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Tourmalicious - October Birthstone

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

October's birthstone is Opal or Tourmaline. As an adult - I can appreciate this, as I realize what a huge range of colours this is. As a young girl - well I knew about those rather ghastly "mall opals" - whitish things with near invisible flecks of colour and what the heck was a tourmaline? And given that my birthday is in October - I felt vaguely ripped off at not getting one of the "good" birthstones.

Now, of course, I make and wear exactly whatever I want and no worries about the birthstone. But it was fun to tackle October as I am very fond of what I think of as the "Tourmaline" colour set.

The Crystallized Swarovski beads particularly lend themselves to this, as they have enough subtle colour variations to really give you lots of choices.

When I first sat down to pick these colours - I actually had a strand of graduated tourmaline gemstones in hand - so I could accurately find the colours I wanted. The necessary (IMHO) colours aren't available in every shape and size, which is why the main part of this necklace has to be in 4 mm rounds. Not even the 4 mm bicones has all the right colours.

I have deliberately varied the number of beads in a like colour from strand to strand, for a more casual look.

I used a lightweight and supple stringing material and worked the entire piece as just one thread. I started in the center - with about 2 metres (yards, arms-lengths) of wire, and threaded from the centre - using a needle on each end, threading a few beads on each side. Necklace length is 21 inches - to make it shorter, reduce the number of beads in the sides - where the 4 mm bicones are - dropping the number of bicones of each colour from 6 to 5 will make the overall lenght 2 inches shorter.

Alternate all of the 4 mm rounds with a 3 mm daisy spacer. Where 3 strands come down to one strand - I used a 3 mm bicone for two of the strands as the final bead to make the overall bulk smaller where the beads come together.

Start by stringing the center part (4 mm rounds), then the sides (bicones). (Step 1). (Scroll down for diagram). Add a crimp and a soldered CLOSED jumpring (even the best closed open jumpring will pull off). Go back through the bicones and come out with the thread at the first round. Do this for each side. Now you have a single strand with a long tail coming out the middle (Step 2). Thread one of those strands with more rounds, and when it is just a little longer than the initial middle section - go back through the last bicone, and knot and secure to the initial strand. (Step 3).

And finally, do the same on the other side, threading your third centre strand, and reattaching at the end of the centre section by threading up through the first bicone, and tying off onto the main wire. (Step 4)

I crimped the crimps at the end of the strands to prevent slipping. And finally, add your clasp - using open jumprings, to the closed jumprings you added initially.

This seems hard to explain, but minimizes the number of joins and connections in the stringing material.

          
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The colours I use for this tourmaline set are:

Garnet
Fuchsia
Indian Red
Light Topaz
Lime
Olivine
Khaki
Turmaline
Indian Sapphire



Centre strand

4 mm rounds, alternating with 3 mm daisy spacers

from the centre

4 x Ind Sap

LeftRight
3 x Tur 4 x Tur
3 x Kh 2 x Kh
3 x Ol3 x Ol
3 x Li3 x Li
2 x LTo 3 x LTo
2 x InRd  3 x InRd
3 x Fu 4 x Fu
4 x Ga 4 x Ga

End with a daisy spacer, switch to bicones - do the same number on each side



6 of each colour for 21 inch necklace. 5 of each colour for a 19 inch. 4 of each colour for a 17 inch.

Thread back through the crimp and all the bicones. Snug up and secure the crimp.




Now you are threading from the left, to make another centre strand. Alternate the rounds with 3 mm daisy spacers.

From the left

   
1 x 3 mm Ga bicone
3 x Ga round
3 x Fu
3 x In Rd
2 x LTo
3 x Li
3 x Ol
4 x Kh
3 x Tu
4 x InSa
3 x Tu
3 x Kh
3 x Ol
2 x Li
3 x LTo
3 x InRd
4 x Fu
3 x Ga
1 x 3 mm Ga bicone

Thread into the first bicone of the side strand, and knot to secure.




Now thread the third strand from the right. (or, flip the necklace over and thread from the left again, if that is more comfortable for you.)

From the right

1 x 3 mm Ga bicone
3 x Ga round
3 x Fu
3 x In Rd
3 x LTo
2 x Li
3 x Ol
2 x Kh
4 x Tu
5 x InSa
3 x Tu
2 x Kh
3 x Ol
3 x Li
2 x LTo
3 x InRd
4 x Fu
4 x Ga
1 x 3 mm Ga bicone

And, again, thread into the first bicone of the side strand, and knot to secure.



The colour graduation between the Light Topaz and the Lime is very subtle, and the Olivine, Khaki are close too - and this subtly gives a very nice gradation, especially if you vary the number of beads in the colour slightly. I initially tried this with the same numbers in each colour and very methodical stepping up of sizes in the strands, and found I did not like the look as much.













Components
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95901808 Findings - Clasp - Toggle - Open Petal Flower - Bright BrassPrice: $ 10.04
per
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Qty: 2 22801012-03 Findings - Jumprings - 7 mm Open Round - Goldplated (5 grams)

(to attach clasp)

Price: $ 0.75
per
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tc93-0418-26 Metal Beads - 3 mm Daisy Spacers - Antiqued Gold (100)

(3 packages, approx. (About 2.5 actually).)

Price: $ 7.40
per
In Stock
Qty: 2 hbn10 Needle - Size 10 English Needles - (pack of 4)

(I have actually no idea what size needle I really used. It's not like I keep them separate after opening the package!)

Price: $ 3.16
per
In Stock
Qty: 2 s11687 Sterling Floating Rings - 5 mm Twisted Rope - Vermeil (10)Price: $ 1.90
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Qty: 12 27753011363502 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Fuchsia (36)Price: $ 6.87
per
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Qty: 4 27753011313241 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Garnet (36)Price: $ 6.26
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Qty: 12 27753011313241 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Garnet (36)Price: $ 6.26
per
In Stock
Qty: 12 27753011355374 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Indian Red (36)Price: $ 4.88
per
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is unavailable.
Qty: 12 27753011302550 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Khaki (36)Price: $ 4.88
per
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is unavailable.
Qty: 12 27753011297226 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Light Topaz (36)Price: $ 4.88
per
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Qty: 12 27753011359385 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Bicone (5301) - Lime (36)Price: $ 6.81
per
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Qty: 21 27750001271502 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Fuchsia (Pkg 18)Price: $ 7.70
per
In Stock
Qty: 21 27750001235241 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Garnet (Pkg 18)Price: $ 7.09
per
In Stock
Qty: 17 27750001263374 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Indian Red (Pkg 18)Price: $ 8.92
per
In Stock
Qty: 13 27750001213217 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Indian Sapphire (Pkg 18)Price: $ 6.19
per
Sorry - this item
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Qty: 16 27750001226550 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Khaki (Pkg 18) Managers Fall Special 50% off!Price: $ 6.12
per
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Qty: 15 27750004mmlttopaz Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Light Topaz (Pkg 18)Price: $ 6.19
per
In Stock
Qty: 16 27750001267385 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Lime (Pkg 18) - Manager Special - 50% off!Price: $ 6.19
per
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Qty: 18 27750001225228 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Olivine (Pkg 18)Price: $ 6.19
per
In Stock
Qty: 20 27750001261373 Swarovski Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Turmaline (Pkg 18)Price: $ 6.08
per
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helfl06sg50 Thread - .006 inch / Size D Fireline - Braided Bead Thread - Smoke Grey (Spool)

(Any of the lightweight, very strong threads in the Fireline family will work. It needs to be knottable and needle-threadable.)

Price: $ 12.67
per
In Stock

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