry, I think we are both writing at the same time. Plated tends to break down. Personally, I prefer the smaller jump rings. No, I don't like the bigger rings. You're using 1/4" of gimp. I generally use 1/8". I wouldn't know why a larger amount would cause such tremendous grief. Gimp is so inexpensive, I have a couple of boxes of silver and I think just one of vermeil. Keep different sizes around for kicks and giggles.

    Ok, just thinking here. Could it possibly be your thread? You gimp one end, knot the strand, then gimp and backknot. Right? If you aren't allowing your thread to relax and untwist after you finish knotting the strand, when you corner around the jump ring to begin to do your backknots, the gimp will be influenced (for lack of a better word) by the kinks in the thread.

    Without seeing it, it's really hard to guess.
    Last edited by knotty panda; 12-05-2007 at 12:48 AM.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Pearl Collector & Designer Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sueki's Avatar
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    Hi Danachit (and Knotty),
    Is the clasp a ball clasp by any chance ?
    I ask because I've noticed that these often don't come with an extra ring attached - you have to string directly through the hole in the clasp end itself.
    And these are holes in very thin metal which works it's way into the gimp and parts it.
    Hope all this makes sense...
    If this is the case here, I'd suggest PearlParadise clasps - they appear to have an extra bolt ring at each side of the clasp.

  8. #8
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    I hope you're right Sueki. I was thinking a standard fish hook.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member danachit's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'm doing as you say, treating it like a precious little delicate thing...careful with the cutting, careful with the sliding....singing Amazing Grace while working with it and EVERYTHING!

    Your theory about the end of the strand twisting is interesting. I'm going to redo this strand and pay special attention to that aspect.

    Also, has anyone tried the gimp from Fire Mountain that is listed as fancy spiral and zigzag? I'm wondering if it would do better than the plain straight curls. Of course, it isn't in vermiel...only GP and SP.

    Knotty...do you think Jeremy is using vermiel on his hanadamas? It still is so weird to not be using all 14 karat!

  10. #10
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    This is just a guess on my part. Since the experts kind of leave us knotting folks alone to let us work out our own problems, my guess is they use plated base metal. Just my guess. I really don't know. You can always buy a strand and test it .
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  11. #11
    GemGeek
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    This has been very interesting. The only thing I can think of is that the gimp is too long. You want to use just enough to make a tiny round loop. If you use more, it makes an oval that tends to "fold" at the end, thus separating the coils. I hope this helps. I'm pretty new at the gimp myself.

  12. #12
    sleight
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    danachit,

    I use the goldfilled frame wire from Just for Fun - since you're in Atlanta, you can easily get some. I don't know the actual diameter, but it's very small. I find that it doesn't separate because it "hugs" the silk tighter. Maybe that'll help!

  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member danachit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleight
    danachit,

    I use the goldfilled frame wire from Just for Fun - since you're in Atlanta, you can easily get some. I don't know the actual diameter, but it's very small. I find that it doesn't separate because it "hugs" the silk tighter. Maybe that'll help!
    Frame wire? As in wire for frames? I haven't heard of Just for Fun....is it a beading store? Now I'm curious as to how you ended up using frame wire for a jewelry finding!

  14. #14
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    1. What the heck is frame wire?
    2. I haven't seen the zig-zag, fancy gimp used in an other fashion other than a spacer. The plated thing turned me off so I've never tried it.
    3. Blaire, you may have something there. I still don't have a clear vision of the clasp. What's the gauge wire on the jump ring on a standard fish hook? But, yeah, if I have to chain maille a ring onto a clasp, I cut it bigger because my open rings are 22 ga.
    4. If the gimp fits on the first end fine, then I have to believe the thread is twisting during the knotting and it needs to be relaxed before the strand is finished.

    I sure do wish you shoot some pics!
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  15. #15
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knotty panda
    I sure do wish you shoot some pics!
    Hi Knotty,
    I sure do wish you would shoot some pics too!

    600 posts and less than ten pictures illustrating your instructions! I hope you get a camera for XMAS!
    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.